Drummers bring the beat of the world to St. Mary’s County!

It’s certainly not an ordinary day in southern Maryland where one can attend a Latin drumming clinic with Cuban musician Barbaro Crespo aka “Machito”broadcasting live from Poland, and accompanied by in-person instruction from renowned artist Pedro Albuerne (also from Cuba) and Sheila Klotz from Southern Maryland!

Quite an international mix of talent, the incredible three masters were joined by nineteen drum students of varying ages and skill levels for a fun filled afternoon of learning new techniques.

Machito kicked off the workshop with a series of deft demos followed by an immersion into colorful lessons richly painted with rumba, rudiments, polyrhythms and the fascinating history behind the origins of Afro-Cuban music.

Mr. Albuerne provided seamless Spanish to English translation for the students and continued the continuation of Machito’s teachings after the initial hour-long virtual session was over.

The Latin Percussion Clinic was housed at King’s Christian Academy and open to the public, although registration closed almost as quickly as it had opened. Event organizer Klotz said she limited numbers to a level where students could comfortably learn in groups while receiving individual attention when needed.

Participants took home valuable tools, including advice on proper posture and hand positioning, striking techniques, and learning about the many different percussion pieces, including congas large and small, bongos, djembe, timpani, claves, cabasa, bells, guiro, shekere, and a wide range of other intriguing instruments.

A few words about the artists:

Barbaro Crespo aka Machito was born in Havana, Cuba in 1991 and has been a musician since a young age, signing his first professional contract at age 17. Machito’s international musical career began in 2016, including performances in various recognized festivals and events in the United States, the Democratic Republic of Conga and Morocco, as well as on many European stages (France, Germany, Poland, Spain, United Kingdom Kingdom, Finland and Switzerland). He currently resides in Europe and is working on new musical projects in collaboration with other artists and is also an instructor for percussion masterclasses.

Mr. Pedro Albuerne has over 35 years of experience as a percussionist having performed extensively in the Los Angeles area at various signing events, social clubs and private engagements including parties for Robin Williams and other celebrities . Pedro now resides in Florida but travels to Maryland to visit family and friends, including his grandson who is a private student of Sheila.

Chief Warrant Officer Sheila M. Klotz, Commander of Army Music (Retired), began her music career at just ten years old when she picked up a pair of drumsticks and put them down. more rested since! Under Sheila’s direction, the 257th Army National Guard Band performed to an audience of tens of thousands. Klotz’s time in the military provided him with countless performing, directing, and speaking opportunities throughout the country and also abroad. Sheila was recognized as a “Hit Like a Girl (HLAG) Drum Set Champion” in 2020 and served as a judge for HLAG international competitions in 2021 and 2022.

Klotz has been bringing the beat to her community on a grassroots level since moving to the Southern Maryland area in 2016. She continues to share her wealth of knowledge and skills through free community clinics and workshops, public participation from first Friday Drum Circles in Leonardtown, showcases and competitions, group and private lessons, and other special events.

Soon will be 2n/a Annual Mid-Atlantic Drum Set Camp 2022 for youth ages 10-18 of all skill levels. This overnight camp is the only one of its kind in the region and will run from July 17and through the 21st at the scenic campus of St. Mary’s College of Maryland, registration opens March 21st.

Klotz recently formed the SoMar Drummers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated “to propelling the drumming arts into the DMV.” The SoMar Drummers will be at the next Lexington Park Cherry Blossom Festival on March 26and hold a public participation drumming circle and also in downtown Leonardtown on April 30and for a battery showcase.

To learn more about SoMar Drummers, to view their calendar of upcoming events, and to register for classes/workshops/camps, visit: https://www.somardrummers.org/

Learn more about world renowned musician/percussionist/songwriter Barbara Yordany Crespo Richard aka Machito to visit: https://laclavedebarrio.com/


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