Arturo Rene Rodriguez Percussionist - Instructor - Author - DJ - Rhythm Ambassador

OPEN Afro Cuban Drumming with Mr. Arturo Rodriguez

Afro Cuban Drumming


Arturo Rodriguez

An accomplished musician, author, teacher, and DJ, Arturo has performed worldwide, sharing the stage with such music legends as Tito Puente, Dave Valentin, Paul Horn, Pete Escovedo, Brandi Carlile, Jason Mraz, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and many more. Never one to stand still for very long, Arturo is both a familiar face and a powerful force on the local Seattle music scene. While moving through the musical boundaries of latin, jazz, pop, rock, soul, funk and even folk music, Arturo has an amazing talent for bring people together in a social setting.
Arturo grew up in Los Angeles, in a household where his mother was a passionate mambo and salsa dancer, and his father was an avid conguero who played with the Hispanic Music Association and formed the group Salsa Express. They made certain music was integral to everyday family life. Arturo admits is is no surprise that he wound up in a career so completely reflective of his childhood experiences.

“Each morning, my mother would wake us up for school with the music of Celia Cruz and Ismael ‘Cortijo’ Rivera, and a lot of soulful footwork in the living room.”

Arturo’s early love of percussion led him to study with several prominent ethnomusicologists, and eventually became the genesis of his own company, Interact and Learn, that offers self-study courses, workshops, and public and private training for beginner through advanced students. Now, with three books in his Ethnic Percussion Series (published by Mel Bay Publications), and a growing online training business, Arturo’s teaching style stresses the importance of community.

“I see music as an opportunity for people to learn to work together. Playing music within a group is a lesson in social awareness and collective consciousness. Ultimately, the goal is to give of one’s self – to be as one with the music and the musicians.”


Concepts in Rhythm is about learning how to feel the rhythm in music in order to create spontaneous and unique counter rhythms. We will focus on Afro-Cuban bata, rumba, bembe, and salsa styles. All drum and percussion instruments provided.

Audience: The class is designed to develop and heighten your critical hearing skills. Critical hearing is required to understand all the different rhythms that are going on in any type or style of song.

Drummers wanting to improve their understanding of rhythms like salsa, bachata, and afro cuban styles like rumba, bembe and orisha. Understanding the importance of the Clave Rhythm but more importantly understanding the concept and role of "La Clave". Learning to identify the son, rumba, afro, 6/8 clave patterns but also understand how dance works with in "La Clave". Of course It goes much deeper then this and we will work on developing that depth over time.

Whether a beginner or a seasoned pro, these isolation exercises will improve your sense of timing, groove, and ability to improvise with in the music.

Drop-ins are always welcome. Bring a friend! $15 per class - Save time & Pre-register below!


Contact Us

Drop us a line if you have questions about Afro Cuban dance & drumming

Better yet, see us in person!

We love seeing all of our students, feel free to visit during any normal business hours.

Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center

734 Pacific Ave, 3rd FL Tacoma, WA 98402, U.S.