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netherlands
Marco Toro
Marco Toro
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Artist Biography

Everything you need to know in one spot.

  • Band/Affiliation: Laberinto / Toro Ensamble
  • Country: Netherlands

Marco Toro is a very talented drummer, percussionist, composer, and arranger born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1969. Marco got his first drum kit on his ninth birthday and from then on he never stopped drumming and learning all about its possibilities and intricacies as well as experimenting with other percussion instruments. His first interaction with music started in his childhood playing parrandas navideñas (traditional Christmas music) and playing maracas with his father in Guarenas, a suburb east of Caracas. At the age of 16 he started his first rock band.

In 1989 Marco Toro formed Laberinto, a Venezuelan rock band known as the creators of the "Metalatino," a unique mix of tight metal and Latin percussion. In 1992, these "latin metal rockers" made the jump to the Old World finding a new home in Amsterdam. This most hospitable and liberal town of Europe offered Marco the greatest possible musical and artistic freedom. From this new base Laberinto started a successful and extensive tour through Europe and have produced seven albums over the years. Their most recent release is from 2008, The World Might Suck, which features the Dutch rap legend Osdorp Posse. Laberinto had achieved a certain status in Venezuela and The Netherlands and by now they are revered there as rock legends who have realized their musical dreams and ambitions overseas. Laberinto continues working on innovative records and live shows.

Although Laberinto remains his 'spiritual home,' Marco has never lost his roots found in Venezuelan popular music and culture and he is very appreciated by colleagues for his ability to play in a wide variety of styles. His credits range from: Laberinto, Osdorp Posse, Drums United, Cubop City Big Band, Beatbusters, Santanico, G. Clarinda y la Ritmica, El Trabucombo, Marejada, Tierra Caliente, Rudy Alvano, Jaqueline Castro, Subject to Change, Tumbao, Grupo Kilele, Javier Plaza y su Orquesta Sonrisa, FP La Banda, Barrio Nuevo, La Misma Gente, Marike Jager etc.

As he matured as a professional, in 2004 he embarked on a solo project, Toro Ensamble. With this he leaves the world of Metalatino and returns in part to the Salsa Brava of his youth and to Venezuelan popular music, showing a lot about his Afro-Venezuelan roots. Toro Ensamble's latest and most enticing CD is the exciting Oído Al Tambor.

As a testimony to his multilayered heritage, besides playing drums, he also plays a wide variety of percussion instruments on this record including timbales, congas, bongos and cowbell. It also features typical Afro-Venezuelan instruments like cumaco, culo e' puya, drum of San Millán, tambora de gaita, paliteos, maracas, guiro and guira, all of which play an essential role in Venezuelan music.

In 2008 Marco Toro starts touring with Drum United. The drum formation is travelling across Europe and Mexico. In a meanwhile Toro is still working with Laberinto and his solo project Toro Ensamble. Both with new releases in 2010.

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