Montera Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month Playlist


Sharing this beautiful playlist shared by our friend and community Member Holly who is a middle school music teacher which is a compilation by the teachers and staff of Montera Middle School. We celebrate the many and varied musical contributions of Latinx/Hispanic people throughout the world.

From Holly:

"I have spent this week contemplating what place healers and teachers have in the times we live in. Sometimes I feel numb and useless. Music, dance, and the arts have always had an important place in the struggle but at times it feels insufficient. Since Sunday I have met with Black music therapists, women committed to revolutionizing the field of music education, Black flute players who don't want being the first or last in an organization to be their legacy, laughed with my son, and had many smiles and trials with my students. Art is what sustains us in our journey and can help us see the beauty in ourselves and others. I'm tired but full of hope. My coworkers and I compiled this playlist and I hope it brings some joy in your journey. #siempreenlalucha"




Odessa Thunder!

Original video is here:

As we discussed in class, this is crisper and more tightly arranged than traditional klezmer music, where people are often playing all over each other and adding embellishments freely. The "verse" we play is the A section here. Then there is a B section that is not in my arrangement, then the C section we are doing as the "chorus," then solos.

The percussion here is cajon, which is presumably not traditional either!

Here's the chart for my arrangement (download, rather than reading on-screen).

Monica's Funk (Break it Down)- Charts and Videos

I recommend downloading and zooming in on this file!


Low bass:

High bass:




Break 1:

Break 3:

Break 2 didn't make it into the video session . . . it's "all the way down now!"



In the summer of 2014, Nkei and I went to a Cuban & Brazilian percussion workshop with Bay Area drum legend John Santos and Ilê Aiyê musical director Mario Pam. One of the Cuban rhythms John taught was Mozambique, a dance style derived from traditional Cuban comparsa (parade/street festival) music and developed by Pello el Afrokan (Pedro Izquierdo) in the 1960s.

To me, all the Cuban rhythms we learned were fascinating, but Mozambique was one of the most fun. Like the more traditional rhythms, it featured several layers of syncopated bell, shaker and hand drum parts that interlocked in very precise ways. But in the case of Mozambique, the different parts added up to a swinging, dance-friendly whole.

I decided to bring John's arrangement of Mozambique to this class session, which is focused on technique, because I think it's great practice playing interlocking, highly syncopated parts; producing different tones on the same instrument; and feeling the deep pulse of the music (downbeats) even when no one is actually playing them. My intention is not for the class to produce an "authentic" or performance-ready version of this rhythm - this is complex music that people devote their lives to, and neither Nkei nor I is from the Cuban tradition or has studied it deeply enough to claim to reproduce it exactly.

There are several layers of "translation" between Pello el Afrokan's original and what we play in class - John Santos' arrangement, and my adaptation. The bell, shaker and bass drum parts are exactly as John wrote them down (*not* necessarily as they were always played in the 1960s, or now!). The snare/repinique parts are my adaptations of the conga parts John wrote. They are rhythmically identical to his, but use the tones available on a snare drum, which are different than a conga's.

Here are two clips of Pello el Afrokan's band playing the same song (one has better sound, and the other shows drummers & dancers), and my chart of the rhythm as we're playing it in class. Enjoy!



WTR 2016 {Adult Drum}- Week 1

Upcoming Events

Jan 31 Josue D'boa who did a guest workshop last fall is hosting the Golden Carnaval Party @ AU Lounge 5pm. No Cover. More Info

Feb 5 3-4pm: From Azonto to Zouk: Afro-Urban Dance Stories  with Nkei Oruche
Dance Missison at the Red Poppy Art House (2698 Folsom Street at 22nd)
Featuring a sampler of a few Afro-Urban Dance styles, Nkei Oruche shares personal narratives as as a way to discuss the context of music and dance created by people of African descent in Urban settings. More Info

Feb 16: Guest Workshop with Pedro Rosales
Feb 22: Guest Workshop with Ruthie Price

Resources/Extended Learning
  • Congolese (Ngoma) Drumming with Kiazi Malonga Saturdays, 12 noon - 1:30 p.m. Malonga Casquelourd Center, Suite 306C, 3rd Floor, 1428 Alice Street, Oakland, CA
  • Cuban Classes in the Bay

Monday 1/25- Class Notes

Mozambique as arranged by John Santos by way of adaption and arrangement from Sarah Norr
*Funky Monica: original arrangement by Monica Hastings-Smith BoomShake Fall 2015

BoomShake Principles, Getting Comfortable, Drum Names and Routine, Playing on the Fly, Learning Mozambique parts

Learn an existing hand percussion/bell part and be ready to share, teach and explain where it comes from.

