- California Institute of the Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts
California Institute of the Arts, Master of Fine Arts in Performance
- Robert Fernandez began playing bongos at age five, performing and recording music from his Cuban heritage. He is a percussionist in both traditional and cross-cultural music, who has studied with many world masters.
He received his B.F.A. and M.F.A degrees in percussion from the California Institute of the Arts and pursued Doctoral studies at USC. He has also performed on numerous feature films, T.V. and commercials and has toured and worked with artists as diverse as John Cage, Tito Puente, Frank Zappa, Barry Manilow, Bobby Shew, and many others.
His teachers include John Bergama, Pete Magadini, Kobla Ladzepko and Don Bothwell, as well as bata master Pedro Jesus Octa, folkloric master drummers Julio Guerra, Angel Bolanos and Mario Jaurequi, and contemporary Cuban percussionists Jose Luis Quintana and Roberto Viscaino.
He is currently on the faculty at California State University Los Angeles, where he directs the percussion and Afro-Latin percussion ensembles, teaches Latin percussion and assists with the Afro-Latin music program. He has just finished a book on Afro-Cuban Folkloric titled: The Afro-Cuban Folkloric Musical Tradition- A Practical Guide for Percussionists and is a founding member of the Cuarteto Experimental Afro-Latino.