Wednesday, April 26, 2017

CUBA/CANADA:KoSA Cuba’s annual Percussion Workshop & Havana Rhythm & Dance Festival 'Fiesta del Tambor' celebrating together 16 years of musical magic!

KoSA Cuba’s annual Percussion Workshop & Havana Rhythm & Dance Festival 'Fiesta del Tambor' celebrating  together 16 years of musical magic!

Havana, Cuba, March 23, 2017:  The KoSA Cuba Percussion and Drum camp held its 16th edition from March 5-12, 2017 in the capital city of the extraordinary island of Cuba.  Held annually by its two founders:  Aldo Mazza – a world-touring Canadian percussionist and his musician wife Dr. Jolán Kovács, KoSA Cuba is customarily planned the same week as Havana’s Rhythm and Dance Festival (Fiesta del Tambor) directed and organized by Giraldo Piloto, In fact, KoSA has, for nearly two decades, adopted the beautiful island of Cuba- the cultural jewel of the Caribbean- playing a key role in the music scene in Havana and in particular acting as an important sponsor and collaborator of the Fiesta del Tambor bringing the instrument prizes given to the national contest winners in the categories of drumset timbales, congas and bongos.  

Once again, the KoSA Cuba program was a fascinating discovery for the lucky participants coming this year from Greece, many parts of the US, Switzerland, the UK, and Canada. Although the majority of participants were attending the KoSA event for their very first time, the wonderful thing about KoSA is that those who were alumni students still had plenty of novel things to learn and explore as the history of Cuban music and its people is rich and diverse and cannot possibly be covered nor understood  in one week!    The group’s daily itinerary was seriously intense with highly informative hands-on classes taught by authentic Cuban masters both in percussion and drumset. The distinguished faculty this year included ethnomusicologist Dr. Olavo Alén, percussion greats like Juan Carlos Rojas “El Peje” (a long time drummer for Chucho Valdez, and 2010 Grammy Award winner) and his talented assistant Dayron, Tomas “El Panga” Ramos, one of the top studio musicians in Cuba, and Amadito Valdés (best known for his work with the famous Buena Vista Social Club) gave an engaging introductory clinic on Timbales and his unique style of performing and soloing.  Other star-studded teachers included the talented Yissy Garcia (currently performing and touring with the renown singer Dave Matthews), Oliver Valdès (top studio drummer in Cuba),  Miguelon Rodriguez (highly sought-after drummer in Matanzas), Enrique Pla (the original drummer for the legendary group Irakere) and of course the incomparable Giraldo Piloto founder of the famed group Klimax.  All classes this year were held at the Havana Club – a private beach club belonging long-ago to the Biltmore family.  After a day of jam-packed information, the participants could wind down  either by the beach (which was enticing them just a few steps away) or partake in daily jam sessions accompanied by the very capable bass talents of KoSA Cuba Faculty, Reinaldo Gomez Ruis.  The group also had the chance to bask in the beauty of old Havana, and do some shopping in local markets.  By night, participants were treated to jaw-dropping musical performances in downtown Havana and the party continued to the wee hours of the night dancing and partaking in traditional rumba sessions in outdoor gardens.   In addition, KoSA’s founders and the director of the Fiesta del Tambor welcomed such reputable international talents this year such as Mark Guliana, Will Calhoun, Dafnis Prieto, Marcus Santos, Nanny Assis, and Craig Haynes and not to mention the Norwegian talents of brothers Per Mathisen (bass) and Hans Mathisen (guitar)..  These international superstars wowed Cuban artists and audiences alike on a very special SABIAN sponsored night. And if that wasn’t enough, many of these legends were also “hung out” with the participants of the KoSA workshop joining in on classes learning alongside the fascinating concepts of Cuban music.  

 New this year, all evening concerts of the Fiesta del Tambor, including the special Sabian night, were filmed and will be broadcasted at a future date on drum channel ( so stay tuned!   Cuba is a fantasy come true.  If you haven’t yet attended a KoSA Cuba Workshop, it will CHANGE YOUR LIFE guaranteed! 

KoSA Cuba 2017 Festival and the Fiesta del Tambor was sponsored in part by KoSA Music, Sabian, Gon Bops, Contemporanea , Yamaha, Evans, D’Addario, ProMark ,Pearl,  KoSA Cuba Travel  and Cuba Plus .  Dates for KoSA Cuba Workshop & Havana Rhythm and Dance Festival ( Fiesta del Tambor ) are March 4-11 2018.  For more information , please visit                        SOURCE: