Testimonial from Kirby

Drums and percussion has been massive in my life since 1991, I have studied West African music along with my own explorative playing. I have been teaching drumming also since the mid nineties. The Roots of Cuba course came strongly recommended to me from other percussionists, who I could see were benefiting from it beyond measure. I attended a weekend course in Bembe music and then signed up for the full ROC course in 2003. Through total inspiration and obsession, I then attended regular classes in London learning the Oru Cantado.

I enjoyed absolutely everything about the course, the venue and food were great, with beautiful grounds, warm beds and plenty of regular sustenance. The general format and way that the course was laid out was really well thought out and having approximately 3 months in between each module seemed perfect. The content of the course was huge and invaluable, beyond measure, and the way that Ravin the tutor imparted the knowledge and music was in a way that I had never experienced before. The trickiest of rhythms were delivered with total clarity and passion along with an understanding of the deep spirit and respect for their historical origin.

Ravin has the unique ability to be able to bridge the gap between the Afro-Cuban hands and the Western minds. He also has the capability to create the warm, encouraging, non-judgemental, light hearted, yet concentrated environment in the classroom. The vibe was one of ultimate progression, togetherness and lots of fun.

My own personal journey throughout the course was one that will stay with me for life. I grew so much as a percussionist, as a teacher and as a person. My hands learnt to play with a different technique, (congas, bata, cajons) I developed depth of understanding of various bell patterns and how so much music fits together, I felt like I got to the root of all music!

I also learnt so much from Ravin about how to teach and deliver with such precision and attention to detail, and learning some of the religious and spiritual significance of this particular music, I felt a deeper understanding of the ancient travel of these rhythms and bell patterns, which could then come across in my teaching. My confidence in performing as well as my knowledge has also shot through the roof since the course and I will take it with me for always.

This is a course I recommend to all percussionists, no matter what their background, as it adds such huge strings to your bow, and once you’ve been through the course, all rhythmical learning will be easier. There is no other course like this in the UK and all those interested in the drum, should find out about it as part of their musical rites of passage.

I give eternal thanks for the huge gifts and life changing growth this course offered me.
Kirby, Bristol

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