Born in Bogotá, Colombia on may 21st 1991, Juan Felipe Mejia started playing snare drum in his middle school drum corp at the age of 8. He soon became the leader of the band and started to teach other students who wanted to join. A couple of years later he became interested in playing Colombian folkloric percussion. He learned the basic rhythms and started playing concerts with his middle school choir. He played instruments like; tambora, tambora andina, cununos, güiro and maracón.

 

By the age of 13, Juan was finally able to get his hands on a drum set when his high school music department got one. He fell in love with the instrument from the very first time he played it and he spent every moment between classes playing. 

This led to an important phase of his early career: his first band, Corozo. It was a rock-fusion quartet that was a big motivation for Juan to get better at playing the drums. It was also with this band that Juan went to a recording studio for the first time. Corozo played for more than 3 years and released an EP and many singles. They also played at numerous festivals, popular bars and music contests in Bogotá, Colombia.

 

In 2007, Juan started to play drums in the band Calma, with singer Papina De Palma from Uruguay. After 2 years, one album, and many live shows, and before he decided to move to United States, Juan studied with the well-known drum teacher Pablo Bernal. 

 

Juan moved to New York City after studying English and taking private drum lessons with Berklee alumni Pablo Eluchans in Boston. In NYC he was given a diploma in drum set performance at the Collective School of Music, where he studied with amazing musicians such as Peter Retzlaff, Vince Cherico, Ian Froman, Pat Petrillo, Jason Gianni, Bob Quaranta, Marko Djordjevic, Kim Plainfield, Sean Conly, Maciek Schejbal, Sean Conly and Adriano Santos. Also, while studying he played in many NYC renowned jazz clubs, such as Cafe Wah (where Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix played historical concerts) and Lic Bar. 

 

After his graduation in 2013, Juan wanted to study music more formally. He wanted to know more in depth elements of music such as composition, ear training and harmony. He wanted to be able to write his own music. Juan decided that Berklee College Of Music was the right place to get the knowledge that he wanted, he auditioned in Boston and got a scholarship to attend the college.

 

 

At Berklee Juan is studying, besides music theory and ear training, Performance, Contemporary Writing and Production and he is doing a minor in Performance studies in latin music. His mentors have been Ian Froman, Casey Scheuerell, Kim Plainfield, Mark Walker, Henrique De Almeida, Neal Smith and Dave Dicenso. He has played a vast amount of concerts from his very first semester, playing everything from pop music to jazz, funk to latin and playing both percussion and drum set. He has also recorded in all of the Berklee recording studios, film scoring studios and outside Berklee studios such us at the record company, Studio one and Perfection.

 

Juan currently leads his own band that features incredibly talented musicians from all over the world. The group plays his original compositions and arrangements, The band’s first album was released in October 2015. He also plays with The Danny Nagy Big Stenk Band and with singer/songwriter Prong Guivolists.