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Percussionists Billy Cobham and Francisco Aguabella Bring the Language of Rhythm to New York City


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From the audience, a great performance comes across like a seamless miracle. If you could get the performer's commentary on what he does, though, you'd learn that each combines theory, technique and tricks of the trade with his talent in a totally individual way - and that's what students and fans have the opportunity to discover in this special master class series with drum legend Billy Cobham on October 10 at Birdland, 315 West 44th Street in Manhattan from 1 pm - 3 pm and conga master Francisco Aguabella on October 14 at Blue Note, 131 West 3rd Street from 2 pm - 4 pm.

Only a few times in history has a musician been singled out as the world class master of his instrument. Billy Cobham is one of those few artists. For over 30 years, he has received international acclaim as the total consummate percussionist.

He has performed on hundreds of records with his own groups and with some of the music's most luminary artists, and his trademark - biggest, fastest, explosive drumming - has energized the international stages of concerts, symphonies, big bands, Broadway, festivals, television and video. He has been a teacher of his artistry, giving drum clinics, conducting workshops and symposiums throughout the world. His stylistic influence, which has literally created a category of music, is an outstanding part of the history of modern music.

Since 1980 Billy Cobham has been dividing his time between his home in Zurich and the United States, underscoring his unique internationally influenced origins as a musician.

Widely recognized as a master conguero, a knowledgeable instructor and one of the most inspiring artists of all time, Francisco Aguabella has performed with Tito Puente, Dizzy Gillespie, Machito, Lalo Schifrin, Peggy Lee, Nancy Wilson, Carlos Santana, Paul Simon, Cachao and other music giants. He left Cuba in 1954 to perform in the Italian film, Mambo, starring Shelley Winters before emigrating to the United States three years later.

Following a long line of stellar Cuban drummers, including Chano Pozo, Candido and Mongo Santamaria, who made an indelible mark in America, Aguabella's music fuses traditional African and Latin rhythms with jazz and soul to create an electrifying and unforgettable sound.

At a typical workshop, the visiting artist performs for a bit, discusses the theory and technique in his performance, invites a member of the audience to play and offers feedback and help with style and execution. Throughout, he answers questions from workshop participants. Because of the access and interchange available in the sessions, students

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