Fiesta del Tambor, A truly Cuban festival
By Alain Valdés Sierra / Photos: Gabriel Guerra Bianchini
Cuba’s rich music with its contagious beats has percussion at its heart, and it will once again be celebrated at the 17th annual Concurso y Festival Internacional Fiesta del Tambor “Guillermo Barreto in Memoriam”.
The Fiesta del Tambor is an international percussion festival that has become a true celebration of Cuban culture. The 2018 edition will take place in Havana from March 6th to 11th with competitions, percussion and dance master classes, and workshops tailored for individuals and groups, as well as cultural excursions and many other related activities.
Canadian percussionist and educator Aldo Mazza is the founder of KoSA Music, an organization that promotes cultural exchange between Cuban and international percussions students. Along with Cuban artist Girlado Piloto, Aldo Mazza is one of the driving forces behind the Fiesta del Tambor festival, which has become an unmissable event.
CubaPlus talked to him to find out more:
How has this festival been evolving over the years and how has it affected your work with KoSA Music? Over the past 17 years we have been running our study programs in Cuba.
As I have been developing our own program which is promoted internationally, the festival is also promoted to the international community. At this point in time, all the facets of this project have come a long way. The KoSA Cuba Workshop is well attended and participants from all over the world have come to our program to work and learn from the Cuban masters who have actually been responsible for the very creation of the rhythms and music they are studying. KoSA now offers university credits from a US university and we stress the importance of not only the cultural exchange taking place but also the academic and social interaction that are important elements of the mission.
One of my own personal goals has always been to help build bridges between the cultures and create the forum for mutual respect and understanding. In the end, music is really the universal language which transcends all cultures, language and religion. It is truly amazing to to see people from all walks of life and from every corner of the planet interact, share and live by the common understanding of making a difference and living in the positive intension.
Where do you see this festival going and developing in future? I have seen this festival already become one of the most important festivals in Cuba. It has become an event that many of the Cuban artists look forward to and prepare new projects for, It has become an event where young musicians not only get heard and discovered but also win their instrument in a competition fulfilling dreams. It has also become an event where international artists come to perform, share their craft and inspire the Cuban community while they themselves get great inspiration from their peers in Cuba. I see this festival continuing to grow to even higher levels both in Cuba and to people around the world who are interested in visiting Cuba to experience the showcases of high level music and dance. I also see this festival continuing to be a major and significant event creating mutual respect and understanding between Cuba and the world.