A Conversation with Legendary Vocalist Toto la Momposina

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

El Barrio/East Harlem – Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts & the Raices Latin Music Museum are pleased to host A Conversation with Legendary Colombian Vocalist Toto la Momposina moderated by pianist/composer Pablo Mayor on Tuesday, June 15th at 5:00 pm in the Third Floor Theater located at One East 104th Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.  Admission is $10.   Pablo Mayor is the founder and Artistic Director of the annual Encuentro Festival of Colombian Musicians in New York City scheduled for June 18 and 19, 2010 at El Museo del Barrio.

******Seating for A Conversation with Toto is limited, to reserve a seat  please contact: Pablo Mayor at 917-655-1927, or Anna Povich de Mayor, at folkloreurbano@earthlink.net.

In this informal dialogue, Columbia’s foremost vocalist will discuss her career, and her music which brings together the music of three races, indigenous porro, puya and gaita with Afro-Latin cumbia, mapale and sexteto. Toto, whose given name is Sonia Bazanta Vides was born in the northern Colombian village of Talaigua, in the island of Mompos. As its name suggests, Talaigua was once an Indigenous land. The Spanish invasion five hundred years ago forced the population inland. “The music I play has its roots in mixed race,” she explains. “The flutes are pre-Columbian, the drums of course are from Africa, and the guitar from the conquisadors.” However, she points out that the Spanish guitar actually has its roots in Moorish Africa.

“However, I don’t think of it as `folklore’,” adds Toto. “To me, folklore means something that is dead, in a museum. Traditional music, music from the old days is alive.” There probably isn’t a single person who has done more to revitalize the music of Northern Colombia’s shores. In 1993, she recorded the landmark album, “La Candela Viva” for Peter Gabriel’s RealWorld label and ever since has been busy performing at the world’s top music festivals.

She is a rare performer whose energetic and passionate recordings capture the energy of her live performances. With a fiery voice and a remarkable spontaneous wit, whether she is leading flute and percussion driven porros or brass section and guitar led Afro-Latin cumbias and sextetos, Toto La Momposina uses her torrid vocal power to make sure that there her audience is out of their seats and onto the dance floor, ready to get a taste of some of the most evocative music on the planet.

“We are excited to be able to partner with long time faculty member Pablo Mayor, on this historic conversation with one of Columbia’s foremost artists,” said Nina Olson, Director of External Affairs.   Our focus on Afro-Caribbean music dovetails so perfectly with that of Columbia as many of Totoa la Momposina’s   songs sound a bit Cuban, it is for good reason.”  Through the 19th century, there were huge waves of Cuban immigration along the northern Caribbean Colombian shores near Baranquilla. These slaves brought with them Cuban music, which led to the development of the sexteto, Colombia’s cousin to Cuba’s son. In addition, while Salsa was born among Puerto Ricans, Cubans and Dominicans in New York City it spread to Colombia. Native salsa groups like Fruko y sus Tesos and labels that recorded them like Discos Fuentes emerged. Artists like Joe Arroyo followed, inventing a distinctively Colombian form of salsa.

Nina Gale Olson
Director of External Affairs

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Harbor Conservatory in the Daily News!

Hello Friends,

Yesterday, the Daily News featured an article about the Harbor Conservatory!  The focus was the conservatory’s history of teaching and carrying on the rich legacy of Latin music.  Conservator Director Ramon Rodriguez, Director of External Affairs Nina Olson, and Berklee bound piano student Angel Echevarría were all interviewed for the article.  Click here to read it!

Link:  http://www.nydailynews.com/latino/2010/05/05/2010-05-05_he_illuminates_latin_music.html

Super Sabado April 17!

Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts & Raíces Latin Music Museum
Join El Museo del Barrio
For  SUPER SABADO – Target Free Third Saturday at El Museo

SATURDAY, APRIL 17, 2010

12:00 Noon – INTRO TO TANGO DANCE
LECTURE/DEMONSTRATION
Third Floor Theater

El Barrio/East Harlem – Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts, and the Raíces Latin Music Museum, at Boys & Girls Harbor, Inc. are pleased to join El Museo del Barrio for Super Sabado Target Free Saturdays on the third Saturday of every month. The next Super Sabado at El Museo is scheduled for Saturday, April 17 from 11:00 am until 8:30 pm.  Highlighting the vitality of the Heckscher Building as a resource for Latino Culture and a destination for visitors, Harbor Conservatory and Raíces will be offering the following free programs on Saturday, April 17th:

10:00 am – 11:00 am, Latin Dance Class for children 8-10 years of age in our 5th Floor Gym, taught by Jocelyn Duran.  Mambo, Cha Cha, Salsa and Merengue are just some of the dances that will be taught in this class.

