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Welcome to the
November 1998 Email Newsletter

Just flew in from Orlando... (and boy, are El Negro's arms tired!) Another great PAS show hosted by legendary drummer Danny Gottlieb's new wife (and fellow drummer), Beth Radock-Gottlieb. Great show, Beth... and big congrats to Danny & Beth on their "gettin' hitched"! Booth 755 was definitely the place to be... Bill Saragosa's Epiphany Percussion was, once again, the talk of the show. (Check out his truly wild metal percussion instruments in the on-line drum shop on the website...)

For me, these shows are like family reunions... hanging' out til sunrise with your best buddies til sunrise. Watching Vinnie Colaiuta & Steve Smith attempting new licks in the hotel bar was definitely one of the highlights! The clinic and workshop line-up was spectacular! The Drum Circle jams each night were a must! Be sure to check out the photo gallery on the website for PAS mug shots...

While in Orlando, I was totally blown away by this Salsa band from Nashville... Chris and the Hearts! In fact, I have joined the band as back-up vocal! Vocals, drums, bongos, congas, maracas, claves, timbales, cowbells, dancers... Salsa remakes of "Don't Go Changin'", "Satin Doll", "War Pigs by Black Sabbath", "Ace of Spades by Motorhead", and an absolutely unbelievable Salsa medley of "Feelings" and "The Theme from The Love Boat"... This is a band you just gotta hear to believe.... Stay tuned for more details... website coming soon! (Chris, Julio, Mike, Efrain, Robby, Jair, "Yo" (Don)... email your "road stories"!)

And speaking of websites... I am designing websites for top drummers and percussionists. Be sure to check out the first... Walfredo Reyes, Jr. Coming soon... Jose Rossy and Dave Valentin...

http://www.walfredoreyesjr.com Walfredo Reyes Jr website

By the way... was at the recent VH-1 taping of the Janet Jackson Special at Madison Square Garden... Terry Santiel on percussion! WOW! Talk about an energy-player!

Don't want to forget... big thanks to Randy Crafton and Barry Bernstein for a GREAT weekend of drumming at Unity with a Beat at Camp Mariah. Babatunde Olatunji and Layne Redmond stopped by to give seminars... daily classes with Randy, Barry, Bob Bloom, Jimi and Morwen Two Feathers! Amazing drumming under the stars around a huuuuge campfire! What more could a city-gal want! Be sure to check the website itinerary for upcoming retreats from these guys... they are a great way to spend a weekend!

El Negro stopped just long enough to give me photos from his "Summer Vacation" with Tito and Steve Winwood... (check out the photo gallery on the website!) He was last seen right after his amazing 3 drumkit clinic at PAS... heading to San Francisco to do some gigs with David Sanchez...

Til next time,

Pam and (the spirit of) El Negro

PS... The factories of Caribbean Rhythms were heavily damaged in Hurricane Georges. Caribbean Rhythms is a cooperative effort between Caribbean Rhythms, Inc (the US distributor) and the artisans of the Domenican Republic. Due to the heavy damage done by the hurricane, this cooperative effort is in real danger. If you would like to help, please contact Eric Litman 504-895-1589 (PO Box 15861, New Orleans, LA 70175)

Volume 2 Issue 11 November 1998

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Welcome to the
September 1998 Email Newsletter

Yep, it's that time again! Another of my rambling newsletters! El Negro finally surfaced from his busy touring schedule... he has spent the summer touring Europe with Steve Winwood and Tito Puente! He had a blast and brought LOTS of photos... which I have not yet had time to scan... sorry!!! They are coming soon... promise! He was home for about a minute... then off to Israel with Steve Turre. No moss on that boy! By the way... be sure to catch his clinic at the upcoming PAS in November in Orlando, FL... it's gonna be a good one! (Partial PAS schedule is on the Artist News, Upcoming Shows & Clinics section of the website).

And speaking of websites!! Yep... I've been at it again! The Conundrum Music website now has a real home... www.DrumsOnTheWeb.com! Includes our On-line store of usual and unusual percussion products from around the world. I have most of the products... with photos!... up and ready to be delivered to your door. The rest are coming on a regular basis. If you don't see what you want... just email for price and availability. A full shopping cart program and search engine to help you find exactly what you want is in beta testing... will be ready very soon.

