Official Press Release:
The renowned KoSA International Percussion Workshop and Drum Camp celebrated its 23rd edition in Montréal, Québec Canada this past June at KoSA’s year-round music school: the KoSA Academy. KoSA’s Co-Founders and Directors, Aldo Mazza and his musician wife Dr. Jolán Kovács hosted a jam-packed room of eager participants who came from different parts of Canada and the United States to attend this uniquely inspiring and intense event.
KoSA prides itself in offering a total percussion immersion (40 hours of drumming in 5 days!) in a variety of world percussion instruments (congas, bongos, djembes, cajon, drumset) and a variety of styles (Cuban, African, jazz, funk, rock). This year’s theme: “Play Better” was a fitting message about taking control in your life by studying with the top masters and applying what you are learning in achieving the ultimate goal of playing better and improving one’s self. The students this year ranged in age from 11-67 and had a diverse level of ability from merely one year of training, to advanced professionals, and yet despite these marked differences, an intense bond and camaraderie was immediately formed as of the first day.
The week kicked off with a very informative clinic on drumset techniques by Montreal jazz musician and Concordia professor Jim Doxas who was accompanied by his talented bass player Adrian Vedady. Yves Cypihot who teaches at the KoSA Academy’s year-round music school shared his expertise in African drumming and gave a highly energetic class to all on African djembe techniques. Tuesday evening, participants had a lively discussion via skype with the multi- talented Joe Bergamini live from his studio in New Jersey. Joe talked about the Sabian Education Network (SEN) and he covered the topic of drumming in broadway shows, explaining the process of performing, and preparing to play in the broadway world according to his vast experience. The week continued with the legendary Cuban group Clave Y Guaguancó (the famed group that was formed in Havana, Cuba nearly 50 years ago) and participants were transported straight into the Cuban culture of songs and rhythms . Aldo Mazza’s classes in Cuban techniques promoted his own recent book on “Cuban Rhythms for Percussion & Drumset: The Essentials” and he wowed his captive audience as he performed on his unique hybrid drumset. This hybrid performance practice mixes African drumming, Cuban drumming, hand percussion of all types, electronic percussion and looping live in performance.
On Thursday, the KoSA camp was graced with the presence of Larnell Lewis of the Grammy-award fusion group Snarky Puppy. Larnell spoke straight from his heart about his beginnings in music and what it takes to make it in the music world. He was very touched to receive from KoSA a Lifetime Achievement Award for “his creative and innovative drumming concepts and techniques.” All participants received a complimentary ticket from KoSA as part of their tuition to see Snarky Puppy and Larnell at the Montreal Jazz Festival that evening and were simply blown away with the mastery of the group!
The week continued with the incomparable Glen Velez who taught Arabic frame drum techniques (this was his 23rd appearance teaching at KoSA) and hypnotized everyone with his interactive vocalization and Central Asian overtone singing. First time KoSA Faculty member, Emmanuelle Caplette also shared her mega talent at KoSA on Friday morning putting participants through a grueling regiment of drumset techniques stemming from her own background in the drum corp world. The participants then showcased their own passion for drumming on Friday afternoon. There were many memorable performances including various trios featuring participants on drumset accompanied by KoSA’s talented rhythm section: Juan Carmona from Cuba on bass and the immensely talented Montreal artist who also is on faculty at the KoSA Academy: Yoel Diaz.
On the last day, long-time KoSA alumnus Faculty member Sergio Bellotti, spoke to participants about the importance of music education and gave an extremely inspiring clinic on musical application of the rudiments on the drumset . Following this presentation, Sergio was joined in a round-panel discussion alongside Jim West (founder of Justin Time Records), Mark Guiliana (drummer for the late David Bowie), and Aldo Mazza in a vivid discussion of “Success in the Music Business World”. The day and the camp wrapped up with Mark Guiliana who was invited for the second time as a member of the KoSA Faculty but who was also a KoSA participant for two years in a row when he was merely 16 and 17 years of age. A fun fact and sheer inspiration for the current 16 year old participants to know!
Graciously sponsored by : Ludwig/Musser, Sabian, Evans, Yamaha, Promark, Gretsch, Vic Firth, Alfred, Zildjian , and Sonor. The KoSA world is continuously in expansion with programs not only in Canada, the USA but also in Cuba ,Europe and in China. For more information on all things KoSA, visit us at www.kosamusic.com and at facebook.com/kosamusic -30-