Listening to Mozambique

  • Please get a pair of drumsticks that are your own and bring to class weekly. We will have some for sale if folks want to get in class.
  • Try different drums, drum assignments will happen in the next 2 classes 

Tuesday 1/25- Class Notes

New Jam by Monica

BoomShake Principles, Getting Comfortable, Trying different drums, Drum Names and Routine, Playing on the Fly, Walking and Playing, Learning Monica's New Arrangement yet to be named.

Deep Listening: Listen well to everything around you, try to find a rhythm you've never heard before from anything happening. Keep it in mind for sharing next class.

Playing along with Metronome

  • Get a metronome. Buy or download one.
  • Please get a pair of drumsticks that are your own and bring to class weekly. We will have some for sale if folks want to get in class.
  • Try different drums, drum assignments will happen in the next 2 classes

Fall 2015

Our regular Tyke Tunes classes for 0-5 years are currently on hold. Please join us for classes/events through our program partners.
OFC/LGBTQ Families
1st Saturdays: 10/3, 11/7, 12/5
Time: 3-4:30pm Location: Trybe (formerly Lotus Bloom, 2008 Park Blvd., Oakland
Info | Register 

Lotus Bloom
2nd Fridays: 9/11, 10/9, 11/13, 12/11
Lotus Bloom 555 19th St., Suite 131, Oakland
This class is offered once a month as a part of Lotus Bloom's regular playgroup for 0-48months. Participation in the class is through first come/first serve drop-in donation/enrollment in Lotus Bloom's playgroups.
Info | Calendar

Family Jam

Sunday November 15th | 10:00am-11:45 am | Family Music & Dance Jam-all ages
Location: La Cultura Cura Cultural Arts Cafe, 2289 International Blvd, Oakland, California 94606
Baby (0-5years) & Family Music: 10:00am-10:45am
Kids (6+) & Adult Drumming: 10:45-11:45am
$$ Pay what you can*

Info | Enroll

Family Music & Dance Jam: Sun March 16 @ Solespace!

Bring your instruments, your hearts, your lapas, your smiles and voices. Women's History is here to stay. Shall we March?

Sunday March 16
Solespace: 1714 Telegraph Ave, Oakland
$$ Pay what you can 

Family Jam Changed to Sunday Jan 19th + Photos from December Jam (Say Cheese)

Hello BoomShakers,

Due to sound/noise issues at our event location Solespace, we are unable to host the upcoming Tyke Tunes Family Music & Dance on SATURDAY January 18th, it will instead be held at the SAME LOCATION and SAME TIME but on SUNDAY. We hope this doesn't change your ability to attend and we apologize for any incoveniences it has made in your schedule. Please pass the message along! And we hope to see you soon!

Also check out these Rad photos from the last Family Jam taken by Photographer Brooke Anderson

Tyke Tunes Full Fall Session: October 3- December 14

After our September Preview Session ends 
we will be ready to jump in fully for our 10-Week Fall Program!

From October 3- December 14 (No Classes November 28 & 30th)
We are moving, shaking, singing, booming and ready to explore even more. So far in our classes we have been exposed to Korean, Spanish, Mandarin, Chinese, Japanese, Amharic, Igbo & English Languages. This fall we will even facilitate some classes in full Spanish immersion!

ENROLL NOW, as we have limited spaces in our classes.

September Intro-Workshops

For the Month of September, we will be running preview workshops for a special introductory price. As we are only able to accept a limited number of students per class session please complete enrollment before attending classes.

Class Schedules

Thursday  | 11:15-12:15 pm | September 12, 19, 26
For 0-36 Months. Facilitated class duration is 45 mins with 15 mins after class for free play and socializing
Location: 603 E 15th St., Oakland 94606

Saturday  | 11:15 am-12:25 pm | Sep 14, 21, 28
For Infants, Toddlers and Kids up to 7 years old. Facilitated class duration is 55 mins with 15 mins after class for free play and socializing. (Bring a healthy snack or meal to share)
Location: 603 E 15th St., Oakland 94606

Session Fees
Classes for this month are offered in bundles of 3
$20 One-time class
$35 for 3 classes (select any 3)
$65 for 6 classes (select any 6)
Siblings discount 50% per class bundle

Class Description
Music and movement sharing, play, and education for kids with their adult. Music songs, dance, and stories will be from various cultures and in diverse languages relevant to the families participating. Some class series may focus on preselected cultures.