Be sure to check out the newest Drummers Centerfold - Legend to Legend Your favorite artists get the inside beat on some of their favorite artists! This month, Dony Wynn (Brooks & Dunn, Robert Palmer, and more) gets waaaaay inside Patti LaBelle percussionist and fellow malongo brother Jose' Rossy!

Haven't had time to get a new On-line Lesson up yet... Don't know about you, but I'm still practicing on Frank Colon's Berimbau lesson, Robby Ameen and El Negro's Funky Latin Grooves lesson and El Negro's lesson on Left Foot Clave! Missed one? Don't worry, these lessons are included in the new site.

Lots of new Product Spotlights, too - Al Bouchard talks about his Pete Engelhart Reco Reco... Chuck Silverman on his Gibraltar 4 Mount and Zildjian Trash Hats... Shawn Pelton on his Epiphany Clam Shell and Harmony Rattle, and Kim Atkinson tells about his Mozambique videos. The archival ones from Dave Abbruzzese on his Sabian China Kang cymbal... Bashiri Johnson on his cd sample of percussion sounds... and El Negro's on the Gibraltar Cowbell / Bass Drum Pedal Mount are also on the new site.

In bad need of a Drum Circle fix? Check out the list of Drum Circles from Around the World! And, don't miss Roger Squitero's article "Go For The Trance"... in the Drum Circle section of the site!

By the way... Conundrum Music is the "official store" for Unity with a Beat Drumming For Wellness Weekend Retreat, October 16-18. Facilitated by Barry Bernstein, Randy Crafton, Bob Bloom, Jimi & Morwen Two Feather of Earth Drum Council... with special guests Babatunde Olatunji, Layne Redmond, Tommy Brunjes, and Nadine Fiume. For more info, email CraftonR@aol.com

I want to congratulate my cousin Katie... this year, she is Drum Captain for her North Carolina high school marching band! Guess she comes by it naturally... both her father and uncle played drums for many years (although we did find out at a recent family reunion that, although the Gore family has the rhythm section down... the melody section is definitely lacking! heheheee!)

I also want to take a second and thank all of you who have given me help, input, and support on the birth and growth of this website. Your comments and suggestions (both good and bad!) have been greatly appreciated! Let me know what you want to see here. What type of products in the on-line store, on-line lessons, product spotlights, interviews, etc? You ask... I'll do my best to get it!

Enough rambling for this month.

Til next month,

Pam & (the spirit of) El Negro

Volume 2 Issue 9 September 1998

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Welcome to the
June 1998 Email Newsletter

It's really summer now! Tonite, my djembe and I hop in the jeep and head for the Outer Beaches of North Carolina... a week of much needed fun and sun! (Don't worry, Diane will be here to answer your emails / phone calls and ship your instruments!) The price of fame has come to El Negro, though... while I am annoying all the seagulls with my djembe, he will be locked in his practice room getting ready for his upcoming tour with Latin Crossings - El Negro with Tito Puente and Steve Winwood!

I feel for him, really I do! ;-)

(Sorry, can't print his musings this month... but just imagine little sleep and lots of woodshedding! He'll be back next month with lots of stories from the road.)

Check out the website for Latin Crossings' itinerary. No US dates... yet (But I'm hoping they add some... I want to see the show!). But, if you are in Europe or Canada, be sure to check them out! Sounds like a great lineup! Speaking of cool tours... check out the itinerary for Kenny Aronoff and Smashing Pumpkins. For several shows, they are donating 100% of ticket sales to local charities. My sincere compliments to you guys! Great idea!

Also on the website this month, you will find several new Product Spotlights. Shawn Pelton talks about the shakers he has been using with Shawn Colvin and others..., Chuck Silverman talks about his favorite cymbals (Zildjian Trash Hats) and how he mounts all his cool trinkets around the kit..., and Kim Atkinson talks about his new Mozambique videos. Roger Squitero tells you how to "Go For The Trance" in the Drum Circle section.

