Last night was the celebration of the late Olatunji’s birthday. I am not sure how old he would have been. He was a man who changed my life and helped inspire me as well as countless others in the field of percussion and beyond. I was grateful to be part of an evening of celebration in Olatunji’s honor last night at the Ashkanaz night club in Berkeley, California.
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A conga student asked me recently, “how do I take a solo when I am
playing with a band and the band stops, and I am left by myself? No
one else is playing, it is just me”? This is a great question and here is how I do it.
What do you do when you are completely cold and suddenly have to play hot? Last night the islands best trumpet player performed with his band at Bali’s version of Yoshis called interestingly enough, Ryopshi’s! Any coincidence? Great sushi and great tunes. Rio Sadik, the trumpet player, singer and “star of the show”, ( as James Brown would say), was in rare form. The venue was so packed you could not move. Raymond, my impromptu agent and good friend here in Bali, Indonesia called his long time pal Rio earlier to confirm me sitting in but I think I got there way to late and there was already another conga player there.
Excerpt from a recent Afro Cuban conga drum and percussion class given by Michael Pluznick in Raymond Rauchs art studio in Ubud Bali Indonesia. This video featurs the rhythm named “Comparsa” (aka “Conga) from Havana Cuba.
Barabajaba Percussion Ensemble from Puna on the Big Island of Hawaii and Bay Area California present Rumba De Obatala, a special tune off of the new Rise Up CD. Based on traditional afro cuban drum patterns. Filmed at Big Buddha Temple, Bo Phut, Koh Samui Island, Thailand. Orisha chants and vocals by Jesse Seyomour and Zahira. Shot in HD (high definition) on Canon 7D digital camera.
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/barabajaba This world and African/Brasilian (Brazilian) influenced music, percussion and drumming video with chants is from the new CD, “Rise Up” by the Hawaii and California based percussion ensemble, Barabajaba and features Zahira and Boaz on vocals,and percussion arrangements by Jesse Seymour and MIchael Pluznick. This Brazilian (Brasilian) based “HD” (high definition 1080i) piece features, congas, bata, shekere and drumming and percussion including congas. All photos taken by Michael Pluznick except for all band and performing shots by Malia holms. Taken on Nikon D90 digital SLR camera.