Aguanko is a 6-7 piece Latin Jazz ensemble led by conga player Alberto Nacif. Their first CD (Elemental), released in 2013 was acclaimed by local and national critics, had and continues to have extensive national airplay and was positioned in the top 53 rankings for airplay by JazzWeek (January through April of 2013) . Aguanko also received a strong review article by music critic Mark Holston in the Summer 2013 issue of Jazziz magazine.
Aguanko is primarily a performance band that boasts a stellar lineup of exciting veteran musicians, all of them are well-respected, and experienced educators. Alberto has put together an educational lecture demonstration that showcases the different styles of Cuban Music, from the Rumba complex (Yambu, Guaguanco, and Columbia) to popular and dance music of Cuba (Danzon, Son, Guajira, Son Montuno, Cha-Cha-Cha, Mambo, Guaracha, Afro), and also Carnival music of Cuba, including styles played in Havana, Matanzas and Santiago De Cuba, and also a discussion of the history and performance of Latin-Jazz. The educational session focuses on the type of instrumentation typical of each style of music and their role. Also, the specific rhythms and the breakdown for each style of music is discussed, with particular emphasis of the percussion ensemble and their parts, along with stylistic differences.
Individual classes and group seminars on both education and instrument-specific instruction is available. Percussion seminars are available with Alberto Nacif and Pepe Espinosa, a multi-instrumentalist master percussionist from Havana, Cuba. Discography from Alberto’s extensive music collection ( from previous experience as radio host at WEMU radio station, an NPR-affiliate in Southeast Michigan) and resource material can be provided as part of the educational session.
A 1 hr program which showcases the musicals styles is available, with up to a full day or 2 day seminar which goes into more depth and can be customized to emphasize the rhythm section, or the ensemble, or even even an individual instrumental role within the ensemble.