Please note that the on-line ordering pages of the website are still being very cranky right now... to receive your 100 page Conundrum Music catalog, or to order any of the usual and unusual products... just send the info by email. I'll have it fixed soon... promise! Hopefully by the time you get the next newsletter, the new shopping cart program (with photos of all the products and soundbytes of selected ones) will be up and running! Finally a safe, secure and easy way to order your usual and unusual drums and percussion!

'til next month,

Pam and (the spirit of) El Negro

PS If you plan to be at NAMM, Nashville, next month... let me know. Looks like we will be sharing boothspace with Percussive Innovations (manufacturers of a really great Conga Practice Pad that you will be hearing more about very soon!)

Volume 2 Issue 6 June 1998

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Welcome to the
May 1998 Email Newsletter

Just back from Modern Drummer's 11th Festival Weekend! WOW, what a show! Saturday started out with Danny Carey of Tool (definitely check out their newest release AEnima... this guy brings a "thinking drummer's" approach to contemporary rock!) Next up was one of the most successful drummer/bandleaders in the jazz field - Jeff Hamilton. Then second year in a row MD Reader's Poll winner for Electric Jazz, Will Kennedy (and fellow Yellow Jackets Russell Ferrante and Jimmy Haslip) got us all funked up! A perfect wrap to Saturday - Rod Morgenstein with keyboard phenomenon Jordan Rudess blew us away with a sampling from their new duo project, Rudess Morgenstein Project!

Overheard at the show... "How does one man, holding one small drum and playing it with his hands, manage to create so much music?" Yep, he was talking about frame drum extraordinaire Glen Velez! Next up was Jojo Mayer... not familiar with the name? In-demand session player for Mike Stern, Steve Coleman, Jonas Hellborg, Hiram Bullock, Me'Shell Ndegeocello and more. (He plays around NYC quite a bit also, so if in town... check him out!) Then... Eddie Bayers! What can I say... this guy groooooves! Overheard at the show when Terry Bozzio's kit was unveiled... "Man!!! I'd hate to be his tech!" Percussion that spans 16 feet, including dozens of drums and cymbals, with 11 pedals to operate it! I have seen Terry's solo drum performance several times... and am always blown away! It just gets better each time! And just when you think it can't get any better than this...the show's finale of Dave Weckl and the Dave Weckl Band starts up! Dave and I have been friends for many years now... and I've never heard him sound better! Can't wait for their newest recording, Rhythm of The Soul, out soon!

Then, off to the infamous After-Show banquet. The comraderie, fun and stories just never ended with this crowd! Be sure to check out the Photo Gallery Section of the website for some mug shots of Danny, Will, Jojo, Terry, Dave, Freddie Grueber, Joe Franco, and Joe Morello!

Speaking of the website... don't miss Frank Colon's (of Manhattan Transfer) Informal Lesson this month... How to Play Berimbau!

What? You don't have a berimbau? Just check out the Usual and Unusual Products pages... you'll find everything from ashikos and berimbaus to Zildjian cymbals and zydeco rub boards. And, be sure to check out the Artist News section on the Upcoming Shows and Artist News page to see what Kenny Aronoff, Joe Smyth and Frank Colon have been up to!

Well... off to practice all the new licks I copped at the Festival...

'til next month,

Pam and El Negro

(Please note that the on-line ordering pages of the website are being very cranky right now... to receive your 100 page Conundrum Music catalog, or to order any of the usual and unusual products... just send the info by email. I'll have it fixed soon... promise!)

Volume 2 Issue 5 May 1998

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Welcome to the
April 1998 Email Newsletter

It's finally Spring! After a really loooong winter, it's now time to grab your drums and celebrate! My own Djembe and Ciccada shakers had a great workout over the weekend, hanging out in Greenwich Village's Washington Square Park. I highly recommend finding a nice shady tree and serenading all your neighbors!

