Review: Holiday percussion workshop in Sicily

Content: Samba Fusion – new grooves for the Bateria
Dates: 6th – 13th January 2007
Tutor: Ravin ‘Raz’ Jayasuriya
students performing on last night
Workshop Background:
Following the success of similar Spring time workshops held in Tuscany over the last two years, Artemisia Holidays invited Raz to present a Winter workshop in Sicily this year. A total of ten participants, from England, Wales and Scotland took part.

The workshop focussed on Raz’s fusion grooves that bring together elements from Brazilian and Cuban rhythms, transferring lines on to Bateria instruments to create new, exciting music.
bell and tamborim on 6/8 groove
Tutor summary:
The workshop was a great success. The mixture of study and free time worked very well. Each day the group decided when they’d like to have their four hour study session. This flexibility allowed participants to plan their free time accordingly.

It was a mixed ability group with most having experience playing in a local community group back home. Everyone worked hard and gave full concentration during the study sessions and we were able to complete three fairly complex grooves with breaks and solo sections.

The venue was near perfect providing us with great food, accommodation and a study space. Within twenty minutes drive, we could be half way up mount Etna enjoying sledging in the snow! Outdoor performance
People were encouraged to play a different instrument on each groove so it was also an opportunity for some to learn a new one. The music reflected some of the common African roots in Cuban and Brazilian music and the three pieces that we worked on referred to Yoruban Gods and Goddesses, Olokun (ocean), Yemaya (sea, mother) & Ochun (sweet water, love).
Learning Timba pattern
We worked with Surdos, Repiniques, Snares, Timbas, Tamborims and Agogo bells.

General guidance and tips for improving sound, conserving energy and building up stamina.

Below are a selection of photos from the time we spent in Sicily. Deciding what to do during the free time around the study sessions wasn’t always easy as we were spoilt for choice. Place mouse over images to read the captions.
Perfect for sleeping, eating, drumming
preparing drums for the workshop

Quick massage in between rehearsals Workshop session

A walk on the beach Cactus

Bar Vitelli as seen on Godfather part 1
Smoking Mount Etna covered in snow
Learning to ski

Sledging on day off
A great meal

Another great meal
completely full

The students with Mt Etna in the background

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