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African-Rooted Percussion Workshop: Afro-Latin Jazz with Sammy Figueroa

Spotlight: Puerto Rico

What is Latin Jazz? Is it Afro-Cuban clavé-based jazz? Is it Brazilian samba? Is it tango or flamenco jazz fusion? Is it all or none of the above? Prominent Latin jazz percussionist and double Grammy nominee Sammy Figueroa will demonstrate and discuss this rich musical form and share the music and roots of this important musical genre, from its early days in Havana and New Orleans to its current advanced level of sophistication and fusion. He will also discuss how he integrates his own congas, shakers and other instruments into jazz and Latin jazz and the importance of a percussionist partnering with a drummer in this form.

Sammy Figueroa has long been known as one of the world's great musicians. He is possibly the most recorded percussionist in music history and has provided rhythmic frameworks on recordings from David Bowie's "Let’s Dance" to Miles Davis’s "Man With A Horn" to his own Grammy-nominated Latin jazz albums. Sammy will demonstrate how he works in the studio with producers, how he adapts instruments such as congas, bongo, shakers and many others across many genres without losing the integrity of the sound and instruments. He will also show how Latin percussion is so much more than just providing a "beat" on recordings but can actually create a conversation with other instruments and songs.

This workshop is presented in partnership with Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center.

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