Oct. 2005 ~ Havana ~ Cuba
KoSA Cuba 05
...and our KoSA CUBA 2005 Report:
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The fourth edition of the KoSA CUBA Workshops took place in beautiful, historic Havana, Cuba in October of 2005. KoSA teamed up with the "Havana Drum Festival" (Fiesta Del Tambor) - a festival honoring the late and legendary drummer Guillermo Barreto. Canadian artists Charlie Cooley ( Caleb Porter; Manteca) and Aldo Mazza (Répercussion; artistic director and founder of the KoSA Percussion Workshops & Festival; and of the KoSA Academy) were invited by the festival director, Giraldo Piloto (Klimax) to give clinics and to perform to a packed and enthusiastic audience of some 2, 500 people at the "Teatro Nacional" of Havana. New to the already well-established Havana Drum Festival was teaming up with the KoSA Cuba Workshops.
The KoSA workshops schedule included daily classes in Cuban rhythms, visits to percussion instrument factories and a Yoruba temple, as well as informal gatherings with Havana musicians. The event took place in the famous Havana Libre Hotel complex. Participants worked on all aspects of Cuban drumming and music from traditional son, songo, bata rhythms, timba-funk creations and religious Yoruba traditions. Artists teaching the hands-on classes included many of Cuba's top musicians such as: Giraldo Piloto and his ensemble Klimax, Yaroldy Abreu (Chucho Valdez), Adel Gonzales (Afro-Cuban All Stars), David Pimienta (Mezela), and Yi Yo (Los 3 de la Habana). Foreign participants coming from Mexico, the U.S, Canada and Iran mixed with local Cuban students to attend seminars in the history and development of Cuban music led by renown ethnomusicologist, Dr. Olavo Rodriguez. Finally, every evening participants were treated to attending great local performances as well as concerts by the outstanding line-up of artists featured at the Havana Drum Festival. Performers included Giraldo Piloto and his ensemble Klimax, Los Papines, Los Moniquitos de Matanzas, los 3 de la Habana, Yaroldy Abreu, Salsa Fever, Oliver Valdez, Bobby Carcasses, and the Chucho Valdez Quartet.
KoSA Cuba / Havana Drum Festival is fast becoming an important cultural event which enables bridges to be formed between the rest of the world and the musically-rich island of Cuba..KoSA continues to bring together musicians from around the world with Cuban artists and Cuban music students in an extaordinary musical environment. At this year's edition of the Havana Drum Festival, KoSA has continued to bring instruments and organized that winners of the national contest be awarded a brand new professional drumset by TAYE, cymbals from SABIAN and drumsticks by REGAL TIP. A hearty thank-you to all these manufacturers for graciously donating these instruments.
Concurrent with the festival, a competition was held in five specific categories: conga, bongo, timbales, bata and drumset. It was amazing to see the young talent in this competition. Ages ranged from as young as 7 to 25 and all were at professional or nearly professional performing levels. Finalists performed in the grand finale concert on live national television and the winners each received an instrument and trophy. SABIAN cymbals provided the cymbal prize, the lucky drumset winner received a TAYE drumset and REGAL TIP drumsticks. Sponsors for the event included the Cuban Ministry of Culture, LP, Sabian, TAYE, KoSA, and Regal Tip.