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Sunday, March 29, 2009 - Lehman College - New York City
KoSA New York

On Sunday, March 29th KOSA went to New York City at Lehman College in the Bronx. Clinicians were: Memo Acevedo, Victor Rendon, Bobby Sanabria, and Aldo Mazza.

The event started with multiple Grammy nominated drummer, percussionist, arranger, composer, bandleader, educator, andBobby Sanabria presented his clinic, CLAVE - THE KEY: A RHYTHMIC JOURNEY FROM AFRICA TO THE NEW WORLD. Using the 5-beat rhythm of the clave (the rhythmic pattern and unifying principle of Cuban son, rumba and contemporary salsa) he demonstrated how it is the "key" to unlocking the roots of Afro-Cuban music and showed its presence in the music of the present day United States. Against the on-going beat of the clave, Mr. Sanabria played complex rhythms on shekere, congas, etc. culminating on the drum set. While simultaneously speaking, singing, and playing he demonstrated how the 5-beat clave, with its roots in West Africa, journeyed to Cuba and the U.S. and remains at the core of other musical styles such as funk, R & B, rock & roll, and hip hop. Bobby also addressed the history of the Afro-Cuban jazz continuum for KOSA NY students through a short 15 minute documentary he was a consultant on for the Smithsonian Museum entitled, Jazz with a Latin Beat, which demonstrated the impact that Latin Jazz has had on U.S. culture. It was followed by a lively question answer session with the audience.

Bobby’s clinic was followed by Memo Acevedo and Victor Rendon. Memo and Victor concentrated their part of the clinic on developing solos on timbales. They started out with general concepts and proceeded with a demonstration of one, two, and four bar phrases. Audience participation was included in this portion of the clinic. It was followed by Victor discussing and demonstrating a solo timbale transcription by the late master drummer, Manny Oquendo. The presentation ended with a Power Point slide show/discussion of “A Century of Timbaleros” which showed photos of influential timbale players from the 1920’s to the present.

In his clinic, Aldo Mazza covered several topics. The first was the history and development of Songo in Cuba from the percussion origins to the drumset concepts which developed from it. While Changuito was the person who is best know for its creation and development during his tenure with Los Van Van , there were important elements of american funk and African rhythms which inspired this style and music. Some Cuban styles and rhythms have their roots in West African culture and music. Aldo continued to then demonstrate the connection between African and Cuba rhythms and how they can be set to drumset performance concepts.

The event was a smashing success culminating with the 80 piece Lehman College Concert Band (led by Alan Hollander) performing the tune, Mambo # 5 arranged by Armando Rodriguez and Victor Rendon. Former NY Philharmonic percussionist, Morris “Arnie” Lang joined the group on timpani. The event was dedicated to timbale/bongo player, Manny Oquendo, who passed away on March 25, 2009. Many thanks to Allan Molnar and Alan Hollander for helping to coordinate this date.

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