KoSA 2004 / Event Highlights

KoSA was privileged to have another exceptional group of faculty present at the 2004 International Percussion Workshop.  Perhaps the greatest part of any KoSA event is the personal experience our participants can have with our faculty.  This experience extends far beyond the classes and master classes given by each faculty member and includes conversations around the campus, dining together at the cafeteria and sharing evening performances during the KoSA Festival.  Please scroll down this page for information about each of our 2004 faculty members.  We also invite you to our extremely image intensive "Candids" page, by clicking here(Just close the new window to clear it.)

KoSA International Percussion Workshop
2004 Faculty (click on each name for bio)

Kenny Aronoff . Dave Garibaldi . Jim Chapin . Memo Acevedo
Emil Richards . Mike Mangini . Alessandra Belloni . Robby Ameen
Jerry Mercer . Richie Flores . Larry Marchese . Oumar N'Diaye
Trichy Sankaran . Jeff Salisbury . Candido Camero . Salvador Niebla
Rick Van Horn . Marco Lienhard . Dom Famularo . Aldo Mazza
Mario DeCiutiis . Kenwood Dennard . Allan Molnar . Glen Velez
John Beck . Lou Robinson . Répercussion . Oscar Stagnaro, bass
and Rafael Alcala, piano


Drum Set

Kenny Aronoff   (The Rolling Stones, John Mellencamp, Alanis Morissette, Melissa Etheridge, Jon Bon Jovi, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Michelle Branch, Bonnie Raitt, etc.)

Growing up in Massachusetts, Kenny joined his first band at age ten. At the time a self-taught drummer, he played in local bands throughout junior high and high school. At sixteen, he decided to focus on classical music, and began to study seriously with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He went on to study at the University of Massachusetts and at Indiana University, where, among other honors, he was awarded the school's prestigious Performer's Certificate. During the summers, he participated in the Aspen and Tanglewood Music Festivals.

After graduating from Indiana University in 1976, Kenny passed on offers of timpani positions in both the Jerusalem and Quito, Equador symphony orchestras and decided to head for the East Coast where he studied drum set in Boston and New York.  During this time he began to concentrate on jazz and fusion music, and in 1977 he returned to Bloomington, Indiana and spent several years in a popular local band, playing throughout the Midwest.  In 1980 he joined the John Mellencamp band, recording 10 albums and touring with him over a 17-year period.  Kenny's innovative style and solid backbeat became the driving force behind Mellencamp's long run of definitive hit records in the '80's and '90s, a list that includes "American Fool", "Scarecrow", "Uh Huh", "The Lonesome Jubilee", "Whenever We Wanted", "Dance Naked" and "Human Wheels".

In the mid-80's, Kenny began to develop an enormously successful career as a studio musician, playing on hundreds of records with renowned artists.  Kenny has also performed live and toured worldwide with many artists including, in recent years, The Smashing Pumpkins, Bob Seger, Melissa Etheridge, John Fogerty, Joe Cocker, Willie Nelson and Michelle Branch.  In addition, from 1993 to 1997 Kenny was an Associate professor of Percussion at Indiana University.

Kenny brings tremendous drive, enthusiasm and creativity to everything he does, whether it's recording, touring, drum clinics or producing his instructional videos and books.

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Mike Mangini   (Steve Vai, Missing Persons, Extreme, Anihilator)


Mike Mangini's prominence in drumming is well established.  At the January NAMM show, Mike set a W.F.D. record of 1180 single stroke snare hits in one minute.  Mike also made Modern Drummer's Top Five and Drum Magazine's Top Three "Best Clinicians" list in 2003 and has held clinics at Drum Fests for PASIC (USA), Modern Drummer (USA), NC Day of Percussion (USA), Drum Daze (USA), Montreal Drum Festival (Canada), Ultrecht Music Fair (Holland), Expromusica (Mexico), Berklee College, Percussion Week, Cascio Drum Festival,(USA), Vancouver Drum Festival (Canada), and the RIT Drum Festival.  In 1997, Mike was nominated for Grammy Awards in the 'Best Rock Instrumental' category on Steve Vai's "Windows to the Soul" and "For the Love of God."

A native of Greater Boston, Mike has taught, recorded and toured internationally for over ten years.

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Dave Garibaldi   (Tower of Power)

KoSA was pleased to welcome back Dave Garibaldi.  Born in Oakland, California, David grew up just East of San Francisco. Through his fascination for drums, he began playing music at age 10. His parents bought him his first drumset in high school and the rest, as they say, is history.

By age (17) David began his professional career by 1966, the Vietnam War brought uncertainty. Upon waiting for his draft into the Army, his future changed when it was suggested he enlist in the United States Air Force and become a member of the 724th United States Air Force Band. After his discharge from military service, he returned to his home in the San Francisco Bay Area and in the summer of 1970 David joined Tower of Power.

It was in this setting that David became one of the most influential drummers of his generation and became known as an innovator in funk drumming. He has since appeared in a variety of studio and live settings including work for television and film. His credits include work with artists including: Patti Austin, Natalie Cole, Larry Carlton, Mickey Hart's Planet Drum, Jermaine Jackson, Ray Obiedo, the Buddy Rich Orchestra, Boz Scaggs, Talking Drum,s, Gino Vanelli, Deniece Williams, the Yellowjackets and Wishful Thinking.
David's books and videos are available through Alfred Publishing and Warner Brothers Publications.

More recently, David has been working with 'Doc' Kupka as the drummer in 'Doc's' special project, The Strokeland Superband. Recently, he had been touring with the singer, RAD. RAD has featured the Tower horn section on one of her CD's.  In January 1998, David Garibaldi rejoined Tower of Power and continues touring with them.

