Javier K'tumba

Biography

FRANCISCO JAVIER MERA RODRIGUEZ “KATUMBA”  

Francisco Javier Mera Rodríguez was born in 1979 in Cádiz, Andalusia, Spain, a historic port town which is considered to be one of the birthplaces of flamenco music. Living in the lively and humble neighborhood “el Mentidero” he became interested in flamenco at a young age. He started playing and singing with friends and family, then with local bands and choirs in social clubs, town events and special celebrations. Today, twenty five years later, he has had the fortune to play with many of flamencos most prestigious artists. Katumba’s percussion rhythms have accompanied such acclaimed artists such as El Barrio, Rafael de Utrera, Chenóa, David Bisbal, Pasión Vega, Sara Baras, Jose Mercé, Niña Pastóri, Javier Ruibal, El Arrebato, Manuel Carrasco, Antonio Orozco, El Junco, Isabel Ballón and Diana Navarro.

At seventeen, Katumba recorded his first CD as a bassist with a local Cadiz band of friends “Levantíto”, who eventually went on to rise high in the chart ratings, win many awards, and tour throughout Spain. Although he enjoyed playing the bass, his interest in percussion grew and he changed his focus.

At nineteen, now a percussionist, he recorded with reputable singer “Maíta vende Cá”, toured Spain and was awarded his first Platinum Album.

Two years later in 2000, at twenty one years old he began playing with one of Spain’s most popular contemporary flamenco rock/pop bands “El Barrio”, touring Spain yearly until 2008, winning numerous Platinum and Gold Albums.

When he wasn’t busy recording or touring with “El Barrio” he accompanied renowned flamenco singers Jose Mercé and Montse Cortés on tour, playing in some of the best theaters around the world. He also toured Japan and China with flamenco pianist Manolo Carrasco for four months.

In 2008 he joins the band of artist David de María, with whom he still works with. He also accompanied flamenco jazz pianist Sergio Monroy on his UK tour.

In 2009, he tours with the acclaimed flamenco singer Niña Pastóri playing in some of the most important theaters in Spain. He is currently recording her new CD.

In this same year (2009) he records with David Palomar and presents his show throughout Spain. He was also asked by the promising young singer Argentina to form part of her band and accompany her on various tours.

In 2010 he begins playing with celebrated flamenco singer Arcángel, and travels to the Dominican Republic. In February and March he tours Holland with David Palomar and accompanies singer India Martínez as Musical Director during her European tour.

It is worth mentioning that in 2010 he also tours the United States with world renown flamenco singer Rafael de Utrera, playing in New York, Los Ángeles, Washington, Chicago, Seattle, La Joya, and more cities within the USA.

In 2011, he joins the band of Spain’s beloved singer Pasión Vega for her upcoming 2011/2012 tour.

A few of his most noteworthy CD recordings include artists like El Barrio, Rafael de Utrera, David Bisbal, Chenoa, Niña Pastori, Sergio Monróy, José Mercé, La Macaníta, Carmen de la Jara, Sergio Contreras, Junior, Miguel Saez, Morano, David de María, El Arrebato, Pasión Vega, Alfonso Gamaza, La Yerba del Parque, Manuel Carrasco, Javier Ruibal, Ana Reverte, Mariana Cornejo, Vanesa Martin, Encarnita Anillo and David Palomar.

During his career Katumba has been a part of numerous flamenco dance companies including those of Rafael de Carmen, El Junco, Isabel Ballón, Jesús Fernández, Andrés Peña, Pilar Ogalla, María Moreno, Rosario Toledo and more. Currently he is working with internationally renowned flamenco dancer Sara Baras in her new show.

Apart from his career as percussionist, Katumba enjoys teaching and has been invited to share his knowledge about rhythm flamenco and percussion in cities like Albuquerque (USA), Amsterdam, Brussels, Lyon and most recently in his hometown Cadiz, in the Flamenco Art Center La Merced.

In his growth and development as an artist and musician, he has become knowledgeable and well versed in Afro Latina, Brasileña, Ethnic and Flamenco percussion and is constantly fusing and innovating with these techniques. Katumba is recognized by his peers for the diverse musical styles he brings to his rhythms, especially within the genre of flamenco.

Band(s):

Pasión Vega, El Barrio, David Bisbal