Born and raised in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Jose has been performing on percussion instruments since he was five years old. At age 11, he started formal music lessons with Professor Jose "Tito” Rivera and Professor German Peña Plaza at the Escuela Libre De Música de Humacao. At 12 years of age, Jose started performing with Humacao Symphonic Band under the direction of Professor German Peña Plaza, with the Humacao Symphonic Band, Jose traveled through Caribbean, Central and South America. At age 14, Jose received formal percussion lessons from Professor Jose "Pepe" Torres at the Escuela Libre de Música de Caguas. Under Torres direction, Jose performed with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, Puerto Rico State Band and also with a variety of local artists. By the age of 17, Jose was accepted into the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music where he studied percussion with Professor Jose Alicea. Under Alicea's direction, Jose played for the America youth symphony orchestra based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 1994, Jose moved to the United States.
Through the course of his life, Jose has had the opportunity to perform along renown artists such as Arturo Sandoval, Tito Puente, Marcos Barrientos, Meñique, Rico Monaco, Eve Evans, Gregg Bissonette, Giovanni Hidalgo, Gypsy Kings, Gerson Kelly, Martin Valverde, Nestor Torres, Danilo Montero, Bobby Cruz, Richie Ray, Jose "Papo" Rivera, Charlene Stewart, “Steel Pan Virtuoso” Liam Teague, Joe Lovano, and many others. For several years, Jose performed at “Tarzan Rocks”, and “The Village Beatniks” shows at the Disney's Animal Kingdom and at “The I Love Lucy tribute show!” in Universal Studio. Jose performs, produces opening acts with his band for artists such as Franco De Vita, does recordings and also teaches on his school "Jose Rosa Percussion Studio" located in Costa Rica and serves as guest artist for many universities in the United States and Costa Rica. In 2015, Jose Rosa was exalted to the Puerto Rico Music Hall of Fame for his contribution to the music in Puerto Rico.
He also leads his own band "Jose Rosa and Friends" with whom he had recorded several albums and his World Music Band "Merak". In addition, he can also be heard and seen in many radio ads and TV programs like syndicated PBS program “Jazz Then and Now” and also on the Travel channel in the program "The making of Disney's Animal Kingdom".
He has also written several instructional books some of the titles are: Award-winning: "Beyond The Secret Hand / Mas Allá de la Mano Secreta", “Modern Tumbadoras: How to play congas” Vol. 1, “Advance Latin Drumming Independence”, "Timbales, the history of the instrument that became the heartbeat of Latin Music" and "Extreme and Killer 4-Way Coordination for the 21st Century Drummer" published under the Jose Rosa Music Publishing Company. "The Contemporary Hand Drummer", "New World Music History" and "The Art of Latin Drumming" published under Centerstream/Hal Leonard Corporation. The latter nominated for the 2013 Modern Drummer Readers Poll. His Instructional Video: “The Contemporary Hand Drummer” is available in You Tube
Jose endorses Pearl Drums and Percussion, Paiste Cymbals, Remo Drum Heads, Pro-Mark Drum Sticks and Mallets, Purecussion Percussion, Cymbag and Cympad.