Eugenio Roberto “Kiko” Osorio
Born in Holguin Cuba, Kiko graduated with a degree in Percussion Performance and Education from the National School of Arts in Havana, Cuba in 1984. He began his professional career that same year as the percussionist with the Latin jazz group directed by pianist and composer Jose Maria Vitier. Kiko travelled extensively with the group and performed at the Festival Latino de Nueva York where he shared the stage with Dave Valentin, Mario Bauza, Ray Barreto, and Irakere. He also participated in the Festival de Cine in Merida, Venezuela and made three appearances at the Festival Cervantino in the Mexican city of Juanajuato. In 1991 he travelled to France and Canada to play in several jazz festivals, including the Montreal International Jazz Festival, and the Toronto Jazz Festival. Under the direction of Jose Maria Vitier, the group recorded music for several feature films and television series.
Kiko moved to Montreal, Canada in 1999 and has worked extensively with local groups playing a wide variety of styles from Latin and Jazz to world and pop music. He has appeared as a special guest with the McGill Jazz Big Band on several occasions including at the Rocky Mountain Festival at the Banff Center for the Arts in 2000. Kiko is currently an active member of the Cuban Jazz Session founded by the Montreal-based pianist and composer Yoel Diaz. This popular group opened for Arturo Sandoval in 2005, and has toured extensively to festivals all over Canada. In 2009 Kiko appeared with Yoel Diaz as well as with the Juno-nominated world music group the Roberto Lopez Project at the Festival Alonso Ortiz Tirado in Sonora, Mexico. He returned to FAOT in 2010 with Uruguayan singer Ines Canepa, and again in 2011 with the Cuban Timba group Habana Cafe. In the summer of 2010 Kiko was the Afro-Cuban percussion clinician at the 15th Annual Kosa International Percussion Workshop in Vermont, USA.
Since 2007, Kiko has collaborated with the award-winning Quebec vocalist, pianist and songwriter Florence K. He has played on the tours to promote her last two releases « La Historia de Lola » and « Havana Angels ». In 2011, Florence K began recording the weekly radio show « Planet K » on the Espace Musique station with a trio format. Kiko adds his percussion grooves, vocals and a Latin flavor to the broadcasts, and the widely-acclaimed show is now in its second season. Kiko recently recorded the percussion for « Drawing » by the Cuban pianist/composer Rafael Zaldivar which includes a special guest appearance by American saxophonist Greg Osby. The group performed the opening concert for the 33rd edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival in July 2012.