Bill Saragosa (hand crafter of that great Epiphany Percussion) and I are just back from the NJ Music Therapy Convention in Cherry Hill. It was great to see so many old friends... and make a lot of new ones. Ya'll are my heroes! It is really a heart-warming experience to hear how percussion touches so many of your client's lives. (And Thanks to you presenters at the conference who used Epiphany Percussion pieces in your presentations! Coming soon in the Music Therapy section of the website - informative articles written by some of these presenters, including Gloria Isaacks, Chillin' At The Improv: Improvisational Techniques for Use With Adolescents Diagnosed With Emotional Disorders). Barry Bernstein's Drum Circle was a blast! 200+ djembes, frame drums, paddle drums, tambourines, shakers, guiros, and maracas! And together... most of the time, anyway! (Don't worry, unfortunately my camera was on strike... so no incriminating photos!) And what can I say about the "Cabaret" show? Mark and Camille of Earth Rhythms did a great job portraying the "Earthiness" of Fall on Djembe and the "Water" of Winter with Remo's Ocean Drum! The "Air" of Spring was masterfully presented using Coyote Moon's Tongue Drums! And Bill Saragosa was definitely the right choice for the "Fire" of Summer! Sounded great, guys! Tour begins... when?

Caught a KILLIN' Blues show over the weekend... Bobby "Blue" Bland (with his son Rod Bland on drums) and BB King (with Tony Coleman and Caleb Emphrey on kit) at The Apollo! What a trip! The Apollo is a majestic old theatre... and a REALLY tough audience! But these guys sounded great! If you get a chance to see 'em, Do It! This is definitely Blues the way it's supposed to be!

Hope everyone received their postcard in the snail mail last month. (If not, be sure to email your address to Conundrum@aol.com) Remember... order $50 or more of our usual and unusual percussion instruments of the world before April 30, 1998 and El Negro and I will put in an extra pair of drumsticks... FREE! Order by phone, fax, mail, or directly on the new web site! Our choice of drumsticks. Let us surprise you! You'll be pleased!

El Negro's Musings

I have been REALLY busy lately! Traveling all over the US, racking up those frequent flyer miles... just hope I get a chance to use them for a vacation soon! I hope you had a chance to catch one of my many clinics. I really love doing clinics. Playing, getting to talk to so many of you... and hanging out with my friends! Take a look at the newest Photo Gallery on the web site. You'll see snapshots from my clinic at Columbus Percussion Day - me, Elvin, Stephen Perkins, Tommy Igoe... what a day! And some really funny shots from my latest recording with Kip Hanraham! (Pam says we were having WAY too much fun... but the recording came out great!)

How's your left foot clave coming? Ready for my next Informal Lesson? Robby Ameen and I have put together a fun lesson this time... using your left foot / latin beats in funky rock bands! Let me know how you like it!

New products have been added to the catalog pages and the new products page. And new stuff added each week, so be sure to put us in your "Favorite Places" and check back often.

Well, I'm off to Nashville for more clinics. If you live close, come on by and say "Hi!".

'til next month,

Pam and El Negro

Be sure to check out the new stuff on the web site! And get your orders in before April 30 to receive your FREE! pair of sticks.

Volume 2 Issue 4 April 1998

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Welcome to the
February 1998 Email Newsletter

This month will be a REALLY short one! El Negro is on the road right now, doing several drum clinics. His review of the NAMM show will be in the March issue of the newsletter. And since returning from NAMM, I have been going crazy redoing the email newsletter address list (ya gotta love computers! grrrr!!) and getting the initial web pages up and going! You will find product reviews by El Negro and Dave Abbruzzese, a really wild interview with Robby Ameen, some great photos, an informal lesson from El Negro on "Left Foot Clave" and more stuff going up all the time! Let me know what you want to see here! And email me with any cool links that you think we should add.

Be sure to check out the new web pages!

Just click on the direct link Conundrum Music, Inc

or type http://members.aol.com/conundrum

'til next month,

Pam and El Negro

Volume 2 Issue 2 February 1998

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Welcome to the
December '97 email Newsletter

Wow! This has been a REALLY busy time for us here at Conundrum Music! After returning from the PAS (Percussive Arts Society) show in California, the tape and cardboard has been FLYING to fill all the holiday orders! Many thanks to all who included their Buddy Lists with their orders! Your buddies will be receiving their Conundrum Music catalogs very soon.

