Alberto López received his first music lessons as a child in a neighborhood music school in Medellín, Colombia. Upon his family’s move to the United States, he furthered his studies in piano and percussion at the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA and The Juilliard School in New York City, respectively. In addition, Alberto studied counterpoint, harmony and orchestral conducting privately under the great Jacques-Louis Monod. While in New York, he came under the tutelage of Afro-Cuban drumming master and legend Felipe García Villamil, with whom he learned not only the drumming and music, but also the religious and ceremonial aspects of various Afro-Cuban cultural and spiritual traditions. Furthermore, he has traveled to Brazil, Puerto Rico and Cuba to develop his knowledge of Afro-American music and culture.
Residing in Los Angeles since 1999, Mr. López has performed, recorded, composed and/or produced music with artists such as Quetzal, Mstislav Rostropovich, Rubén Blades, Celia Cruz, Lee Ritenour, Stanley Clarke, LCD Soundsystem, The Brand New Heavies, The Dalai Lama, Juanes and Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, among others. He was part of the Oscar-nominated soundtrack for the 20th Century FOX animated film “Rio” and in 2013 received a Grammy Award (Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album) for his work on the “Imaginaries” album by Quetzal, released on the Smithsonian Folkways label.
In November 2004, Alberto founded Belú Music, a music production house and independent label, with the aim of developing and sharing the musical vision of artists around the world. His releases have generated praise from some prominent world music radio stations, including KCRW (Los Angeles), BBC (UK), WGBH (Boston).
Mr. López has also been an active educator, teaching privately as well as giving lectures and workshops in schools and universities, including UCLA, SDSU, Occidental College, LAMA, Plaza de la Raza and community centers throughout California, Arizona and Oregon. In 2010, he released “Afro-Colombian Rhythms Method, Vol. 1” with Colombian master percussionist and gaitero Eduardo Martínez (Totó La Momposina, Petrona Martínez). Currently, Alberto is working with Scott Wardinsky in the production of an instructional DVD/CD set of Afro-Cuban rhythms featuring Cuban masters Ramón “Sandy” Pérez and Lázaro Galarraga.