11:00 am – 12:00 noon, Afro-Caribbean Dance for children 6-8 years old in studio 623 taught by Alma Cruz.  Accompanied by live drummers youngsters learn the dances of the African Diaspora in the Caribbean exploring the dynamics of movement and style.

12:00 noon – 1:00 pm, INTRO TO TANGO DANCE– LECTURE/DEMONSTRATION, Third Floor Theater
In this one hour lecture/demonstration presented by Argentinean native Valeria Solomonoff and her dance partner, audience members will experience the excitement of Tango, a dance form which originated in Uruguay and Argentina and incorporates influences from Spanish and African culture. Participants will learn basic steps, as well as watch how the pros execute the dance to rhythms often described as “incisive, exciting, and provocative”.

1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Exhibition: Raices: The Roots of Latin Music in New York City, Raices Latin Music Museum Gallery on the 5th Floor. Explore the history and evolution of Salsa dating back centuries to its contemporary ties to New York.

Conservatory Founder Sandy Owen Interview

Dear Friends,

Several weeks ago I interviewed Conservatory Founder Sandy Owen.  I found our conversation mesmerizing, as I learned both her individual story and how the conservatory grew into the arts education mecca it is today.  Read on to see our discussion…

(D: Daniel, S: Sandy)

D: Sandy, when did you begin working at Boys Harbor, as it was then called, and what were you originally hired to do?

S: I began working in the summer of 1970, and I was hired to teach piano.  That was the start of things.  And then because I had been trained in several other areas, as things progressed, we expanded.  I had started a class… kind of a little kids’ music appreciation thing with all kinds of different symbols and ways of teaching music and notes and things like that, which was fun.  Then we started the chorus, and that grew to about 60 voices at one point.  We played at the Apollo, then we did a gig at Carnegie Hall.  We were backed up by the Harbor’s own Jazz band, which was great.  That was the era of Vista Volunteers.  Jutta von Tiesenhausen came as a Vista Volunteer and, because she was musically trained, she began working with the chorus.  I had hired Ramon away from Third Street Music School by then; he and Jutta took over the chorus, Ramon started teaching band, while I continued teaching piano.  So that was sort of how it grew, as we got more kids wanting to do more things, we gradually started getting some money to hire other people to do things.

D: What’s a Vista Volunteer?

S: That was the internal counterpart of the Peace Corps.  If you wanted to do work of that sort, you joined the vista volunteers. It was a two-year stint where you worked in the United States in communities such as East Harlem.

D: When you originally began teaching piano and dance, were these classes just a part of Boys Harbor?

S: Yes… and then it grew.

D:  As more programs developed over time, when did you consciously begin focusing your efforts towards building a comprehensive performing arts program separate from Boys Harbor?

S: You know, I don’t think, at least for the first five or ten years, there was really a conscious thought of saying “Let’s make this a separate conservatory”.  We were too busy just doing what we were doing.  Plus, we were always integral to the rest of the place.  Several of us were on the daycare budget.  You found ways of paying people because we were serving day care kids and were legitimately part of the Boys Harbor Program.  I think probably after I left and became part of the development department was when they first started.  That was when Ramon, Nina Klyvert,  Nina Olson, Rob Blumenthal and Bertin Rowser really started thinking of it as being the Conservatory.  The leaping man logo, that was Bertin’s, that was the first real logo for the Conservatory, as it was named.  It wasn’t like “ok we’re putting out our shingle today”; it was very generic and just basically happened.  But we realized and they realized that the training our students were getting was really… superb.  So, since we really were a conservatory, let’s think of ourselves that way.  It’s a little bit like behaviorist thinking; if you do it, it becomes so.

D:  When you first started here, what were the original classes offered?

