Pernell Saturnino grew up in a music-loving family surrounded by the rhythmic sound of Tambu, and so he developed a love for music himself. By nine years old he picked up the drums and eventually began to play the Venezuelan tambora drum, congas, the tambú drum, chapi, and timbales as well. Harnessing his euphonious talents he began his personal journey toward excellence. At 19 years old he enrolled in classes at the Foundation Institute of Music in Curaçao where he studied with percussionist Jose “Pepito” Reyes and played percussion in a house band performing international shows at a local hotel.

In 1988, Pernell moved to Boston to attend the Berklee College of Music, where he studied with grand masters Giovanni Hidalgo and Jesus Alfonso of Los Muñequitos de Matanzas and opportunities began to pour in. He was on the fast track to a career that would bring joyful notes to audiences all over the world. Pernell told Events Curaçao, “It’s always nice when what you love to do becomes your profession.”

Every drummer is unique and Pernell demonstrates that different drum beats can actually change the character of a song.  He found plenty of work in many different cities and countries by putting personality and oomph into every beat he played. Being on the road often is an added bonus for him he tells Events Curaçao, “one thing I love about my profession is the traveling, interacting with new people and discovering the culture of each country.”

It’s true that music has always factored into his life in a big way but it took a lot of hard work.  Pernell knows that to succeed as a musician first you must, “study, study, study. Practice, practice, practice. It can be boring at first, but the result is very exciting at the end. When you really know what you love to do, go for it all the way; with discipline, dedication and perseverance. “

What’s ahead? Next year Pernell Saturnino will perform First Opera in Papiamentu with Tania Kross and Randal Corsen.


Highlights of a musical journey with spotlight performances and prestigious awards

  • a performance with Wynton Marsalis and his All Star Big Band at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996
  • a recording with Chick Corea Electric Band
  • A USO invitation to perform in Kosovo for the US military after the war
  • A tribute to Doble R with Metropole Orchestra
  • Three months in Japan recording and touring with Makoto Ozone and No Name Horses Big band
  • a recording of the movie Calle 54 be together with all the big artist for a weekend
  • A Grammy Award and a Cola Debrot Awards
  • Performing at the Curacao Jazz Festival with his own band

Tatiana Saturnino-Felix

Pernell Saturnino Management

(+5999) 512.4825 / 465.0399