From Puerto Rico, Manolo Badrena's career has taken him around the world to the most prestigious stages. Manolo left Puerto Rico when he was 22 to perform with Weather Report on the recordings "Heavy Weather" and "Mr. Gone". After that, he went on to perform and/or record with: Rolling Stones, George Duke, Herb Alpert, Joni Mitchell, Gino Vanelli, and Henry Mancini. During this time, he recorded his first solo album as a songwriter, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist for A&M Records in 1979 titled:"Manolo".
The '80s and '90s saw Manolo recording and working with Steve Khan and Eyewitness, which included Anthony Jackson and Steve Jordan. During his long and distinguished career, Manolo has also recorded with: Brecker Bros., Ahmad Jamal, Toninho Horta, Nile Rodgers, Blondie, Talking Heads, Miami Steve, Michael Franks, Marcus Miller, Bill Evans, Debbie Harry,Tom Tom Club, Spyro Gyra, Joe Zawinul's Syndicate, Salif Keita, Richard Bona, Maria João, Paco Sery, Ettiene M'Bape, Zakir Hussein, and Victor Bailey. During this time, he also recorded with the famous French group, "Sixun" and composed their hit, "Rapisrap." where he wrote their 1987 hit "Nu Sungo."
Back in the USA, he participated on Steve Jordan's productions for John Scofield and John Mayer. When Manolo stopped touring in 2004, he completed his instructional DVD for Rittor Music, "All That Percussion" making it the culmination of his World Percussion studies. The DVD consists of material acquired through his extensive travels. Recently Manolo recorded a new CD with Ahmad Jamal which has led to touring all over the U.S. and Europe and he also participated in a new recording project for Mina Agossi's.