It’s definitely not your average day in Southern Maryland when one can attend a Latin Percussion Clinic with Cuban musician Barbaro Crespo aka “Machito”, broadcasting live from Poland, and accompanied by in-person instruction from renowned artist Pedro Albuerne (also originally from Cuba) and Sheila Klotz from Southern Maryland!

Quite the international blend of talent, the three amazing maestros were joined by nineteen drum students of a wide range of ages and skill levels for a jam-packed afternoon of learning new techniques and having tons of fun in the process.

Machito launched the workshop with a set of skilled demos followed by an immersion into colorful lessons painted richly with rumba, rudiments, polyrhythms, and the fascinating history behind the originations of Afro-Cuban music.

Mr. Albuerne provided seamless language translation from Spanish to English for the students and followed up with the continuation of Machito’s teachings once the hour-long initial virtual session ended.

The Latin Percussion Clinic was hosted at King’s Christian Academy and open to the public, although registration closed almost as quickly as it opened. Event organizer Klotz stated that she kept the numbers capped at a level where students could comfortably learn in a group setting yet still receive individual attention as needed.

Attendees took away valuable tools including advice on proper posture and hand positioning, striking techniques, and learning how to play the many different percussion pieces including congas big and small, bongos, djembe, timbales, claves, cabasa, bells, the guiro, shekere, and a wide range of other intriguing instruments.

A bit about the artists:

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

Mr. Pedro Albuerne has over 35 years of experience as a percussionist having played extensively in the Los Angeles area at various signature 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 with family and friends, including his grandson who is a private drum lesson student of Sheila.

Army Band Commander (Retired) Chief Warrant Officer Sheila M. Klotz began her music career at just ten years old when she picked up a pair of drumsticks and hasn’t set them down since! Under Sheila’s guidance, the 257th Army National Guard Band played to audiences numbering in the tens of thousands. Klotz’s time in the military afforded her countless performance, conducting, and lecture opportunities throughout the nation and also abroad. Sheila has been recognized as the “Hit Like a Girl (HLAG) Drum Set Champion” in 2020 and has served as a judge for international HLAG competitions for 2021 and 2022.

Klotz has brought the beat to her community on a local level since her move to the Southern Maryland area in 2016. She continues to share her wealth of knowledge and skills through free community clinics and workshops, the First Friday audience participation Drum Circles in Leonardtown, showcases and competitions, group and private lessons, as well as at other special events.

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

Klotz recently formed the SoMar Drummers which is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated “to propelling the percussive arts in the DMV”. The SoMar Drummers will be at the upcoming Lexington Park Cherry Blossom Festival on March 26th hosting an Audience Participation Drum Circle and also in downtown Leonardtown on April 30th for a Drum Set Showcase.

For more about the SoMar Drummers, to view their calendar of upcoming events, and to register for classes/ workshops/ camps visit:

To learn more about world-famous musician/ percussionist/ composer Barbara Yordany Crespo Richard aka Machito visit:

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