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Jim Chapin   (Big Band Drummer, Author, World Famous Clinician)

KoSA was honored to welcome back Jim Chapin in 2004.  In 1948 Jim Chapin first confounded the profession by passing out to his friends the pilot fifty copies of book volume I. Young players, while whipping through the exercises, may find it strange to learn that in that pre-historic era the book was greeted with resentment in some quarters, and even called "impossible." There was a basis for this. At that time no ace but Jim could play more than a token bit of what has now become the "classic style" of independence. Since then several generations of conscientious drummers have "paid their dues" with the book and it is now the classic, much-imitated, standard work on the subject.

Jim's relationship to Coordinated Independence (his phrase) is roughly analagous to that of Robert Fulton to the steamboat. Jim didn't invent the cymbal rhythm (Fulton didnt invent the boat), nor did he invent the "rhythmic melodies" of jazz. These reached a new plateau in the "bop" era, with the inspired reactions of Kenny Clarke, Max Roach, and Art Blakey, to the music of Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, along with other less renowned contributors. (Fulton didn't invent the steam engine.) Jim's achievement was in fusing the two elements into a wockable technology that solved mechanical problems, unlocked doors, and pointed new directions.

It is interesting to speculate on how much this book has influenced the techniques and esthetics of jazz playing in the past-bop era. As a matter of fact, the last sections of this book seem to anticipate, more and more as time goes by, facets of the most modem of the rock playing. This hardly seems accidental, and to emphasize this, and to make the book more currently useful in rock, Jim is adding the following suggestions for further studies in this area, He doesnt want to change the book in other respects, as he believes that keeping the foibles and anachronisms of a period, as well as the virtues, provides a charming glimpse of a less sophisticated past, plus a valuable hint as to roots (Even something frankly archaic, like the subtitle " - as applied to Jazz and Be-Bop.") His attitude may be colored by the success of his two-decade dream, the monumental Volume II, "Independence - The Open End an extraordinary and wide-ranging achievement...

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Kenwood Dennard   (Berklee College of Music, Sting, Chet Atkins, Harry Belafonte, George Benson, Art Blakey, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Hiram Bullock, George Clinton, Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, etc.)

Kenwood was born in Brooklyn, NY to musician parents, and began playing piano at age 3.  He switched to drums at age 8 and the rest is history.  Having studied with William Kessler, Choli Simons, Alan Dawson, Gary Chafee, Joe Hunt, the Manhattan School of Music, Nadia Boulanger and more, he graduated from Berklee Magna Cum Laude in 1976.   A founding father of NYC's famed Drummer's Collective, Kenwood has taught hundreds of eager students and has performed with the best of the best.

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Dom Famularo   (International clinician)

KoSA 2004 welcomed back the talented, intrepid and always inspiring Dom Famularo.  Dom Famularo has been traveling the globe preaching the gospel of drumming for over 30 years. An intense performer, Dom is one of the most respected solo drum artists in the world, with a career built solely upon his unique skills as a drummer and motivational speaker.  He has presented masterclasses and clinics around the globe in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Israel, England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, Portugal, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Holland, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Turkey, Malaysia, Singapore, Phillipines, Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Canada, and the United States.

He has directed and emceed major drumming expos around the world, and has been one of drumming's most sought-after private instructors for over 30 years. Students regularly fly in from around the globe for intensive study with Dom. A major player in the percussion industry, Dom acts as Education Director and consultant for Sabian Cymbals, Vic Firth Sticks, and Premier Percussion Ltd, for whom he oversees programs worldwide.

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Rick Van Horn    (Modern Drummer)

KoSA welcomed back the incredible insight, energy and talent of Rick Van Horn for 2004.  As senior Editor of Modern Drummer Magazine, Rick knows drum, percussion and the people who play them on a first name basis.  Rick has also played professionally for forty-five years.  In his two decades with MD, Rick has written hundreds of Club Scene columns, along with a best-selling book on the subject of being a working drummer.

He has been an insider in nearly every percussion-product manufacturer around the world, and has actively participated and explored the drumming scenes in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, and Branson.  Rick also coordinates the MD Festival Weekend.

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Jerry Mercer   (April Wine)

With his shaved head, bristling beard and thunderous drumming with bands including Triangle and hitmakers Mashmakan, Jerry Mercer was legendary in the Canadian music scene long before he stepped into April Wine and powered that Montreal-based band to the top of the charts with albums including Electric Jewels, Stand Back, First Glance, Attitude, and the multi-platinum international hit, Nature of the Beast. A soft-spoken, highly personable character whose larger-than-life onstage presence and devastating power ensure April Wine classics including Roller, Could Have Been a Lady, and Sign of the Gypsy Queen make their mark, Jerry Mercer is living proof that when it comes to survival in the world of music making, the combined power of tremendous talent and great personality is the key to success.  Believe it or not, Jerry used to be a cattle farmer and a computer programmer for IBM before deciding to quit and become a full time drummer!  Jerry's live drum solos are legendary...his energy seems unending!

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Aldo Mazza   (multi-percussionist)

Aldo may be best know for his work with the world-touring percussion group Repércussion and is the founder and artistic director of KoSA International Percussion Workshop and Montréal's KoSA Academy.  As an internationally recognized drummer-percussionist, recording artist, clinician, and educator, Aldo has recorded with such artists as Celine Dion, Jon Bon Jovi, and Aldo Nova. Aldo has performed live with James Brown, Chris De Burgh, and Oliver Jones, the Montreal Symphony and many more.  Aldo is also currently a member of the faculty at the McGill Conservatory of Music in Montreal, Canada.

