José Jr. was born and raised in East Harlem, the Spanish Quarter of New York City known as "El Barrio". By the age of fifteen he was already playing in local groups. Mangual Jr. showed his talent as a composer, author, and lead vocalist with Willie Colón's orchestra. His skills as a percussionist and musical director have been sought out by many including Juan Luis Guerra, Rubén Blades, Herb Alpert, Dizzy Gillespie, David Byrne, Celia Cruz, Ramon Orlando, Mario Bauza, Mongo Santamaria, Fania All Stars, Junior Gonzalez, Ismael Miranda and Louie Ramirez.
Mangual’s musical credits are varied. His Discography includes releases such as "Pa Bailar y Gozar", "Que lo Diga el Tiempo", "Sonero Con Clase", "No Se Tu", and many others.