New Latin American Music Choir

Latin American Music Choir
For Teens and Adults
Choir Director: Shadia Almasri

Auditions: September 20 & 27 at 7:00 pm

Dear Friends,

If you love to sing, can carry a tune, and love the musical repertoire of Latin America, then Harbor Conservatory’s new choir is the class for you.  Led by long time Conservatory faculty member Shadia Amasri, this choir for singers ages 16 years old and older will initially focus on the interpretation of Latin American Folkloric Music.  This includes genres like Joropo, Boleros, Tangos, Danzas, and Merengue and will feature lyrics by some of the leading poets of Latin America.

To schedule an audition, please call 212/427-2244 ext. 573. Harbor Conservatory is located at One East 104th Street in Manhattan on Fifth Avenue.

The choir meets on Mondays from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm and we are seeking a total of 24 choir members, featuring 6 singers per vocal range. That means 6 sopranos, 6 altos, 6 tenors and 6 bass or baritones. Previous vocal training is a plus but not a requirement, but a healthy voice with a clear tone is necessary.

Nina Gale Olson
Director of External Affairs


Pablo Mayor Launches 7th Annual Encounter of Columbian Musicians




June 18 & June 19, 2010


Pianist/Composer/ Bandleader and Educator Pablo Mayor, a long time member of the music faculty at Harbor Conservatory will present the 7th annual Encounter of Columbian Musicians in New York at El Museo del Barrio on June 18th and 19th. This popular festival features nearly twenty of New York’s renowned Colombian musical ensembles as well as special guests from Colombia. This event highlights Colombia’s musical treasures and its multiple rhythms like cumbia, currulao, vallenato, bambuco, and more, on the eve of the Bicentennial year of Colombian independence. El Museo del Barrio is located in the same building as Harbor Conservatory at Fifth Avenue and 104th Street.

Encuentro developed from an all-day event organized in Bogotá in 1998, when Pablo Mayor was directing the jazz program at the Universidad Javeriana. Mayor had students present music utilizing Colombian rhythms and melodies, with results so productive and enjoyable that Mayor made it the model when organizing a New York event in 2003. Encuentro highlights the finest contemporary and traditional Colombian music, brought together on the same stage for one of New York’s distinct “hot ticket” events

The Encounter, or Encuentro, continues to inspire, educate, and awe its audiences with its varied artist showcases, ranging from the poetry of Marta Gómez, to the fire of virtuoso percussionist Samuel Torres, to the pure joy of the Afro-Colombian music of Diego Obregon‘s marimba de chonta, to the more subtle sounds of Spanish-derived Andean guitar music this year featuring Plectro Trio direct from Colombia. Dance bands like La Cumbiamba eNeYe, Pablo Mayor’s renowned orchestra Folklore Urbano, and more jazz-oriented and avant-garde veterans like Hector Martignon and Lucía Pulido, reveal how Colombian music has taken its place at the forefront of the world music scene here in New York City and beyond.

Adult: at the door: $30.00, in advance: $25.00
Students /Members: $20.00 (valid ID required at the door)
Children (12 and under): $15 (ID required)

To purchase tickets online
Click on the links below ($1 convenience fee may apply):
For Friday:
For Saturday:
For TWO DAY Passes:

To purchase tickets by phone
Please call toll-free OvationTix customer service number 866-811-4111 ($1 convenience fee may apply)

To purchase tickets at Box Office
Visit El Museo’s store, La Tienda, Wednesday – Sunday, 11:00am – 6:00pm.

Con Sabor Latino: Latin Music Classes at the Conservatory!

Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts
12 Months a Year

Registration for Latin Music Classes began September 8, 2009, 1:00 pm–7:00 pm, classes begin September 21, 2009.

Since 1970, the Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts has been the leading school to offer a curriculum ranging from Contemporary Salsa to traditional Afro-Caribbean folkloric music, taught in a comprehensive conservatory style by a world-class faculty of professional musicians.  In addition to private and group classes for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, the Conservatory hosts a variety of ensembles, master classes, and a two-week summer intensive for teens.  Along with ensemble work, students study theory, harmony and sight-reading along with private instruction in their instrument.  Our students study a variety of musical forms such as Danzon, Son, Cha Cha Cha and Mambo, as they learn music illustrating different periods and artists in Latin music history. Using the Raices Latin Music Museum’s extensive collection of parts, scores, and arrangements as its foundation,  Conservatory students enjoy the unique opportunity to learn while playing classic music made popular by artists such as Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Johnny Pacheco and others.

