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The Rhythmic Arts Benefit at The Los Angeles Music Academy


The Rhythmic Arts Benefit at The Los Angeles Music Academy, 12/8/02 was indeed successful. This was our third annual concert at LAMA and each year seems to get better. One might call it drummer’s paradise and rightfully so with the caliber of players who performed Sunday night but, the onus was definitely on the kids. The night opened with The High Spirit Dancers in a routine choreographed by Linnet Adams. CG Ryche, Chalo, Carlos Lopez and Jorge Bermudez backed the kids in a dance circle that rocked the courtyard; no one stood still, kids and audience alike.

Airto once again set the tone for the night with his rhythmic blessing, a flawless display of percussion, chanting and song.

The Y-Spirit drummers followed with their rendition of Bo Didley backed by Steve Fister with Ralph Humphrey, Alberto Albis, Alan Cornett, and Debra Dobkin.

The kids are a hard act to follow but Walfredo De Los Reyes Sr. rose to the occasion with his quartet including Raul Pineda and Gustavo Ramirez. Walf never lets us down, the music was Cuban Magic.

Drum Talk this year featured Mike Shapiro, Ralph Humphrey, Joe Porcaro, CG Ryche, Richie Gajate Garcia, Todd Sucherman, Alan Cornett and Ronnie Gutierrez. Another stunning conversation.

My hero’s, Ronnie Gutierrez and his Dad Mike Gutierrez along with Hussain Jiffry and Jay Minor put the sauce in the Salsa and everyone in the audience were dancing in their seats.

I must say the next act was the reason we do this and they were Trieana, Dion, Franco, Meagan, Vinnie and me! In our classes one of the only things that actually resembles a drum circle is a fun give and take sharing and trading solos with the kids. Vinnie started a groove and the kids and I fell in. Everyone had a smile from ear to ear and a good time was had by all. The kids were brilliant … Oh Yeah, Vinnie was cool too!

Vinnie Colaiuta was then joined by Jeff Richman and Hussain Jiffry. They were impressive and soulful. It was totally enjoyable.

Mike Shapiro played with his pals from Sergio Mendez’s band and Hussain Jiffry. He told me it would be a mellow couple of tunes, he was full of baloney! It smoked. I think the last time Shapiro was mellow was in his sleep, maybe not.

Next, Trieana Moon and her international band with special guest Meagan Finn. Trieana and the guys brought the house down once again and Meagan sang wonderfully. Trieana has just finished her own CD that will be available in January at www.traponline.com. Meagan is in preproduction at this time for her CD which we will hopefully begin recording in the New Year. Gifted Records is part of the TRAP program, a label that offers professional recording to folks with disabilities.

Last, but not least, Steve Fister and his trio with Marco Mendoza and Todd Sucherman rocked and rolled the performance hall at LAMA into a standing ovation. The playing was as fast and furious as it was astonishing.

Another exceptional night, we all look forward to doing it again in the spring in Santa Barbara. Stay tuned to www.traponline.com for progress and upcoming events.

Yours respectfully,
Eddie Tuduri

click here for photos of this great nite of drumming!

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