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Jeff Salisbury   (Drumset Instructor, Johnson State College, University of Vermont)

A valued and talented contributor to several of KoSA's annual workshops, Jeff Salisbury teaches drumset at Johnson State College and the University of Vermont and is president of the Vermont chapter of the Percussive Arts Society. He serves as an artistic advisor for the Discover Jazz festival. A onetime frequenter of the stages of the famed Fillmore clubs, Jeff played for the Albert King Blues Band and Cold Blood in the late 1960s.  He has performed with Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley and many other artists in R & B and Jazz.  He currently performs with Vermont artists James Harvey, Pure Pressure and the Sklar/Grippo sextet. He has studied with George Marsh, Bob Moses and Pete Magadini and is a Drum Workshop drumset artist. Jeff has appeared in Modern Drummer and Downbeat magazines. His articles have been published in Percussive Notes, Percussion News, and Drum Instructors Only.

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North African and Arabic Drumming

Glen Velez   (Paul Winter Consort)

KoSA 2004 welcomed back frame drumming master Glen Velez.  Glen Velez is often globe-trotting on an international touring schedule which has taken him to six continents. Recently voted "Best Percussionist of the Yeaf" with a 2001 Drummies award by DRUM! Magazine, Velez has emerged as an international soloist and seminal figure in the history of the frame drum. Over two decades ago he brought a new genre of drumming into the Western music world by creating his own compositional style inspired by years of drumming studies from various cultures. He introduced Remo Belli and the Remo Drum Company to the world of frame drums and initiated, what has become, a whole line of drums from world cultures.

   After fifteen years performing and recording with Steve Reich (1973-1988) and Paul Winter (1983-1998), Velez is working as a soloist while continuing to collaborate with a variety of top-notch professionals in many genres. Twentieth century music guru John Cage wrote a piece especially for Glen in 1989. Velez has also played with notables such as Pat Metheny, Richard Stoltzman, Suzanne Vega, Howard Levy, Zakir Hussain, and Oregon.

   His own compositions have been featured on National Public Radio's All Things Considered and John Schaefer's New Sounds and have been commissioned by the Rockefeller Foundation, Jerome Foundation, and Reader's Digest. He has written music for theater and dance and recorded hundreds of albums on ECM, CBS, RCA, GRP, Warner Brothers, Deutsche Gramophone, Geffen, Nonesuch, Capital, and Sony. In addition, he has several instructional videos and ten recordings of his own music on CMP, Music of the World, Sounds True, Interworld, and Ellipsis Arts. As a master teacher who conducts workshops worldwide, Velez developed his own teaching method called Handance. It incorporates voice and body movement into the process of learning to play the frame drum and has proven to be of great benefit to professionals and beginners alike. Velez has also designed his own Signature Series of frame drums for the REMO Drum Company and has recently designed a handmade frame drum series for the Cooperman Drum Company.

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Japanese Taiko Drumming

Marco Lienhard   (Ondekoza taiko)

KoSA was very pleased to have Marco Lienhard back for the 2004 Workshop.  A native of Switzerland, Marco was a member of the internationally acclaimed taiko group Ondekoza from 1981-1994. While touring as a professional taiko player in Japan, he studied the shakuhachi under Masters Teruo Furuya and Katsuya Yokoyama, quickly becoming a virtuoso solo artist. Marco also studied the fue and the nohkan (Noh theater flute) with Masayuki Isso and has performed more than 3000 concerts in Europe, Asia and North America with appearances at some of the world's most prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Boston Symphony Hall, Osaka Castle Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Center and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. He has contributed to many movies, documentaries and CDs, has done several recordings with Ondekoza, Taikoza and has two critically acclaimed shakuhachi recording. Marco Lienhard has made numerous television appearances including the Regis and Kathie Lee Show, the PBS special A World of Performances (the 20th Anniversary Gala of Wolf Trap), a documentary for Canadian National TV, MTV and NBC's 1998 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. He was the featured shakuhachi player in the American premiere of the Temple of the Golden Pavilion with the New York City Opera at Lincoln Center.

Marco has been actively teaching the shakuhachi, taiko and fue in New York and around the world including workshops at the Kosa Percussion workshops in Vermont and the bi-annual taiko conferences in California.

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Technology & Percussion

Larry Marchese  (Sibelius software)

KoSA was proud to welcome the 2004 return of Larry Marchese.  Over the past two decades, Larry has worked as a music teacher, music technology clinician, author, musician and composer.  Traditionally trained as a percussionist, Larry has been an active user of music technology since 1978 and has extensive experience with MIDI, sampling, and electronic composition.  Larry is currently employed by Sibelius USA, the world's premier producer of digital notation software.

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Allan Molnar   (MIDI educator)

KoSA welcomed back Allan Molnar to the 2004 Workshop.  Allan has been an instrumental music teacher in the Toronto School System since 1983 and has experience at the elementary and secondary school levels. In 1999, Allan's high school music program was awarded a $10,000 grant by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) for the purchase of musical instruments. This grant was awarded to only four schools in all of Canada. In addition, Allan's percussion students were featured performing music from his Rhythm, Percussion and MIDI series in a short CARAS film clip which was shown on national TV during the 1999 Juno Awards telecast. Allan is a recipient of the prestigious Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence in recognition of his work in music education. This award was presented by Prime Minister Jean Chretien at a special ceremony in Ottawa on May 13th, 1999.

As a music clinician, Allan has provided assistance to over 130 schools through his music education publications and workshops. Allan is also a resource teacher and clinician for the "Sharing Teaching Excellence" program. This program is an initiative of the Canadian Teachers' Federation in partnership with the Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence and provides financial assistance to Canadian educational institutions wishing to set up workshops and clinics.  Allan has successfully brought many elements of professional contemporary music to the classroom by way of his MIDI-assisted band program. The Rhythm, Percussion, and MIDI series is a culmination of his work in this area. Allan has given numerous workshopsfor school boards, universities and music conferences.

Allan currently resides in New York where he teaches at Brooklyn College and The Drummers Collective. Prior to moving to New York, Allan was very active as a vibraphonist, percussionist and educator in Toronto, Canada. His experiences include many live and recorded performances in a variety of genres including jazz (Glen Hall, Roswell Rudd, Phil Nimmons), Latin (Vibrason) and pop (Nelly Furtado, Jarvis Church).