S:  Well, when I was by myself it was just piano lessons and the music appreciation course for kids.  Oh, and the chorus.  We used to do chorus on Saturday morning.  Then Vince Henry, you might have heard of him, he’s pretty well-known in the jazz circles; he and his best friend “Bumpy” and John Adams (not the composer), started a group and that became the Harbor Band, or the Harbor Ensemble.  Vince was and is a reed player, plays all the reeds.  Actually he taught himself just about everything else, including sitar I would imagine by this point.  Bumpy was on drums and John was on piano.  So they started doing arrangements for the music we were already doing with piano, and it was fun!  Then Ramon came and we expanded; we’d even have the band tour with the children.  We’d get the van and go to different places, and then we’d take the kids home at night, walk them up the stairs.  Then there was camp… it was more or less 24/7, 365 in those days.  In the summer you finished teaching on Friday, went out to camp and taught, came back Sunday night at midnight and started over again.  But it was a very idealistic time, it was the ‘70’s.  Everybody was out in the community and it was wonderful.  There was always something more to do, to be done, to build.  It was fabulous.

D: That’s fantastic.  What was your background before you came to the Harbor?

S: Well I graduated from Julliard, I was a piano major and a voice minor.  I had been on stage as a dancer since I was four.  I got to use just about everything I had ever been trained in here, which was fun.  That was the beginning of the dance company. It wasn’t GESTURES then, but I had a dance company.  We had some outside choreographers come in, Diane Macintyre for instance.  It isn’t like GESTURES today, what Nina has done is unbelievable, but they were pretty good!  Some of them actually performed with Pearl Primus when she reset “The Wedding” at City Center.  They danced on stage with the Ailey II Company and held their own.  They were really good.  Now at that time, I had already started the Harbor Junior High School on 109th Street, the Harbor School for the Performing Arts, so those students also performed.  There was always something going on over here!  That was the time when Tony Alvarado was superintendent of District 4, and he was very supportive of small schools.  His wife started the first one, also a performing arts school, but hers used an arts and education model; she merged the arts with everything they did.  Ours was more of a conservatory style, you did your academics, and then you did your arts.  So ours was the second mini school in the district actually, started in 1973 or 1974.  And it lasted until maybe four or five years ago.

D: Changing gears a bit, I wanted to ask you about Ramon.  Ramon Rodriguez has been the Executive Director here for over 25 years.  I doubt this place would still exist if you had never hired him.  How did you meet him, what was your initial impression of him, and why did you decide to hire him?

S: I’m trying to think of how I met him.  I don’t remember!  I remember hearing a lot about him, but I honestly don’t remember how I met him.  Well, this is what happens when you’re over sixty.  Anyway, I had heard that he was a really good teacher, that he taught several different instruments, bass, percussion, piano; that he was into Latin music.  I needed somebody who could do things that I couldn’t do and share the load.  We were getting a lot of kids who were into different things.  I remember working at it for a while.  He didn’t want to leave his previous school, but he finally did, and… that was that.  It just built from there.  He took on his share of things and more, and we started hiring other people, reed people, brass people, percussion people.  Louis Bauzo came at some point… it just… you know… grew!  All the time we were trying to raise money.  That’s how I started, as a fundraiser actually.

D: When the Conservatory was first getting started, could you fathom that it would one day grow to house over 800 students and a large, diverse, international faculty?

S: Well we never thought about it.  Of course I never imagined it, along with the size and importance Raices would play.  As I said, it wasn’t like we had a five-year plan, we never did that, probably should have, but it worked out very well.  But of course it’s an amazing thing to look at now, and when I go to performances it’s… amazing.

D: That must feel incredible.

S: Oh, it feels fabulous.  To know that this wasn’t here before.  The Junior High School is the same way.  You know, these teachers wouldn’t be here, these kids wouldn’t be as happy as they are now. To see something that you started is worth… everything.

D: What was the thinking behind extending the music program to adults?

S: That was probably more Ramon’s thinking than mine.  It also might have been that we thought we could charge, and raise money.  We weren’t charging children at first, they were part of the Harbor Program.  And even when we did bring kids in from outside the Harbor, we charged them a very nominal amount.  It just seemed like the logical next step.  I think it was in large part an aspect of the people we were hiring.  They drew adults.  Louis never in my memory taught kids, except one little one that was so unbelievable you just couldn’t bear it.  His expertise and his fame was through adults.  I think the guitar people, the reed people; those teachers taught adults predominantly and they brought their clientele with them.  That’s my best recollection, but by this time Ramon handled more of the music program, and I had focused on furthering the dance program.

D: Last question: What do you think it is that makes the Conservatory so unique and special?

