Legacy: Richie & Roland Gajate-Garcia

As for that prestigious American Idol gig, Roland recalls with pleasure and familial pride that “the new American Idol band had already been chosen when the percussion chair audition opened.” Dad came to the rescue, playing an instrumental role, literally, when push came to shove. “My father covered for me with Diana Ross so that I could stay in Los Angeles for the audition,” he says. In a job that covers part of the year for Roland, and involves extensive rehearsal time learning the charts of the countless songs the band plays for each show, he recalls with fondness, “Diana Ross sent me an email wishing me good luck. I among many other top percussionists who I respect auditioned for the chair. As I was about to board the flight that night to go to Chicago to perform with Diana Ross on Oprah, I received the news that I had landed the American Idol gig and would begin early the following morning. Thank God my father was able to cover Oprah for me as he was already in Chicago.”

Sometimes it clearly helps to have an octopus for a dad. “I’ve done the same with my kids that my father did with me,” says Richie, “exposing them to all types of live music, bringing them with us whenever possible, exposing them to other languages, cultures, and giving them a chance to sit in whenever possible.”

As far as Roland is concerned, this arrangement has served him just fine. “It was as if this is the way it was meant to be,” he says.

Richie Gajate-Garcia

Richie’s Setup

Percussion LP Richie Garcia Signature Congas And Bongos
1 11.75" x 30" Conga
2 12.5" x 30" Tumba
3 12.5" x 25" LP Djembe
4 7.25" & 8.625" Bongos
5 Kotz Cajon Gajate
6 LP Gajate Multi-Stem bracket with Jam Block, Cha-Cha Cowbell, and Cyclops Tambourine
7 Prestige 14" & 15" Timbales
8 Mambo Bell, Salsa Bell, and Jam Block
9 Percussion Table includes wind chimes, bell tree, caixixi, finger cymbals, triangle, pandeiro, and shakers.

Cymbals Sabian
A 14" HH Mini Chinese
B 16" AAX El Sabor Picante Hand Crash
C 12" HHX Evolution Splash

Electronics Roland
D HPD-15 Handsonic
E KD7 Kick Trigger

Richie Gajate-Garcia also uses DW hardware and pedals, Remo heads, and Vater Sazon Gajate signature timbale sticks.

Roland Gajate-Garcia

Roland’s Idol Setup

Percussion LP Accent Congas And Bongos (Lava Finish with gold hardware)
1 11.75" x 30" Conga
2 12.5" x 30 Tumba
3 11" x 30" Quinto
4 7.25" & 8.625" Bongos
5 13" & 14" LP Prestige Timbales
6 Percussion Table with assorted LP toys
7 LP Cowbell on LP Gajate bracket

Cymbals Sabian
A 16" Vault Artisan Crash
B 18" HHX Stage Crash
C 19" Vault Artisan Crash
D 17" HHX Legacy Crash

Electronics Roland
E HPD-15 Handsonic
F SPD-30 Octapad
G KD7 Kick Trigger

Roland Garcia also uses DW cymbal stands and DW 5000 pedals, Remo Skyn Deep heads or Remo Fiberskyn heads, and Vater 1/2 Timbale Sticks and Vater T-5 Mallets.

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