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Mario DeCiutiis   (Electronic percussion)

KoSA was pleased to have the return of Mario De Ciutiis to our faculty.  With over 26 years of professional music experience and as principal percussionist for Radio City Music Hall since 1979, Mario has performed literally thousands of shows ranging from Christmas Spectaculars & Liberace Extravaganzas to Silent Movies and Ice Shows. He has performed many Broadway and Off-Broadway Shows in New York and has spent his share of "road-touring" for plays, MIDI clinics and concerts. DeCiutiis can be heard on numerous studio recordings including a Grammy Award winning Children's CD. He has produced many educational music videos for KAT Inc., developed CD-ROMs with percussion instruments for digital samplers and has performed on a wide variety of audio recordings as a drummer and percussionist session player. Since 1986, Mario fulfilled the role of Vice President of KAT Inc., involved in the creation, design, manufacturing and world-wide distribution of KAT electronic controllers. In 1996, he founded Alternate Mode Inc. to continue the KAT product line. His interests now focus on performing on the college and concert circuit, sharing his knowledge of music and technology. Mario believes JUNGLEWIRE is the perfect medium to demonstrate the power, expression and versatility of electronic music.

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Latin Drum Set

Robby Ameen   (Paul Simon)

In the time that Robby Ameen has spent living in New York City since the early eighties he has compiled a recording career stretching from Dizzy Gillespie to Paul Simon, while maintaining a more than fifteen year relationship with Latin luminaries Ruben Blades and Dave Valentin. Although he is of Lebanese origin, Robby is best known for the unique and powerful Afro-Cuban style he has created.

Growing up in New Haven, Connecticut, Robby was able to take advantage of his proximity to New York City by going to clubs and hearing many of the great jazz masters at a very young age. At the same time, he was involved in the local jazz and latin scene, as well as later attending Yale University, where he received a BA in literature. His jazz roots were strongly influenced by his studies with the great Ed Blackwell in high school, while in college he studied classical percussion with Fred Hinger at the Yale School of Music.  Upon moving to New York, Robby began recording with Dave Valentin and Ruben Blades, who was the first salsa singer to add a full-time drummer to his band, Seis del Solar. Another one of his early recordings was New Faces with Dizzy Gillespie, about whom Dizzy said in Jazz Times "Just the other day I made a record with a Lebanese drummer - b-a-a-d! He had so much happening, and it keeps going, you know?" On the Latin scene Robby has also recorded many records with Eddie Palmieri, as well as records with Mongo Santamaria, Hilton Ruiz, Daniel Ponce, among others. He has toured with Willie Colon, Paquito D'Rivera, Gato Barbieri, DLG, and was the drummer at Marc Anthony's historic first solo concert at Madison Square Garden.  Another one of Robby's longstanding relationships has been with producer-composer Kip Hanrahan, with whom he has been recording and touring since 1987. He was also the drummer for Paul Simon's "Capeman", with whom he worked through the long rehearsal period up until the recordings and the actual show, as well on a VH1 "Storytellers" special.

Along with Horacio "el Negro" Hernandez, Robby co-leads the "el Negro & Robby Band, " who have recorded three records and are touring extensively worldwide. As co-leader he also recorded two records with the band Seis del Solar. Robby is the co-author with Lincoln Goines of the best-selling instructional book and CD: Funkifying the Clave: Afro Cuban Grooves for Bass and Drums, which has sold over 35,000 copies worldwide. A video based on the book was also released on DCI/Warner Bros. Robby is an active clinician, performing at Modern Drummer Day, Montreal Drum Festival, NAMM and PAS shows, to name a few, as well as internationally.

Some of his various TV appearances include The Tonight Show, 60 Minutes, Amnesty International Concerts, Cinemax's "A Latino Special: feat. Jerry Garcia," "The Return of Ruben Blades" documentary, Good Morning America, Europe's Rockpalast and Jazz Inn.

In addition to his recording and touring schedule, Robby is busy in the New York studios doing jingles, TV music, and film scores with such composers as Dave Grusin, Carlos Franzetti, and Howard Shore. He was the drummer for the first few seasons of trhe show "Sex and the City." Feature articles about Robby have appeared in such magazines as Modern Drummer, Rhythm, Latin Beat, Batteur, Percussionisti, and others. Recently, Robby will be included in the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz.

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Orchestral Percussion

John Beck   (Eastman School of Music)

John H. Beck was a member of the U.S. Marine Band for four years before joining the Rochester Philharmonic as Principal Percussionist in 1959 and becoming Principal Timpanist in 1962. A recipient of B.M. and M.M. degrees from the Eastman School of Music, he currently heads its Percussion Department and is conductor of the Eastman Percussion Ensemble.

From 1965 to 1972 he was the percussion columnist for the NACWPI Journal and served for two years as State Chairman for Percussion for the New York State School Music Association. He was instrumental in bringing the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) to Rochester for their first International Convention at which time he performed Phillip Lambro's Two Pictures. He is a Past President of the Percussive Arts Society having previously served as State Chapter President and 2nd and 1st Vice President of this international organization.

Mr. Beck's articles on percussion can be found in most percussion journals. He has contributed an article on the Percussion Ensemble to the Grove Dictionary of American Music and has revised the percussion section of the World Book Encyclopedia.

Mr. Beck served on the faculty of the Grand Teton Orchestral Seminar and was a performer, clinician, teacher and conductor and the III, IV and V international Workshops for Percussion in Bydgoszcz, Poland. He was the American adjudicator for the International Percussion Competition in Luxembourg and he toured Russia with 14 percussionists from the Percussive Arts Society as well as serving as an adjudicator for the Japan Music Education and Culture Promotion Society in Tokyo, Japan. He was percussionist in residence at the Interlochen Center for the Arts summer program, the Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen, Denmark, clinician, soloist and teacher at the Encontro Latino Americano De Percussao, in Santa Maria, Brazil. His most recent solo engagement with orchestra was the premier performance of Claude Baker's Three Pieces for 5 Timpani and 5 Roto-Toms with David Effron and the Eastman School of Music Philharmonic in 1990.