Ramon Rodriguez and Louis Bauzo

Ramon Rodriguez and Louis Bauzo

Each season a number of internationally renowned artists are invited to present master classes at Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts. Master classes give students the opportunity to supplement their studies through interaction with legendary guest performers whose insight and experience exemplify the highest levels of musical achievement.  Throughout the years, classes given by important artists have been regular events, including visits by the great bassist Israel “Cachao” Lopez, NEA Jazz Masters Candido Camero and Paquito D’Rivera, bassist Andy Gonzalez, pianist/bandleader Larry Harlow, trombonist/violinist Lewis Kahn, vocalist Willie Torres, Cuban Folklorist/percussionist Vicente Sanchez, Cuban percussionist Roman Diaz, and composer/conductor Tania León.

In 1989, Tito Puente established The Charlie Palmieri Memorial Piano Scholarship for young pianists ages 12-25, awarded via competition. The winner of the competition receives a full scholarship for one year’s training at the Harbor.  Inspired by the memory of the great Latin pianist, Charlie Palmieri, the purpose of the competition is to stimulate the interest and promote the knowledge of Latin popular music in young pianists. The Conservatory also awards the Tito Puente Scholarship for Latin percussion.

Charlie Palmieri Memorial Piano Scholarship Recipients Angel Echevarria and Tony Suero

Charlie Palmieri Memorial Piano Scholarship Recipients Angel Echevarria and Tony Suero

Students demonstrating intermediate or advanced level ability may participate in Harbor Ensembles which study and rehearse the original arrangements of such great Latin artists as Rene Hernandez, Ray Santos and Tito Puente from the Orchestras of Machito, Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez, Ray Barretto, Larry Harlow, and others, which are kept in the Harbor’s Raices Latin Music Museum.

These ensembles and workshops include :

Latin Rhythm Section Workshop- Latin percussion group sectional rehearsal, learning functions of each drum and how they interact with one another in a band situation.  Basic chart reading with a focus on playing “TIME”.

Chart Reading for the Rhythm Section “Following the Road Map” A follow-up to the Rhythmic Reading Class, this class gives students the opportunity to practice basic chart reading skills while learning how to function in the band.

Latin Performance Ensembles – Top students in the Harbor Latin program:  two trombones, two trumpets, tenor and baritone saxes, Latin rhythm section and vocalists comprise the group.

Afro/Cuban Folkloric Workshop – Yambu, Guaguanco, Colombia, Abakua, Bakoso are some of the rhythms taught.  For Conga and hand percussion instrumentalists.  Intermediate Conga skills required.

Standards Workshop – This workshop is dedicated to learning the compositions that have become “classics” in the Latin repertoire.

Harbor Latin Big Band – A 21 piece Latin Big Band featuring advanced Harbor students, several faculty members and other professional musicians. The Big Band pays tribute to Frank “Machito” Grillo, Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez, Eddie Palmieri, Johnny Pacheco, Ray Barretto, Larry Harlow and other musical pioneers and innovators.

(2) Latin Youth Ensembles: Introduces young students ages 11 to 19 both beginners and intermediate level to the functions of each instrument and the subtleties of group playing and chart reading. Students are chosen by audition and interview by Ensemble Director Ramon Rodriguez.

Oreste Abrantes, long time student and member of Harbor Latin Youth Ensemble

Oreste Abrantes, long time student and member of Harbor Latin Youth Ensemble

Latin Vocal Training Workshop Level I, II, – Vocalists work on basic technique, ear training, applied theory with melody and harmony relationships, and performance etiquette.

Latin Vocal Training Workshop Level III – Singers work on the development of melodic and language improvisational skills and the art of “soneo”.

Descarga Workshop – Descarga is the word Latin musicians’ use for a “jam session.”  The Descarga workshop is designed for the advanced student and professional musicians. The workshop covers a vast repertoire of standards as well as the vocabulary unique to this style.

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