S: I think it’s a place where people can really find and do what they want to do without hassles, without someone looking over their shoulder, without the unnecessary paper work.  A couple of teachers used to say to me “You know, I have to work elsewhere to support my habit here”.  Because they loved being here despite the fact we couldn’t pay the salary that they deserved, but stayed on because it was such a special place.  The teachers were surrounded by great colleagues, they were able to teach the way they wanted to teach, able to put their students into ensembles.  Rob Blumenthal created the jazz ensemble, Louis started the folkloric ensemble, Ramon had a couple of Latin ensembles…  you just had everything here.  It’s just a group of exceptional people who are still very idealistic, and were never beaten down by academia or bureaucracy.  People believe in this place, and they believe in what they can do for kids, they believe in what they can do for the community.  That’s how we started, that’s what kept us going, and that’s what we – they – still do today.  When you have people like Ramon, Louis, Nina and Bertin… it’s infectious.  The people are so talented and have so many ideas and are doing so much for the kids at such a professional level that it just makes it a… very very special place.  For a while we had a music camp for the summer and… that was fun.  We just sort of went in all kinds of directions… whenever we came up with a new idea that could get funded and benefit children, we’d do it.  It’s just a very special place, it just is.  It doesn’t equate with any other place I can think of.  It’s still very collegial, very low-key in terms of hierarchy, bureaucracy, all those types of things.  It’s a very special place.  The people who are here feel that way and that’s what keeps it going.

Super Sabado With ¡Retumba!

Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts & Raíces Latin Music Museum
Join El Museo del Barrio
For SUPER SABADO
Target Free Third Saturday at El Museo

SATURDAY, MARCH, 20, 2010
PRESENTING IN CELEBRATION OF INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S MONTH
¡RETUMBA!
A MULTI-ETHNIC ALL FEMALE MUSIC AND DANCE ENSEMBLE
12:00 NOON

El Barrio/East Harlem – Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts, and the Raíces Latin Music Museum, at Boys & Girls Harbor, Inc. are pleased to join El Museo del Barrio for Super Sabado Target Free Saturdays on the third Saturday of every month. The next Super Sabado at El Museo is scheduled for Saturday, February, 20th from 11:00 am until 8:30 pm.  Highlighting the vitality of the Heckscher Building as a resource for Latino Culture and a destination for visitors, Harbor Conservatory and Raíces will be offering the following free programs on Saturday, March 20:

10:00 am – 11:00 am, Latin Dance Class for children 8-10 years of age in our 5th Floor Gym, taught by Jocelyn Duran.  Mambo, Cha Cha, Salsa and Merengue are just some of the dances that will be taught in this class.

11:00 am – 12:00 noon, Afro-Caribbean Dance for children 6-8 years old in studio 623 taught by Alma Cruz.  Accompanied by live drummers youngsters learn the dances of the African Diaspora in the Caribbean exploring the dynamics of movement and style.

12:00 noon – 1:00 pm, ¡Retumba! is a multi-ethnic all-female music and dance ensemble founded in March 1981 in celebration of Women’s History month. Interweaving traditional rhythms, beautiful ancient melodies, with its very own unique interpretation, ¡Retumba! bases its work on the music and dance of Africa, Europe, and its expressions in the Americas and the Caribbean -Puerto Rico, Cuba, and The Dominican Republic. ¡Retumba! brings forth the drama and excitement of world culture and traditions into a feast of folkloric music that can be enjoyed by everyone.

1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Exhibition: Raices: The Roots of Latin Music in New York City, Raices Latin Music Museum Gallery on the 5th Floor. Explore the history and evolution of Salsa dating back centuries to its contemporary ties to New York.

Nina Gale Olson

Director of External Affairs

Harbor Conservatory & Raices Latin Music Museum Join El Museo Del Barrio for SUPER SABADO

Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts & Raíces Latin Music Museum
Join El Museo del Barrio
For  SUPER SABADO
Target Free Third Saturday at El Museo
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2010

Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts, and the Raíces Latin Music Museum, at Boys & Girls Harbor, Inc. are pleased to join El Museo del Barrio for Super Sabado Target Free Saturdays on the third Saturday of every month. The next Super Sabado at El Museo is scheduled for Saturday, February, 20th from 11:00 am until 8:30 pm. Highlighting the vitality of the Heckscher Building as a resource for Latino Culture and a destination for visitors, Harbor Conservatory and Raíces will be offering the following free programs on Saturday, February 20th:

10:00 am – 11:00 am, Latin Dance Class for children 8-10 years of age in our 5th Floor Gym, taught by Jocelyn Duran. Mambo, Cha Cha, Salsa and Merengue are just some of the dances that will be taught in this class.