Mr. Beck received the Eisenhart Award in recognition of distinguished teaching from the Eastman School of Music on May 19, 1997. He received an award from the Arts and Culture Council of Greater Rochester for contributions to the arts on October 8, 1999 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame, Percussive Arts Society on October 29, 1999.

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Mallet and Studio Percussion

Emil Richards   (L.A studio legend)

Emil Richards, (born Emilio Radocchia) in 1932 in Hartford, Connecticut started playing the xylophone at age six. He is a graduate of the Hart School of Music and Hillard College.  He joined the Hartford Symphony Orchestra while in tenth grade, working under Arthur Fiedler and Fritz Mahler. He began to work around New England with Bobby Hackett, Flip Phillips, and Chris Connor.  In 1952 and 1953 he was stationed in Japan, while serving in the First Cavalry Army Band as assistant band leader.   In 1954 Emil moved to New York where he played jazz gigs with Charlie Mingus, Ed Shaunghnessy, and Ed Thigpen while doing studio recordings for artists such as Perry Como, Ray Charles, and Mitch Aires.   In 1955 Emil joined the George Shearing Quintet. He stayed with the group for over four years, playing 51 weeks a year.

In 1959 he moved to Los Angeles where he worked with the Paul Horn Quintet, Jimmy Witherspoon, the Shorty Rogers Big Band, Lennie Bruce, and Lord Buckly. He started recording for Frank Sinatra, Nelson Riddle, Judy Garland, Sarah Vaughan, and Doris Day. In 1962, in response to a request from President John F. Kennedy, Emil and a small jazz combo joined Frank Sinatra on a tour around the world for the benefit of under privileged children. This group helped to found the first hospital in Israel for Jewish and Arab children.   This was the beginning of Emil's interest in, and collection of ethnic percussion instruments.

After this world tour, Emil returned to L. A. to begin recording with such artists as the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, Bing Crosby, Nat Cole, and Frank Sinatra. He also worked on film scores for Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, Henry Mancini, Elmer Bernstein, Johnny Mandel, Quincy Jones, Oliver Nelson, Neal Hefti, Lalo Schifrin, Dave Grusin, Michel Legrand, Alex North, and Bill Conti, to name a few. Both he and Don Ellis were studying Indian rhythms at this time, and co-founded a group known as the Hindustani Jazz Sextet.

In 1963 he met American composer Harry Partch, and sponsored his move along with all his instruments to L A.  Emil was connected with the composer and his music as a performer until the composer's death in 1974.  In 1965 he formed the Micro-Tonal Blues Band along with his music grammar school buddies, Joe Porcaro, and Dave Mackay. In 1968 he joined Stan Kenton as a member of his NeoPhonic Orchestra, and remained principal percussionist for the orchestra's entire existence. In 1969 he made another trip to India, Bali, and Europe, studying, and collecting more ethnic percussion instruments.  Upon his return to L A that year he joined Roger Kelloway and the Cello Quartet.  In 1972 he made an extensive trip around the world collecting and studying percussion instruments with master players from all corners of the globe.

In January of 1974, Frank Sinatra came out of retirement and asked Emil to join him in a small group augmented by Count Basie and his orchestra.  In mid 1974 he left this group to travel through central and south America to collect and study marimbas and music of Cuba, Peru, and Brazil.  In October of 1974 Emil joined George Harrison and Ravi Shankar for an extended concert tour of north America.  In 1976 he made a trip to Sicily to trace his roots, and to study the maranzano, the jew's harp found in the region where his mother came from. He stopped in England to record with George Harrison, and befriended one of the world's greatest percussionists, Sir James Blades.

In 1977 he became a member of Frank Zappa's Electric Symphony and recorded several albums with this large orchestra. He was also on Zappa's first recorded album, Lumpy Gravy.  In 1979 Emil became a founding member of The New American Orchestra, comprised of 85 of Hollywood's finest musicians. Emil has played in the film studios in between all of his other activities, and in the 1980's, he concentrated on sound track recording, and became Hollywood's most sought after percussionist, playing for some of his childhood heroes; Bernard Herman, Dave Rakson, Alex North, Max Steiner, Lionel Newman, Hugo Friedhoffer, Walter Scharf, and Ernest Gold.

He has won the National Academy of Arts and Sciences "Most Valuable Player Award" for six consecutive years since it's inception, until he was presented with the NARAS Emeritus Award.  In 1987 Emil started traveling throughout the United States, giving clinics at colleges on the aspects of percussion playing.  In 1988 Emil formed a Jazz group, playing vibes with his old grammar school music buddies, Joe Porcaro, and Dave Mackay. He continues to perform with this jazz quartet known as Calamari.  In 1993 and 94, Emil donated his entire library of percussion books, along with a substantial number of his instrument collection to the Percussive Arts Society's Percussion Museum in Lawton, Oklahoma. He still possesses over 650 different percussion instruments in his current personal collection. In 1993 he regrouped with the Roger Kelloway Cello (now Sextet), and completed an album for Angel records.  In 1994 Emil recorded a solo album utilizing an assortment of instruments from his vast ethnic percussion collection, overdubbing all the instruments himself. The album, released by Interworld Music, is called Emil Richards, The Wonderful World of Percussion. He feels that there is a world of new and unusual sounds to be found and to be heard by marrying many of the percussion instruments together. This is a dedicated goal of Emil's future projects in his world of percussion.

