Ralph Irizarry, recognized worldwide as an excellent percussionist, first fell in love with the timbal at an early age when his father coincidentally brought home a set received as payment for a debt. A self-taught musician, Irizarry has developed a highly efficient and personalized style of playing while leaving an enduring mark on the artists with whom he has collaborated. His love for the instrument evolved into a full-fledged passion that has fueled his career since 1970. Irizarry admits, without reservation, that this passion has been all consuming since he was a youngster, and is the same passion that he infuses now into his music.
Born in New York's Spanish Harlem, Ralph Irizarry's family first moved to Brooklyn and then briefly to Queens, before finally relocating in Puerto Rico in 1970. There, he spent three years immersed in music and gained the knowledge and experience that eventually granted him the opportunity to join Ponce's La Terrífica, as well as sitting in with such prestigious aggregations as El Gran Combo and Sonora Ponceña.