11:00 am – 12:00 noon, Afro-Caribbean Dance for children 6-8 years old in studio 623 taught by Alma Cruz. Accompanied by live drummers youngsters learn the dances of the African Diaspora in the Caribbean exploring the dynamics of movement and style.

12:00 noon – 1:00 pm, Brazilian Carnival Performance for Children and Families, featuring Catarina Racha & Friends, Lisbon born pianist, vocalist and percussionist Catarina Racha presents a “taste” of exciting Brazilian Carnival rhythms.

1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Exhibition: Raices: The Roots of Latin Music in New York City, Raices Latin Music Museum Gallery on the 5th Floor. Explore the history and evolution of Salsa dating back centuries to its contemporary ties to New York.

The stately Heckscher Building was constructed in the early 1920s by the Heckscher Foundation for Children and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Boys & Girls Harbor (formerly known as Boys Harbor) the 72 year old multi-service youth agency “homesteaded” the Heckscher Building in the l970s and helped bring in other tenants including El Museo del Barrio, Central Park Conservancy and La Casa de Herencia Puertoriquena.

The Mission of El Museo del Barrio is to present and preserve the art and culture of Puerto Ricans and all Caribbean, Latin American and Latino people in the United States. Through its extensive collections, varied exhibitions and publications, bilingual public programs, educational activities, festivals and special events, El Museo educates its diverse public in the richness of Caribbean and Latin American arts and cultural history. Now celebrating 40 years of Latino arts and culture and re opening you many learn more about El Museo and the full schedule of activities planned for “Super Sabado” at http://www.elmuseo.org.

Nina Gale Olson
Director of External Affairs

Harbor Conservatory & Raices Latin Music Museum Join El Museo Del Barrio for SUPER SABADO

Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts, and the Raíces Latin Music Museum, at Boys & Girls Harbor, Inc. are pleased to join El Museo del Barrio for Super Sabado Target Free Saturdays on the third Saturday of every month. The next Super Sabado at El Museo is scheduled for Saturday, January 16, from 11:00 am until 8:30 pm. Highlighting the vitality of the Heckscher Building as a resource for Latino Culture and a destination for visitors, Harbor Conservatory and Raíces will be offering the following free programs on Saturday, January 16th:

10:00 am – 11:00 am, Latin Dance Class for children 8-10 years of age in our 5th Floor Gym, taught by Jocelyn Duran. Mambo, Cha Cha, Salsa and Merengue are just some of the dances that will be taught in this class.

11:00 am – 12:00 noon, Afro-Caribbean Dance for children 6-8 years old in studio 623 taught by Alma Cruz. Accompanied by live drummers youngsters learn the dances of the African Diaspora in the Caribbean exploring the dynamics of movement and style.

12:00 noon – 1:00 pm, Bolivian born Guitarist Franz Valverde will perform in the Third Floor Theater.

1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Exhibition: Raices: The Roots of Latin Music in New York City, Raices Latin Music Museum Gallery on the 5th Floor. Explore the history and evolution of Salsa dating back centuries to its contemporary ties to New York.

The stately Heckscher Building was constructed in the early 1920s by the Heckscher Foundation for Children and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Boys & Girls Harbor (formerly known as Boys Harbor) the 72 year old multi-service youth agency “homesteaded” the Heckscher Building in the l970s and helped bring in other tenants including El Museo del Barrio, Central Park Conservancy and La Casa de Herencia Puertoriquena.

The Mission of El Museo del Barrio is to present and preserve the art and culture of Puerto Ricans and all Caribbean, Latin American and Latino people in the United States. Through its extensive collections, varied exhibitions and publications, bilingual public programs, educational activities, festivals and special events, El Museo educates its diverse public in the richness of Caribbean and Latin American arts and cultural history. Now celebrating 40 years of Latino arts and culture and re opening you many learn more about El Museo and the full schedule of activities planned for “Super Sabado” at http://www.elmuseo.org.

Nina Gale Olson
Director of External Affairs

Con Sabor Latino: Latin Music Classes at the Conservatory!

Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts
CELEBRATING HISPANIC HERITAGE
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.

SCHOLARSHIPS
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

ENSEMBLE/PERFORMANCE CLASSES
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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