In November of 1994, Emil was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall Of Fame, joining other noted recipients as Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Lionel Hampton, and Red Norvo.  Lalo Schifrin asked Emil to join the percussion section of the Glendale Symphony Orchestra for the 1994 - 95 season.  In 1996 Emil played at the San Francisco Jazz festival, in a tribute to Cal Tjader. As a result Emil released an Afro Cuban Jazz album called Luntana released by Interworld Music .This same year he was appointed as head of the percussion Department at L A M A, The Los Angeles Music Academy in Pasadena California.   Starting in 1997 Emil has taken summers to travel to Europe to do summer camps teaching percussion and performing with musicians from Italy, Sardinia, Austria, Sweden and Germany.   1998 marks sixty years that Emil has been playing mallet instruments. He has (to date) recorded on over 1350 film scores and counts over 650 artists that he has recorded and performed with.  In 1999 Emil holds the distinction of Hearing Officer at the Professional Musicians Union Local #47, Los Angeles. He also sits on the board of directors of the Percussive Arts Society and the Mister Holland's Opus Foundation. He continues to donate musical instruments to both of these non profit foundations. He lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife, Celeste and daughter Camille.

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Italian Frame Drumming

Alessandra Belloni     (frame drum artist)

Often called a "Mediterranean Volcano," Alessandra Belloni is a singer, tambourine virtuoso, dancer and actress.  She was born in Italy, and is committed to preserving the strong and rich traditions of her culture. The only woman in the U.S. and in Italy who specializes in Southern Italian percussion combined with ritual dances and singing, learned from the old masters in field research, and also with the legendary Italian percussionist Alfio Antico. She has spent more than twenty years participating every Summer in the authentic drumming Festivals in remote areas of Southern Italy, held in honor of the Black Madonna and as rituals of purification.

She has also created a special collaboration with master drummer Glen Velez, with whom she has performed and recorded her last CDs. Under invitation of Nana Vasconcellos and Gilberto Gil, she was featured in PERC PAN '98, in Bahia, Brazil, one of the best Percussion Festivals with artists from all over the world. She was nominated among the three best drummers of World Percussion by DRUM MAGAZINE, along with Baba Olatunji, Mickey Hart, with Arthur Hull winner of first prize. She recently had feature stories in Modern Drummer, Rhythm & Drum Magazine, and wrote articles for Percussive Notes Magazine. In the last years she has created a new World Music Sound, cross-cultural operas and percussion ensembles.

With her one woman show "Rhythm is the Cure" she tours across the US and Internationally, performing and teaching workshops in places like WOMAD (Seattle), RHYTHM STICKS, Royal Festival Hall (London), Teatro Castro Alves (Salvador,Bahia) PASIC (Dallas, Los Angeles, Nashville) Drumming at the Pyramids (Egypt), Julliard (New York), Oberlin (Ohio), PERKUSIA (Warsaw), Berkeley World Percussion Festival (Boston) Monterey World Music Festival, Conservatory of Milan ( Italy), Italian PAS & I SUONI DAL MONDO (Trento, Italy) Royal Marine School School of Music (England), UHURU- Weltmusikladen , VALS, (Switzerland), Theatre of SESC Ipiranga (Brazil) with Siba from Mestre Ambrosio, Cultural Center in Tel Aviv together with master percussionist Zohar Fresco. Recently she has been featured on TV with Worldbeat (CNN)

Ms. Belloni teaches special healing workshops combining percussion and dance at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, and in Ialy and Brazil together with healing specialist Dr. Jose Bittar. As guest artist she cllaborates with the Cleveland Ballet Dancing Wheels Company, expanding her work in the origins of tarantella as music & dance therapy. At the Cathedral of St. John the Divine she holds regular classes on Italian tambourines and ritual dances.

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Afro-Colombian & Brazilian Drumming

Memo Acevedo (Tito Puente)

Kosa was very pleased to welcome back Memo Acevedo for 2004.  Memo began to make a mark on rock music in his early teens. Soon after leaving his native Colombia, he began to (re)discover his Latin roots. A self-taught musician, his passion for Latin music compelled him to take it as a serious object of study in his new home, Toronto.  Memo and his two bands, Banda Brava and Memo Acevedo & The Jazz Cartel, helped expose Canadian audiences to a wide range of Latin and Afro-Latin music. Memo also played a major role in establishing a Latin jazz, Salsa and Brazilian ensemble in Canada at Humber College in Toronto. And to promote Latin music he set up a radio show as Toronto's CIUT-FM, "The Latin Beat," which aired for ten years.   His self-produced CD "Building Bridges" (on Concord/J.A) features mentor Tito Puente and friends Dave Valentin and Gonzalito Rubalcaba and contains mostly new material written and arranged by Memo and his trombonist, T.Promane.

Memo is completely at home on a drum set as well as with percussion, in styles including Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Colombian, and Latin Jazz. His credits as a session player include playing with most of the major Canadian stars and doing TV work and jingles. In 1989 he won the National Ad Music Award for his TV commercial "Unbeatable" for Rubbermaid. In 1991 he received the Juno Award (Canada's equivalent of the Grammy) in the category of "World Beat," plus Jazz Report Magazine Awards for 1994 and 1995 as Canada's "Percussionist of the Year."

In 1996 Memo moved to New York City, where he's been active recording and performing with Hilton Ruiz, Mark Murphy, Peggy Stern, Toshiko Akiyoshi, The Latin Jazz Coalition, the legendary Jazz duo Jackie & Roy, the English Hip Hop band The Propellerheads, and Broadway shows "The Lion King" and "The Civil War."

Memo loves "passing the torch" (as he calls his teaching).Currently he is in charge of the Afro-Cuban and Brazilian Drumming courses at New York's Drummer's Collective and New York University.

