8 July 1953, Havana, Cuba. Berroa first considered the violin, the instrument played by his father, but was soon playing drums, which he did from the days of his youth. He preferred the orthodox kit to the traditional percussion instruments of his homeland and moved into jazz. Even so, from the outset there were always touches of Cuban fire in his playing. He studied percussion in Havana at the National School of Arts and at the National Conservatory. In the mid-70s he played in local bands but chose to leave the country when the opportunity arose in 1980. For some time thereafter he played in bands in Florida before relocating to New York City. He performed live and on record with musician such as Charlie Haden, McCoy Tyner, Tito Puente and Gonzalo Rubalcaba. He was heard by Mario Bauza, who introduced him to Dizzy Gillespie who was in need of a drummer one night. Berroa remained with Gillespie for several years, playing in small groups and big bands, the latter...