For over a decade now in the first week of March, the city of Havana has prepared for a major musical event which attracts visitors from around the globe. Havana’s Rhythm and Dance Festival features some of the top Cuban artists (vocalists, dancers, percussionists, and drummers) in breathtaking performances organized and directed by the highly regarded musician Giraldo Piloto. What is equally special during this festival is the national percussion contest for Cuba’s up and coming young talent in which the winner of the competition is awarded a professional instrument in each category. These instruments are graciously brought to Cuba by KoSA Music.
But that is not all! What many people may not know is that this week-long festival has three components: nightly festival concerts, national youth competition and during the day, non-Cuban participants immerse themselves in an unparalleled total percussion experience at the famous KoSA Cuba Percussion Workshops where they get to study with the top performers of the Havana Rhythm and Dance Festival.
KoSA (KoSA Music) is well-known in the percussion world as a premiere educational organization that creates top-notch learning environments and events all over the world. KoSA Cuba is now in its 15th year and offers master classes, clinics and conferences for people of all ages and levels. Directed and founded by Canadian percussionist, Aldo Mazza and co-founded by his wife Dr. Jolán Kovács, KoSA Cuba participants benefit from attending not only the informative hands-on classes by day but also the truly memorable festival concerts held each evening in some of the major theaters in Havana such as Teatro Mella and Teatro Karl Marx.
The annual KoSA Cubaevent and the Havana Rhythm and Dance Festival ( Fiesta del Tambor) are a fantasy come true. It is a true Canadian-Cuban collaboration between two percussion greats: Giraldo Piloto and Aldo Mazza. The festival is dedicated to the memory of one of Cuba’s legendary drummers Guillermo Barreto who was not only a well regarded drummer but also a brilliant performer and musical arranger. The festival and workshop also serve to build a cultural and musical bridge between Cuba and the world. Each year special foreign guests are invited to perform as well as offer conferences to attendees. Some of these superstar musicians included in the past Jojo Mayer (Nerve), and Walfredo Reyes Jr. ( Santana) to name but a few.
Don’t miss out – mark your calendars for the next KoSA Cuba extravaganza: