Later on in the 50's he held the position of Musical Director of the Hotel Nacional de la Habana's main showroom, Casino Parisien, where the top Cuban & American performers appeared nightly.
Walfredo Jr's father is world reknowned drummer & percussionist Walfredo Reyes, Sr. (Walfredo de los Reyes III). Walfredo Sr.'s credits in Cuba & in the U.S. include recordings & performances with the cream of the crop of the music scene such as Josephine Baker, Cachao, Elena Burke, La Lupe, Julio Gutierrez Cuban Jam Sessions, Quarteto de Aidas, Louie Bellson, Bobby Darin, Dione Warwick, Juliet Prowse, Debbie Reynolds, and many others. Walfredo Sr. has also been a recording artist, recording his classic 50's album Cuban Jazz, with Cachao and Los Papines. He is a respected innovator, inventor & teacher of both the drums & percussion, teaching & inspiring many drummers around the world such as Alex Acuna, Luis Conte, Amadito Valdes and many, many others.
On his mother's side, the name Palau lives in the cuban music history books. In the 1850's when Cuba was still a colony of Spain, Queen Isabela sent an orchestra to Cuba to play for some celebrations and festivities. The director of that orchestra was Felipe Palau from Barcelona, Spain. When the orchestra returned to Spain, Felipe decided to stay in Cuba. He fell in love with a Cuban lady and got married. From this marriage two sons, Felipe II and Rafael, and various daughters were born. Felipe II, like his father, became a great musician and went on to hold the very respected position of organist of the Cathedral of Habana, Cuba. He personally was sent to Europe to hand pick the organ that was installed in the Cathedral originally. Felipe II kept very busy at the Opera events and performing in all the classical music concerts in Cuba at that time.
Felipe II's siblings, including Rafael "Cuco" Palau (Walfredo, Jr's grandfather), became great accomplished musicians and formed an orchestra originally called "Los Califates" which later became the famous "Orquestra Hermanos Palau" from Marianao, Habana, in the 1920's and 30's. This orchestra performed extensively in all the top theatres and niteclubs of Cuba which lead to many recordings and travels abroad, including Hollywood where they appeared in movies and TV shows. Later in the 50's the siblings of "Orquestra Hermanos Palau" formed "Orquestra Hermanos Palau Jr", maintaining the traditions alive. Later, each member went on to achieve luminous careers in
Walfredo, Jr's brothers also continue in the tradition. Danny de los Reyes is an accomplished percussionist with his own label, Saborrecords.com and a long list to his credits like Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, Don Henley, Stevie Nicks, Lionel Ritchie, Yanni and many others.
Few drummers playing today can successfully combine the rich history of Latin, Afro-Cuban and World Percussion with the drum set. For Walfredo Reyes Jr., fusing the two disciplines has been his driving passion. In fact, by blazing this path, Reyes has challenged the technical levels of our instrument.
Born in Cuba, raised in Puerto Rico and culminating his musical style in the U.S., Wally (Walfredo Jr.) learned the traditions from the master, his father Walfredo Sr. He married those principles with his love of the drum set, coming up with his own truly global rhythmic style. Simply put, Wally is able to sound like a drummer and a percussionist at the same time. Add blistering chops and a penchant for playing unusual patterns to the mix, and you have only a small idea of what this man can do.
Not surprisingly, this "one man percussion show" has gathered an impressive list of gigs over the years, including touring and / or recording with: Carlos Santana, Traffic, Steve Winwood, Jackson Browne, Celia Cruz, Gloria Estefan, David Lindley, Ricki Lee Jones, Richard Marx, Sergio Mendes, Smokey Robinson, Robbie Robertson, Joe Sample, Boz Scaggs, Christina Aguilera, Ricky Martin, Johnny Hallyday.
Because of his versatility, Walfredo is one of the most in demand musicians in the world today. He currently lives in the Los Angeles area where he continues to expand his talents to recording, producing, composing, education, live performance and touring.