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Jotan Afanador Looks to Raid the Vault

Jotan Afanador Looks to Raid the Vault

Raid The Vault Returns! Launched two years ago to offer fans a behind the scenes look inside the historic SABAIN Vault, the YouTube series offers a rare glimpse at the prototypes that have made SABIAN a global leader in the manufacturing of hand-crafted cymbals and quality percussion instruments. In this seventh installment, SABIAN Director of Research and Development Randy Ross is joined by Jotan Afanador, who flew to New Brunswick to visit the factory while on tour in Montreal and Toronto with Romeo Santos.

Born to a musical family in the Bronx, New York, Afanador’s journey is nothing short of spectacular. A self-taught drummer, he began gigging at fourteen, playing Broadway and alongside figures like Dave Valentin, Nestor Torres, and Norah Jones in his early years on the scene. In August 2002, he set a record at the World’s Fastest Drummer competition, playing an astounding 1,123 single strokes in 60 seconds. Afanador has graced iconic venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and a sold out Madison Square Garden. More recently, he’s performed for Lady Gaga, recorded for Jennifer Lopez, and joined iconic rap artist Fat Joe and legendary songwriter Paul Simon at the New York Yankees Championship team party.

Alongside Randy Ross, Afanador took the legendary SABIAN factory tour, following each instrument’s journey from an oven room blank to a SABIAN-tested and approved cymbal, learning firsthand about the traditional techniques practiced by the company’s skilled artisans. Afanador even tried his own hand at hand hammering, learning from some true masters of the craft.

Inside the SABIAN Vault, Afanador meticulously tested a wide and impressive variety of instruments, from recent releases like the HHX Tempest Vault Drop and STRATUS series, to little known and obscure prototypes in the Area 51 section of the Vault. After spending the afternoon with Ross, Afanador picked out a nice pile of goodies and departed to rejoin the Romeo Santos team, ahead of additional dates in South America and Europe.

Ever wondered what mysteries lie within the walls of SABIAN’s legendary vault? Wonder no more! Catch Raid the Vault on our YouTube channel and enjoy this exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the craftsmanship, innovation, and sheer magic that define SABIAN’s legacy in the world of percussion.