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man playing bongo

The Clave: Performing Afro-Caribbean Jazz

​​​Course dates

July 15 to July 28, 2019

Application deadline


This course takes place on the Fresno State campus in Fresno, California.

Discover the history and guiding musical principles that make Afro-Caribbean music an irresistible combination of improvisation, dance rhythms, and expression in this performance-focused workshop with international master musicians and educators.

  • Experience daily rehearsals and masterclasses with world-class faculty and artists.
  • Learn to distinguish between and perform styles such as Son Montuno, Danzon, Mambo, Rumba, Cha Cha Cha, Guaguanco, Bomba, Plena, Timba, Cumbia, and more.
  • Take daily classes in the history of Afro-Caribbean music.
  • Take daily percussion classes (for non-percussionists, as well as advanced classes for experienced percussionists/drummers).
  • Perform in an ensemble on a public showcase concert.

Doug Beavers with a trombone  


Undergraduate: MUSIC 420, 3 units
Graduate/post-baccalaureate: MUSIC 620, 3 units




Jazz instrumentalists (drums, bass, piano, guitar, brass, woodwinds, and percussion) with improvisational experience and some sight reading skills, who are excited to explore the musical worlds of Cuba and Puerto Rico.


  1. Submit a letter of interest, detailing the three points listed below. Also prepare an audition video consisting of you playing and improvising on a jazz or Latin standard (Latin styles strongly encouraged, but not required), not to exceed 7 minutes. State your name at the beginning of the video. INCLUDE THE URL OF YOUR VIDEO ON YOUR LETTER OF INTENT.
      1. What instrument(s) you play.
      2. Why you are applying for this class, and what interests you about it.  
      3. Your previous experiences performing in a jazz ensemble setting and, if applicable, your previous experiences in performing Latin jazz.
  2. Submit/upload the materials listed in step one when you apply online by May 13, 2019.


Professor James (Jamie) Dubberly

Guest Artists

John Santos, percussion and historical/cultural perspectives –

Seven-time Grammy-nominated percussionist John Santos is one of the foremost bandleaders, composers, percussionists, and educators in Jazz and Afro-Latin music. He is known for his innovative use of traditional forms and instruments in combination with contemporary music, and has earned much respect and recognition as a prolific performer, composer, and teacher. He illuminates and illustrates the historical and evolving intersection of Jazz and traditional Afro-Latin music. Santos was founder and director of the Grammy-nominated Machete Ensemble, which released nine critically acclaimed CDs, and he currently directs The John Santos Sextet, which garnered a 4.5 star review in Downbeat Magazine. He is currently part of the faculty at San Francisco State University.

Doug Beavers, brass and arranging –

Multiple Grammy Award winner Doug Beavers has been hailed by critics and fellow musicians as a leading trombonist of his generation and “an arranger of the first-class” (JazzTimes). In 2002, Beavers was asked by Jazz Master Eddie Palmieri to transcribe and arrange the complete repertoire from Palmieri’s historic La Perfecta group of the 1960s. He won a Grammy with Palmieri for the album Listen Here, and just won again with the Spanish Harlem Orchestra at the 2019 ceremony. Beavers has performed, arranged, and recorded for Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Willie Colón, Mingus Big Band, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Paul Simon, and countless others. He currents leads a multi-faceted and active career touring, recording, producing, and engineering for top New York City and world artists. Always a strong advocate for music education, he teaches an extensive number of annual masterclasses and workshops in Mexico and Colombia, and at his studio in New York City with the New York Jazz Workshop.

Brian Andres, drums and percussion –

Percussionist Brian Andres has performed throughout the US with such artists as Faith Prince, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Leroy "Sugar" Bonner from The Ohio Players, and blues greats Sam Myers and Lonnie Mack. Andres’ interest in Latin music and culture brought him to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he has worked with numerous local Salsa, Afro-Cuban, Latin funk, Latin jazz, and Tex-Mex groups. Andres conducts clinics and lectures on the history and culture of the drum set and percussion in Afro-Cuban music. After spending his career as a sideman, learning and honing his craft, Brian stepped into the role as bandleader of the Afro-Cuban Jazz Cartel, which incorporates the rich harmonic and improvisational elements of jazz with irresistible rhythms from the Caribbean.

Ernesto Mazar Kindelán, bass

Upright bassist Ernesto Mazar Kindelán was born and raised in Santiago de Cuba, where he began to study music at eight years old. In 2004, Ernesto moved to Havana to attend the prestigious University Instituto Superior de Arte, where he graduated with a degree in Classical Double Bass. Since then, Ernesto has traveled the world performing in the Grammy nominated salsa and timba group David Calzado y su Charanga. He has recorded several albums, two of which have won Cubadisco’s Best in Latin Music Album and Most Popular Danceable Album awards.

Carlos Caro, percussion –

Percussionist and composer Carlos Caro was born in Havana, Cuba, where he was strongly drawn to Cuban music, and, in particular, to percussion. He began his professional musical career with the group Clave, where he experimented with using a third bongo head, or the "Tri-bongo." He has lived in the Bay Area since 1996 and has become a much sought-after percussionist, working with established Bay Area musicians such as Rebeca Mauleón, Anthony Blea y su Charanga, Jorge Santana, and Orquesta La Moderna Tradicion among many others. Caro has released two albums as composer of his own band, Vission Latina as well as an instructional CD featuring many acclaimed musicians.

Miguelito Martinez, flutist –

Composer, flutist, and producer Miguelito Martinez is a vital part of the San Francisco Bay Area's Latin music scene, where he plays salsa and Latin Jazz music. He is the founding director of Corazon Sur, a Mexican-Caribbean fusion ensemble, and co-director of Balamcoatl, a collaborative project focused on diffusing the rich music and dance traditions of the indigenous people of México. Martinez appeared on the Voces del Cambio show on the Discovery Channel and shared his insights on how to use music to integrate immigrant children into their new communities. He was named Best Latin Jazz Flautist of the Year by the Latin Jazz Corner. Martinez works as a music teacher and multicultural arts educator, and was the composer for the Youth in Arts productions Paper Princess and Photosynthesis the Musical, both supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the San Francisco Foundation.

Erick Peralta -

Pianist Erick Peralta is a versatile musician who uses his knowledge of tradition and history to inform the way he plays jazz, rock, latin jazz, and salsa music. Peralta has played alongside such musicians as Grammy winners Alejandro Sanz, Luis Enrique, and Susana Baca, among others, and has performed at the Latin Grammy Awards, the Fillmore, San Jose Jazz Festival, and the Beantown Jazz Festival. Peralta also composes and arranges jazz, pop, and latin music, and is currently working on a project featuring several original jazz compositions. A strong advocate for music education, Peralta teaches at the San Francisco Community Music Center.

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