It was great to see so many of our old friends at PAS... and make lots of new friends! The booth, (I say quite humbly, of course), looked great... overflowing with Epiphany metal percussion hanging everywhere! We appreciate the many compliments (and sales) we received from you guys! Several prototype Epiphany products were shown...and the feedback received was amazing! The new Tributary (similar to the Single Spiral (pg 6 of the catalog) Conflux liquid-filled piece, with a triangle instead of the spiral) was a BIG hit! Only $95! Check out El Negro's Musings From PAS, below, for some of the artists who now have the Tributary in their bag of tricks. And be sure to check out their upcoming works... you'll hear some amazing new sounds!

Happy Holidays and a Merry New Year,

Pam Gore & Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez

Musings From PAS

by El Negro Hernandez

I love PAS! A convention for drummers and percussionists...put on by drummers and percussionists! Amazing clinics... lots of new products!

Arrived Wed...took the shuttle to Disneyland Hotel, Anaheim, CA... waited in line with a lot of my old friends to get my badge/credentials. Pam, Bill Saragosa (from Epiphany Percussion) and I then set up the Conundrum booth. Looks great! But, I'm tired. Ready for some food and drink! Hung out with Mickey Mouse! (Hey, it's Disney Land!)

Thurs - Saw Chad Smith's clinic - "The essence of the Chili Peppers" Chad is very funny! His little baby was there (studying all Dad's chops?) The Conundrum Music booth was very busy today! Arthur Hull stopped by and bought one of the new Tributary Conflux pieces. Kalani came by to pick up some pieces (Spiral Bell Twist, Oshun's Charm, Cone Maw, and Spring Peeper) for his clinic on Saturday. Then off to the bar and hung with Ndugu, Dean Anderson (from Berklee College of Music), Steve Smith, Tom Brechtlein, Alex Acuna, Richie Gajate Garcia, Victor Mendoza, Chad Smith, and all the manufacturers reps. Hooked up with Armando Peraza at Peter Erskine's concert that night. Beautiful conversation til 3 in the morning!

Fri - After Armando sent me to bed at 3 in the morning, I did NOT want to wake up...but knew I wasn't going to miss a minute of today! I went to see Peter's (Erskine) clinic. It's always amazing to see his elegance and finesse and swing and everything else. And his performance... he plays like velvet, it sounds that fine. And of course, that same finesse was happening every night at the concert.

Then I went to see Ralph Humphrey's clinic. And he was with a big maestro, he was basing his clinics on odd-time signatures / rhythms and it was amazing to see how good he can bring that to the audience. How much experience he has!

The Conundrum booth was packed today! I hope we brought enough of the Epiphany products and catalogs to get through tomorrow! Alan Vaurin picked out a few pieces today (2 Oshun's Charms and a Clam Shell). Billy Hulting came by with his latest scuba stories and took home a couple Oshun's Charms, 2 Spring Peepers, and a Kissing Fish. His buddy Ray McNamara bought a Harmony Rattle and Clam Shell.

Next, the Santana Percussionists' clinic (Armando Peraza, Karl Perazzo, and Raul Rekow). Ndugu Chancellor (Santana drummer alumni) told me "This year they did the 2 generations of Santana percussionists... next year, they will do the 10 generations of Santana drummers!" And what can you say about Armando? He is a Genius! And in his 80's he is still a genius! He and Karl and Raul gave a great performance.

After that, we went back to the bar. Stopped by the Sabian party to see all the Sabian artists. FREE food! Then on to the Zildjian party. And that was a special night because that was Lenny DiMuzzio and Steve Houghton's party. They got a lifetime achievement award from PAS. And everybody was at that party! Smitty Smith, Steve Smith, I don't know, there were so many! All the drummers that play Zildjian were there. It was a "Toast", tons of funny stories about Lenny and Steve.

Then on to the Remo party. Micky Hart gave us (Tal Bergman, Paulo Mattioli, Janelle Burdnick, Pam, Bill Saragosa, and me) a lesson of world drumming and his philosophy of good rhythm and bad rhythm. When life is good, that is good rhythm, when you are sick or things aren't going right, that is bad rhythm! Then Alesandra Belloni came down with her new Remo tambourines. And we jammed! til 5 minutes before Micky had to catch his plane back to finish his mixing of the new Planet Drum record. (Hope he made his plane!) Then off to dinner with the Remo guys. Then I went to take my "every night lesson"... I went to see Peter Erskine.

