Workshops, ensembles and master classes at your college, high school or community center. Half-day, one-day, weekend, and three- or five-day programs can be arranged.
Percussion and Song Ensembles: Afrocuban, Brazilian, and Ghanaian (Ewe).
Master class: Afrocuban percussion. Concentrated instruction for more advanced students.
Concepts of Rhythm in World Music: The intriguing possibilities of world rhythms clearly explained and made available for students on all instruments, not just percussion.
Rhythmic Improvisation: Students on all instruments, not just percussion learn techniques for greater rhythmic creativity in their soloing. Applicable to many styles, but the focus is jazz and rock.
Assembly: Music of Africa and the Caribbean. An introduction to instruments, styles and history. While I’m at your school, why not let everyone listen?
Understanding Rhythm: Concepts, Improvisation, and Melody. A one-weekend workshop in understanding and teaching rhythm, including rhythm on melody instruments and voice. The workshop covers (1) basic rhythmic skills and theory, presented with new and easily comprehended concepts; and (2) approaches to improvisation, focusing on melodic applications. It has a strongly cross-cultural perspective, incorporating ideas from many styles of world music.
For several years Eugene Uman and I have co-led the Latin Jazz Ensemble at the Vermont Jazz Center. This all-ages group is devoted to the many jazz styles inspired by Caribbean and South American music, including but not limited to Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil and Colombia. We play both classics and Eugene and my original compositions. We welcome your interest! Basic chart reading skills required.
I love community teaching and recently retired from Keene State College to devote more time to it. I’ll be starting at the Northampton Community Music Center with a workshop on Caribbean Carnival. Stay tuned for further developments.
My community involvement includes membership on the Vermont Jazz Center Board of Directors. VJC is a wonderful institution and I’m happy to be able to contribute to it!
For twenty-eight years, from 1987 through 2015, I taught ethnomusicology and cultural anthropology at over a dozen universities, colleges and community colleges, including Wesleyan University, Clark University, Marlboro College, San José State University and Keene State College.
My PhD research took me to Martinique in 1993-95, and I have returned several times since. In Martinique I studied the traditional dance/music bèlè, and its revival as a social movement. This research has resulted in publications in Ethnomusicology, Latin American Music Review, Black Music Research Journal and other journals and books. Dominique Cyrille and I edited two CDs of Alan Lomax’s 1962 Caribbean recordings, “Martinique: Cane Fields and City Streets” and “The French Antilles: We Will Play Love Tonight!”, both on Rounder Records.
With Ken Dalluge, I wrote The Musician’s Guide to Rhythm, a step-by-step approach to understanding and creating with rhythm, for musicians on all instruments.
Academic CV (PDF)
This article is written for undergraduate classroom use, as well as general interest. If you wish to use it in class, please contact me for copies of the relevant music.
Mongo Santamaria’s Congo Solo in Ti Mon Bo
Here’s a transcription of one of the great conguero’s classic solos, for your study and entertainment.