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Horacio Hernandez at Modern Drummer Festival 1997
On May 17-18, 1997 Modern Drummer Magazine held its 10th Anniversary Festival Weekend, featuring performances and clinics by some of the world's top drummers. The selected highlights from that weekend are available on the Alfred Publishing"Highlights" video. Alfred has also (very wisely) released a series of videos dedicated to selected artists appearing that weekend (See the Related Links sidebar).
This week my review covers one of those videos, Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez at the Modern Drummer Festival. Throughout the video El Negro intersperses his performances (both solo and with special guest John Patitucci on bass) with a drum clinic, which covers his approach to drumming. Although you can learn much from this video alone, when combined with El Negro's book, Conversations in Clave, it provides you with detailed instructional material that will help you develop your own style of Afro-Cuban independence. For this reason, I suggest that you take a look at El Negro's book too.
El Negro explains how the clave comes from the rumba and, prior to the invention of the one-man drum set, it was originally played by three people on three separate percussion instruments. What we need to do, as drum set players, is to simulate those separate parts by playing the different instruments with our various limbs on different parts of the set. He also tells us that the clave is simply a melody and that we should work on creating a conversation with ourselves when attempting to play patterns against the clave.
The Bottom Line
Unfortunately, the above VHS Tape is no longer available but there are other alternatives that you will be sure to enjoy. Check them out in the sidebar.
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