Sat. - The final day! I went to see Trilock Gurtu, which I feel was the best clinic. The best performance at PAS! And Trilock was amazing! He played 1 hour free solo (Someone asked him if that was a free solo and he replied "Nooo, I am getting paid for it!") Big photo shoot for Shure mics that soon you will see around with Trilock, Dave Weckl, Simon Phillips, Peter Erskine, Rod Morgenstein, Ndugu, and me. And then I passed by Terry Lynn Carrington's clinic. She is definitely the best example that women CAN do it! Kalani's clinic (using some of the Epiphany metal pieces) was fun. After that Chad Wackerman played with Alan Holdsworth. Then Simon Phillips performed his clinic. All of them were great! Then Pancho Sanchez made the drummers dance!

I could hardly fit into the Conundrum booth today! Emil Richards had seen the Tributary that Arthur Hull bought earlier and just had to have one! He also got one of the Jabiroo Spooners. Can't wait to hear what he does with these! Then Edgardo Cambon found the perfect Berimbanger! Next came Evelyn Glennie, who loved EVERYTHING...and took home a Spiral Bell Twist, Oshun's Charm, Spring Peeper, and Harmony Rattle. (She will be using these in her concert at Lincoln Center in NY on January 31). Vanessa Brown stopped by and picked out 2 Harmony Rattles. Then Terry Santiel fell in love with a Harmony Rattle and an Oshun's Charm! Then Trilock Gurtu ran in right at the end and had to have a Tributary piece! We were sold out, but will ship it as soon as we get back to NY. What an amazing array of players in every type of music! I can't wait to hear their next projects!

And PAS had a great ending when Giovanni Hidalgo joined Peter's trio for a memorable night. And by the way, Dave Weckl and myself were invited to sit in on Peter's cocktail drums, by Yamaha. Weird stuff, but fun! It was Gio's birthday..there was a big birthday cake and Dean Anderson gave him a signed Cone Maw, we gave him 5 Harmony Rattles, Gio's manager, Ricardo, gave him a 3 headed "conga" drum made from one tree...took 1 year to make!

I can't believe it's over! It goes so fast. So much new stuff and so many new ideas to work on and practice! I can hardly wait for next year's PAS in Orlando, FL!

Be sure to come by and check out my upcoming concerts with Steve Turre in Ny and then McCoy Tyner in San Francisco... But I definitely need a vacation first! Maybe Key West...oysters, sleep on the beach...zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Vol. 1 Issue 2 Dec 1997

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Welcome to the
November '97 email newsletter

Wow! The newest Conundrum Music, Inc. catalog is finally in the mail (snail mail, that is! Check your other mailbox) And I must (quite humbly, of course) say that it looks great! Filled with super deals on drum and percussion instruments from around the world... from Afeena Akoma to Zildjian, if it's not in here...email me and tell me about it! Be sure to check out the Buddy List program on the back cover and save an extra 5% on your next order!

This month's newsletter will have to be very short. El Negro's home for a few days (after an exhausting, but really sensational tour as drummer with Santana, several clinics and jazz festivals) and we are now preparing for next week's Percussive Arts Society (PAS) trade show in Anaheim, CA. If you are planning to attend PAS, be sure to stop by and say "hi" to El Negro and I - Booth 823! Bill Saragosa (the wacky artist who creates Epiphany Percussion - those great metal percussive sculptures you saw in the Sept '97 issue of Modern Drummer) will also be there to demonstrate his instruments. And don't miss Kalani's clinic (2 pm, Saturday). Kalani will be using several of the Epiphany Percussion items in his clinic!

Next month's issue will include articles and interviews from the artists at PAS, info on the upcoming web pages, on-line artist chats, clinic and concert dates of Epiphany endorsers, etc. Let us know what you want to see here!


Pam Gore & Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez
President Vice President

Vol. 1 Issue 1 Nov 1997

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