Monday, May 19, 2014

El Peje

I was pleasantly surprised to see this one pop up the other day, featuring Cuban drummer Juan Carlos "El Peje" Rojas (with Chucho Valdez) thanks to the nice people over at Vic Firth:

I spent some time in Cuba during the fall of 2006 and it was a life-changing experience for me. This was in large part due to the time I spent studying and learning from "El Peje" (aka "The Fish"). I didn't speak any Spanish and he didn't speak any English however our mutual love for the drums and rhythm allowed us to communicate.

We spent a great deal of time working on contemporary/modern approaches to Afro-Cuban drum set playing and, in fact, almost eight years later I'm STILL trying to figure some of these things out!

He was really big into learning various cascara variations with the right hand and then playing counter-rhythms and syncopated figures against those with the left hand, between the snare and toms.

I hastily wrote down as many of these variations as I could at the time and will hopefully post these once I find them....

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