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Spanish Flamenco Drumming

Salvador Niebla     (Natural Energy, Virtual Drummer School)

Salvador Niebla, was born in Ceuta in 1960, has been a professional drummer for over 30 years. He is the creator of the internet's Virtual Drummer School.   Niebla's intention was to organize a virtual center in which all students of percussion could receive lessons. It was also intended as a general information center on any subject related to the world of drums and percussion. In other words, his idea involved creating links on all manufacturers of percussion instruments, the possibility of contacting all specialized centers, with news from the most outstanding specialized publications and magazines on the subject.   In September 2000, after eight months of work, the VIRTUAL DRUMMER SCHOOL opened its doors. What had begun as a utopian idea had become a reality. At that time, the school's staff included several musicians of great national prestige. Below is a non-exhaustive list: Ángel Celada, Carlos Carli, Peer Wyboris, Jorge Rossy, Ángel Crespo, Julián Vaughn, Joaquín Solé, Bill Bruford, Ignacio Berroa, Alex Acuña, Luis Conte, Horacio "El Negro" y and Peter Erskine, among others.

The virtual school is now fully established and has not lost any of its original spirit. Internet user's can now get the best and most varied information provided by specialists of great international prestige. This is just the beginning.

Salvador currently has his own group, Natural Energy, with which he recorded his first record as a leader, Azul, and he is now working on his second record, Rojo, with them.  In his 30 years as a professional drummer, Niebla has worked with many musicians and participated in many different events, as well as collaborating in several associations. Major points in his career:

.Jazz: Max Sunyer Trio, Benavent-Amargós, Jordi Sabatés, Allan Skidmore, Jorge Pardo, Deborah Carter, Didie Loockwood, Paquito de Rivera, etc.
.Rock: Orquestra Mondragón, Teddy Bautista-Pepe Robles, Alameda, Miguel Ríos, etc.
.Flamenco: Enrique Morente, La Barbería del Sur, Martirio, Manuela Vargas, Ginesa Ortega, J. Manuel Cañizares, etc.
.Other styles: La Trinca, Moncho, J. M. Serrat, Guillermina Mota, Los Sabandeños, etc.
.Other Activities: He has collaborated in the creation of music for theatre, dance, TV, cinema, advertising, the Spanish Olympic synchronized swimming team, etc.

In 1992 he worked as the official drummer of the Barcelona Olympic Games in the opening and closing ceremonies. Since 1993 he has been a delegate member of the "Drummers Collective" of New York. In 1997 he was awarded honorary membership of the Cuban society of percussionists, "Percuba", in Havana (Cuba). He is a member of the European Association of Arts Medicine. Advisor of the Association of Interpreters and Performers (AIE). Founder member of the Association of Jazz Musicians of Catalonia. Founder member of the Association of Spanish Percussionists. Member of the General Society of Authors and Publishers (SGAE).

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Australian Didgeridoo

Lou Robinson   (Didgeridoo Educator)

For at least 40,000 years, the Australian Aborigine lived a life of balance, respect and harmony with the earth. He received many gifts from the earth, one of which was a tree trunk hollowed out by termites. When blown into in a certain manner, it became a wonderous musical instrument called Yidaki or didgeridoo. Traditional myth and legend indicates the didgeridoo has been present since the beginning of time and was an integral part of the creation story, playing its part in sounding the world into form.   Lou believes the didgeridoo offers an opportunity for us to reconnect with our earthly heritage and our spiritual selves. Its musical possibilities are limited only by our imagination. Just as legend says the didgeridoo helped sound the world into existence, it also says if the sound ever stops, the world will cease to exist. So, play on!

Lou Robinson, KoSA's original mad didgeridoo player, settled in the wonderful town of Portland, Oregon, and joined his wife Lynn Robinson by opening "Australian Originals" in Portland's Old Town area, adjacent to Portland Saturday Market, a treasure chest of arts and crafts. The couple initially sold hand crafted clothing and art that they imported from the weekend markets in the small communities surrounding Lynn's Australian home, and didgeridoos and aboriginal crafts from an aboriginal co-op.

They are especially proud of  their didgeridoo collection and our association with Yidaki-doo, Australias finest supplier of didgeridoos, with a wide range from beginners to collectors. The curator of the didge area is our friend and associate Ed Drury, another mad, mad, mad didgeridoo player.  Lou spends a fair amount of each year teaching "the didge" to others, passing along the tradition.  We like to think of Lou as a KoSA tradition, due to the fact that he brings much more than a master's knowledge of the instrument to the annual Workshop, and is a favorite of participants every year.

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Latin Percussion

Candido Camero   (conga legend)

Born in Havana, Cuba in1921, Candido began making music when he was just a young child. He came to America at age 25 and made his first Latin jazz recording with the legendary Machito and his Afro-Cuban Band. Candido has also played with more than one hundred great musicians such as: Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Billy Taylor, Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, and Tito Puente. Along with the many recordings he has to his credit, Candido has also appeared on various television programs including Ed Sullivan and Tony Bennett.

Now in his 80's, Candido is a musical giant hailed as one of the greatest Cuban percussionists to come to America. His musical gift is a powerful, driving force as he plays percussion with fingers that demonstrate technical ability with a love for music. Even when he performs alone on stage, the stage seems full.

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Richie Flores (Eddie Palmieri)

Richie Flores egan playing congas at age 5 and began his professional musical career at age 8, playing with Grupo Batacumbele and Roberto Roena and the Apollo Sound. At age 13, he came to New York to play with Roberto Roena at the Village Gate, however, this was just the beginning. Richie Flores continued to play throughout Puerto Rico with some of the best known Salsa bands, while studying at Escuela Libre de Musica in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico. Since those early years, Richie's musical career has lead him to play with some of Latin Music's most renown musicians such as Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Cachao, The Fania All Stars, Gato Barbieri, Hilton Ruiz, David Sanchez and the Tropijazz All Stars. He has recorded on hundreds of albums over the years, including Cachao's Grammy winning album and currently on Eddie Palmieri and David Sanchez's Grammy nominated albums for 1999. Other artists Richie as recorded with include Gato Barbieri, Hilton Ruiz, The Tropijazz All-Stars, Tochico Akiochi, Jimmy Bosch and is currently recording many of the hottest new Salsa albums produced by Sergio George.  Richie remains one of the most in-demand percussionists in the world.

