Ages: 7 to 12
About This Class
Through drumming, singing and storytelling children are introduced to the musical traditions and culture of the Caribbean and Latin America. Students learn how to play percussion instruments such as the congas, panderos de plena, bongó and other hand drums, as well as güiro, maracas, campanas, and cuás (drum sticks). They learn rhythms, songs and stories from Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Venezuela and Colombia and get the opportunity to perform at the end-of-semester class recitals. The focus of the class is on hands-on learning and fun activities, but the curriculum is designed to develop musicianship, physical coordination, bi-lingual literacy skills, multi-cultural awareness, and comfort with public speaking and performance.
About the Instructor
Héctor Lugo is a percussionist, singer, song-writer, and educator. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1989 to pursue graduate studies in sociology at UC Berkeley. Shortly thereafter, he begun to perform with some of the great bands and artists in the local Latin, Jazz, and Afro-Caribbean music scenes, dedicating himself to what would become a lifelong of study and teaching of Latin American and Caribbean music, history, and culture. He has performed and recorded with a wide range of artists such as Bobby Céspedes and Conjunto Céspedes, Louie Romero and Grupo Mazacote, Modesto Cepeda and Cimiento the Puerto Rico, Luis “Chichito” Cepeda and the Los Cepeda Ensemble, Jackeline Rago and the Venezuelan Music Project, Larry Vuckovich, the John Santos Sextet, Salsa legend Pete “El Conde” Rodriguez, Los Pleneros de la 21, Cuban son ensemble Pellejo Seco, Chuchito Valdés, Mono Blanco, Edgardo Cambón y Candela, and Zimbabwean traditional dance troupe The Chinyakare Ensemble, to name a few. Lugo is the founder and director of the Latin-Roots band La Mixta Criolla, producing its debut album AfroTaíno (RoundWhirled records, 2011), and a founding member of the bomba ensemble Grupo Aguacero. He has written music for two plays — “Living in Spanish” and “Burnt American Dreams” — and numerous children’s and youth performances. His compositions and arrangements have been featured in the documentary film “Dolores,” about the life of the great labor organizer and feminist leader Dolores Huertas, and the acclaimed compilation “Salsa de la Bahía,” vol. 2 (Patois Records, 2015). Héctor has designed, managed and implemented educational and cultural arts programs in collaboration with SFJAZZ, the San Francisco Symphony, Stern Grove Festival, Oakland Public Conservatory of Music, Oakland Youth Chorus, San Francisco Community Music Center, and the San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland Unified School Districts. He has also developed classes and workshops for children and youth at community centers such as La Peña Cultural Center, Mission Cultural Center, the San Francisco Boys and Girls Club, Youth Art Exchange, and Loco Bloco, among others. He is the founder and co-director of the Bay Area Bomba y Plena Workshop which since its creation in 2000 has promoted the appreciation, study and performance of Puerto Rican folkloric music through regular classes and workshops, master classes with visiting artists, concerts, class recitals, and music festivals. He is the founder and co-director of Las Quenepas Youth Ensemble, dedicated to the study and performance of traditional Puerto Rican bomba and plena music and dance, and has coordinated and led study trips to Puerto Rico for groups of children and youth from the Bay Area. Lugo has done extensive research on Latin American history, politics and culture, with particular emphasis on the sociology and historical foundations of Latin-Caribbean music, literature and culture. He has lectured at UC Berkeley, Stanford University, UC Santa Cruz, San Francisco State University, Mills College, City College of San Francisco and Humboldt State University. Mr. Lugo has a B.A. in Sociology and Latin American Literature from Haverford College, an M.A. in Sociology from UC Berkeley with specializations in social theory and the political economy, history, and culture of Latin America, and has done extensive Ph.D. level coursework and research as a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California at Berkeley’s Sociology Department. In his spare time he likes to read, cook, work with wood and travel.