Rene Gonzalez joined the Texas State University School of Music as a Lecturer for the Latin Music Studies Program in fall 2019.
Rene earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a Master of Music degree in Latin Music Performance and Percussion Performance from Texas State University, where he was the graduate teaching assistant for the TSU Percussion Studio and Latin Studies program. Rene was also a member of Texas State University's award-winning salsa band, Salsa Del Rio. Rene won several awards with Salsa Del Rio, including the “Best Conguero” award at the Notre Dame’s Collegiate Jazz Festival 50th Anniversary in 2008 and a Down Beat Magazine’s “Best Blues, Pop and Rock Recording” award for Salsa Del Rio’s album, Llorarás, in 2007. Additionally, while performing with Salsa Del Rio, the band won three awards at Univision’s Premios a La Musica Latina in San Antonio, Texas for Best Salsa Band of the Year. The band also participated at the 2007 Brienz Jazz Festival and Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.
Rene currently serves as conguero with Cienfuegos/La Moña Loca and bongocero with Natiao from San Antonio, Texas. He also freelances with other groups from San Antonio and Austin, Texas, and he is a former member of Henry Brun & the Latin Playerz from San Antonio, Texas. Rene has had the honor of performing with the Latin Playerz at the 2008 and 2015 Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), Jazz’SAlive in San Antonio, Texas, the 2011 NAMM Show in Anaheim, California, and the Taichung Jazz Festival in Taichung, Taiwan.
He has had the honor of sharing the stage with incredible artists such as Poncho Sanchez, Larry Harlow, Pete and Rita Rodriguez, Tito Puente Jr., Memo Acevedo, Victor Rendon, Eddie Palmieri, Brian Lynch, Ed Calle, J.R. Robinson, Butch Miles, Danny Seraphine, Russ Miller, Bill Gibson, and many others.
In 2018, Rene joined the instructional staff with Rhythmic Force Independent Drumline from Austin, Texas where he taught front ensemble/Latin percussion for the 2018 production of Matador. Rhythmic Force went on to make the top 10 Finalist at the WGI Championships in 2018 and 2019.
Mr. Gonzalez has taught Percussion in Comal ISD in New Braunfels, Texas from 2012— Present. His duties are teaching beginner percussion classes and percussion ensembles for Canyon Middle School, Church Hill Middle School, and Danville Middle School. Rene also created a middle school Brazilian Samba Ensemble at Church Hill Middle and a Latin Jazz Combo at Canyon High School. Aside from his duties at the middle schools, Rene assists with the marching percussion and percussion ensembles at Canyon High School alongside Brad Arnold. Rene’s students at Church Hill Middle School will be performing on the music showcase stage at the 2020 TMEA Convention.