Looking For a Practice Group

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Looking For a Practice Group

Postby afrocubarico » Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:31 pm

Saludos everyone!

I'm located in the Bronx in NYC and I'm looking for a group of rumberos to play and practice with on a regular basis. My interest is in afro-cuban rumba (guaguanco, yambu, columbia, etc.). I've been playing for a couple of years but I still consider myself somewhat of an intermediate player. Does anyone know of a group that plays/practices regularly in the NYC area? I'm even willing to travel to nearby New Jersey or Connecticut. I'm just looking to further my rumba skills and really learn clave, etc.. Much appreciated, thanks!


Roberto
One slap at a time...
afrocubarico
 
Posts: 264
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 6:27 am
Location: Bronx, NY

Re: Looking For a Practice Group

Postby jorge » Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:53 pm

Rumbas are mainly in NYC. Here are a few options.
1) Central park rumba Sundays from 5 to 10 pm on warm non-rainy days (usually over 70). It has its pluses and minuses. On the plus side, it is good practice because there are usually some really good drummers that show up and sometimes a good rumba singer or two. Great place to learn to sing coro if the good singers are there and the coro doesn't cross the clave. Great place to practice guagua once you have it well-rehearsed and solid. On the minus side is the overemphasis on guaguanco, it is too loud, plus the guaperia, egos and overly fast tempos. Also, playing a yambu will usually get you kicked of the drum because few singers know how to sing it and few players want to (or know how to) play that slow. If it does fly, it usually turns into a guaguanco within 3 minutes. Great rumba columbias do happen, but are rare and depend on who is there. I plan to go today around 5 or 6.
2) I am told there are still some good rumbas at Orchard Beach in the summer, I haven't been there in a few years. Watch out for clave cruzada. My friend did a tambor (bata) there last week and said there were a lot of people.
3) Once you get to the level where you can hold solid time on tres dos or tumbador, the Zinc Bar rumbas are open and are modern Habana-style rumba. Not sure when the next one will be, schedule is very irregular now as some of the core group members are touring with other groups. The September calendar as of today has only 4 of the 30 dates filled in and the rumba is not on it yet. Check http://www.zincbar.com next week to confirm day and time.
4) If you want to take great classes in playing rumba, Joaquin Pozo is teaching at the NYC Musicians' Union Local 802 on 48th St in NYC. He has a deep history in rumba and is one of the best conga players in the US, especially playing 4 congas with a band. He does charge but the price is great for a 1.5-2 hour class. Next class is Tue Sep 4 from 6 to 8 pm, but usually classes are on Wednesdays with some flexibility depending on students and Joaquin's gig commitments. Students are mixed levels from beginner to advanced, usually 2-4 per class. I can give you details, contact me at {gfj7 at optonline dot net}.
jorge
 
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Location: Teaneck, NJ

Re: Looking For a Practice Group

Postby afrocubarico » Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:54 pm

Wow Jorge! Great info! Thank you my brother. Hope all is well with you. I've been thinking about the rumbas you and the group put together at Zinc. Those were some of the best rumbas I've seen. I keep checking the schedule there but haven't seen any activity. I'm dying to take my girlfriend.

I did get to see the rumberos over at Central Park as per your suggestion some time ago. I also checked out a rumba at Orchard Beach but what I found was that the guys that were playing that day seemed pretty "toasted" and didn't seem too organized.

I guess what I'm looking for is to meet up with a group to practice and play with where we can feed off each other's knowledge, something informal. I remember years ago, I used to take rumba classes with a group at the Harbor conservatory in Spanish Harlem. That was fun and educational but they're no longer doing that.

Joaquin Pozo?!!! Wow!!! I've heard his playing from his album and on YouTube. The guy's a monster! I would love to study with him. I'll shoot you an email. Thank you again sir!


Best,

Roberto
One slap at a time...
afrocubarico
 
Posts: 264
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 6:27 am
Location: Bronx, NY


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