South East Indian Hand Drumming

Trichy Sankaran   (South Indian drumming)

Over the last 30 years, mrdangam maestro Trichy Sankaran has made a contribution of unique range and scope to the Canadian artistic community and to Canadian musical culture. His contribution is broad and varied. He has done significant and important work as a performer, composer, academic, musical educator, and cultural ambassador. His achievements in any one of these categories would be noteworthy. Collectively these achievements place him at he pinnacle of his field.

Through his performances and compositions over the years, he has taken significant steps to integrate Eastern and Western approaches, and has contributed to the growth of vibrant new Canadian culture. As an educator, Prof. Sankaran has bridged Eastern and Western pedagogical styles, and has influenced generations of students who have gone on to be important Canadian performers, composers and music educators themselves. Through his many music activities, Prof. Sankaran has been a highly visible and eloquent cultural ambassador and integrating force.

Trichy Sankaran is the Founding Director of Indian music studies and Professor of Music at York University, Toronto, Canada. Professor Sankaran is a winner of the prestigious OCUFA teaching award. Over the past 29 years, he has trained many Canadians in the rhythm, history, theory and performing traditions of the classical music of India. Many of his former students have become noted performers, composers and music educators themselves.

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Percussion Ensemble

John Beck  (Eastman School of Music) see bio above

Répercussion (International Performing Artists)

Répercussion, a quartet of percussionists from Montreal, was originally formed in 1974 at the Conservatoire de musique in Québec City as a student summer works project. After two years the group split in two and three members remained, moving to Montreal. Inspired by the Strasbourg Percussion Ensemble out of Europe which was renowned for performing contemporary music accentuating the percussion instruments, Répercussion has helped to bring the orchestral percussion section out of the back row of obscurity to the front of the stage. They will be at the Winspear Centre this Friday and Saturday evening, performing as guest artists with the Edmonton Symphony at a "Pops" series pair of concerts under the musical direction of David Hoyt.

The lineup of the ensemble has not changed much after nearly 30 years. Current members are Luc Langlois, Robert Lepine and Chantal Simard, along with Aldo Mazza, who was invited to join in 1978. Langlois, who is also an electronics engineer, invented a MIDI interface for mallet instruments allowing the musician to play like an electric bassist.

In many ways the ensemble feels more at home touring throughout Asia, Africa and South America, where the native music tends to be more percussion-based than our own. They take our western music and introduce it to the peoples of those other cultures. Mazza claims that the reverse takes place in the western music tradition.

"A violinist, for example, would suddenly discover klezmer music or any of those other cultural musics. As the violinist has gotten so far on his instrument, now he is looking for new territory and new frontiers. So you explore those and they become a lot of fun."

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West African Drumming & Dance

Oumar N'Diaye (West African Drums & Dance)

Born in Conakry, Guinée, Oumar N'Diaye joined the Grand Ballet National of Guinée in 1979 where he mastered not only the traditional dances of Guinée, Mali, Sénégal, and South Africa, but also acrobatics, dramatic play and percussion. Since 1987, he has launched his solo career and has held major roles in diverse theatre productions. Most notably, he played Vendredi (Friday) in Robinson Crusoë under the direction of Pierre Beaudoin. Oumar N'Diaye currently teaches dance and percussion in Quebec City and has released a CD of his own teaching method on African percussion entitled Kharandiya .

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Répercussion and guests (International Performing Artists) please see bio above

Rhythm section labs

Oscar Stagnaro , bass

KoSA was pleased to welcome back bassist Oscar Stagnaro, recipient of the Latin Grammy 2001 for Best Latin Jazz performance with the Paquito D' Rivera Quintet " Live at the Blue Note" and the 2003 Latin Grammy for the Best Latin Jazz Recording for "Brazilian Dreams" with Paquito D' Rivera and the New York Voices.

Originally from Peru, Oscar studied at The Conservatory of Music in Lima, Peru, and worked extensively doing studio work and live performances with many international artists and local bands before moving to the USA in 1979. Since then he has been a very active performer and one of the most versatile bass players in the East Coast; his mastery of playing different music styles from Jazz, Fusion, to Latin Jazz Brazilian Jazz, South American music, has allow him to perform at the most renown Jazz Festivals around the World with the very best of the Latin Jazz artists.

Oscar has been Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music since 1988, where he teaches privates lessons, workshops and ensembles. He has represented Berklee in the IAJE 97, 99', 00' and 03' Conventions and is a very active clinician with lectures in Peru, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Uruguay, Germany, Spain and the USA.

He is also a Faculty member of the Jazz Studies at the New England Conservatory of Music since 2000, and the Rivers Music School since 1998.  He has published with Sher Music the "Latin Bass Book' and with Hal Leonard Berklee Press the "Afro Cuban Slap ".

Oscar has just released his first CD as a leader "Mariella's Dream" featuring Paquito D' Rivera, Alex Acuña, Ed Simon and Ramon Stagnaro featuring rhythms from Cuba, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela and recently just recorded a special program "La Plaza" for WGBH Channel 2 in Boston featuring Paquito D" Rivera and Alon Yavnai.

Rafael Alcala , piano

Kosa welcomed the 2004 return of Rafael Alcala, a Pianist, Arranger and Composer recognized as one of the up and coming young artists in the field of jazz.  Rafael has performed with Bob Mintzer, Jim McNeely, Will Kennedy, Ignacio Berroa, Zoro, Greg Bisonette, Frank Mantooth, David Murray,Danilo Perez, Joe Lovano, Joanne Brackeen, Phil Wilson and Victor Mendoza .

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