Afro-Cuban Masterclasses with Lázaro Pedroso


Sun Feb 05 2023 at 03:00 pm to 06:00 pm


La Peña Cultural Center | Berkeley, CA

Learn about Afro-Cuban folkloric traditions and enjoy the beauty of their history and rhythms!
About this Event

We are pleased to present at La Peña these two workshops that will go deep into the origins, the meanings, the sounds, the techniques, and the variations of two of the most important Afro-Cuban rhythms and cultural traditions such as Rumba and the Santería Ceremony.

This is a unique opportunity to learn directly from Lázaro Pedroso, Cuban cultural bearer who has been described as "one of the last remaining elder scholars in the field of Afro-Cuban folkloric percussion, song and dance." We are so lucky to have him visiting the Bay Area!

  • Learn more about each workshop below and reserve your spot in advance!
  • These classes are BILINGUAL (English and Spanish)
  • One workshop: $30 | Both workshops: $50

1. Introduction to Cuban Rumba (3pm-4:15pm): this class will review the different styles of Cuban Rumba, the dances that go with each style, and the most important elements of Rumba songs. It will also cover the rhythms of Conga and Chancleta, including a musical demonstration in which everyone can participate. Bring your instrument if you want to! We’ll have some drums available in the space as well.

2. The Role of Song and the Singer in Afro-Cuban Religion (4:45pm-6pm): Lázaro Pedroso has been an Akpuon (lead singer) in Santería ceremonies for more than 70 years in Havana. In this class, he will share his knowledge about being a singer, the skills and techniques required to be a successful Akpuon, and the singer’s role with respect to the drums, the dancers, and the chorus in a Santería ceremony. This is a very special class designed for singers, musicians, and everyone who’d like to explore the depth, beauty and complexity of this tradition!


Lazaro Pedroso has devoted an academic and spiritual lifetime in Havana, Cuba, to teaching the traditions and religions that were carried to the New World 300 years ago as the sole possessions of West African slaves. Prior to his retirement, Lazaro served for decades as a professor in the Escuela Nacional de Arte and the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana. He also served as a senior advisor to the Centro Superior de la Enseñanza Artística. Lazaro has given classes and workshops throughout Cuba, and in France and México. In 2012 and 2013 he was invited to be part of the faculty of Humboldt State's Afro Cuban Dance and Drum conference.

Post-retirement, Lazaro has continued to teach local children through community centers in his neighborhood, and he is regularly consulted by students and scholars regarding Bata and Conga drumming, and Orisha songs and dances. Lazaro is always willing to share his lifetime of knowledge, study and practice as part of his commitment to pass that information on to the future generations.

PLEASE NOTE: Vaccination, Booster Shots, and the use of masks inside are encouraged but NOT mandatory. Please refer to our latest Covid-19 Policy for classes here.

Event Photos

Where is it happening?

La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, United States

Event Location & Nearby Stays:


USD 30.00 to USD 50.00

La Pe\u00f1a Cultural Center

Host or Publisher La Peña Cultural Center

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