Markus Schwartz

Markus Schwartz / Haitian Drums

We All Break in Argentina

Just returned from a beautiful whirlwind of a trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, with Ches Smith's We All Break.  Man, I love playing with this band! And, we performed at an incredible venue, Centro Cultural Kirchner, one of the largest cultural centers in the world.  

  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirchner_Cultural_Centre   The 9 floor centre has a concert hall; 5 other auditoriums for theater and concerts; 18 halls for poetry readings, performance art, and other events; 40 rooms of art and history galleries totaling 15,000 square meters on 6 floors; 16 rehearsal rooms; and 2 rooftop terraces

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirchner_Cultural_Centre  The 9 floor centre has a concert hall; 5 other auditoriums for theater and concerts; 18 halls for poetry readings, performance art, and other events; 40 rooms of art and history galleries totaling 15,000 square meters on 6 floors; 16 rehearsal rooms; and 2 rooftop terraces

The Sala Sinfonica is an incredible main concert hall at the facility, and is absolutely gorgeous, with excellent acoustics.  The free concert we put on was very well-attended, and was filmed for broadcast on Argentina television as well. I hope to receive a link to the archived show once its available. The audience was extremely attentive and engaged, and many folks hung around afterwards to ask questions and meet the band.

Interior_sala_sinfónica_CCK.jpg

The next day, we did a master class at another very interesting venue, El Centro Cultural de la Memoria Haroldo Conti, which was once an infamous military base and detention center, now transformed into a center for the arts. The participants asked some great questions, and we got a chance to share information and demonstrate traditional Haitian Vodou drumming, and Ches explained a bit about some of the principles at play in that music, which inform and inspire his original compositions for piano and percussion.

To my bandmates, Ches Smith, Matt Mitchell and Daniel Brevil, I eagerly await the next opportunity to make music, and share time with you guys. 

Band photos courtesy of Vale Marchese

Rhythms Without End - Haitian Vodou Drum Music

Even a small sampling of the drumming styles in Haitian Vodou music reveals an incredible depth and diversity of repertoire. Each zone of the country has its own distinct drumming traditions, which are often not shared by drummers from other areas. Several of my Haitian drum teachers, who for this very reason dedicated years to traveling around the country for the research and documentation of their own Vodou heritage, have told me that no one person could ever possibly know all the different drum rhythms played in Haiti.

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©2017 Markus Schwartz / Lakou Brooklyn