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Cultural Dose in Amsterdam

Rahul viz

Even though Amsterdam is not generally considered one of the world s major cultural centers, the quality and quantity of music, dance and film on offer here are quite high. The reason for this can be the government s long-term subsidy to the arts. With its exclusively youthful population, the city is at the cutting edge in many ways, though its strengths lie in the graphic arts and new media rather than the performing arts.

It can be said that there is something lacking in the Dutch performance, maybe it is their lack of daring nature or it can even be something to do with the stable and homogeneous nature of Dutch society, and its high standard of living. If one spends any time in Amsterdam one is bound to come across plenty of fringe and mainstream events, many of them spontaneous and entertaining. Amsterdam has a bevy of places which buzz a wide range of affordable entertainment and one will never find oneself at a loss for something to do.

As far as live music goes, Amsterdam is a regular halt for many major artists, and something of a testing ground for current rock bands. Until recently, Dutch rock and pop was almost uniformly dismal, but mercifully times have changed, and Dutch groups nowadays can lay claim to both quality and originality.

The Dutch folk music tradition in Amsterdam is virtually vanished, although interest has been revived of late

Aside from summer Sundays in the Vondelpark, Amsterdam doesn t have many outdoor music festivals. The biggest events are the Drum Rhythm and Racism Beat. The festivals, usually held in May and August respectively, which are multi-venue extravaganzas attracting world-class acts, and for classical music. Aside from summer Sundays in the Vondelpark, Amsterdam doesn`t have many outdoor music festivals; the biggest events are the Drum Rhythm and Racism Beat It festivals, usually held in May and August respectively, which are multi-venue extravaganzas attracting world-class acts, and for classical music, the Grachtenfestival in the last week of August. Of the festivals outside the city, the most famous is the Pink Pop Festival in June, down in the south at the Draf en Renbaan in Landgraaf, near Maastricht. The Grachtenfestival held in the last week of August is another popular festival.

For jazz fans, Amsterdam can be a luxury. Since the 1940s and 1950s, when American jazz musicians began moving to Europe to escape discrimination back home, the city has had a soft spot for jazz. Chet Baker lived and died in Amsterdam, and he and any number of legendary jazzbos could once be found jamming in the events.

With the construction of the brand-new 50,000-seat Amsterdam ArenA out in the southeastern suburbs of the city, Amsterdam finally got the stadium rock venue it has desired for years. Another music concert hall is the Heineken Music Hall which is a simple but acoustically impressive black box, close to the ArenA, while the three dedicated music venues in Amsterdam city centre - the Paradiso, the Melkweg and the Arena are all much smaller, and supply a constantly changing seven-days-a-week program of music to suit all tastes. One can have a lovely time enjoying and relaxing with the music.

Pearl drum profiles - percussionists Bobby Allende, Marc Qui ones, Richie Flores - percussion instruments by Pearl Corp - Entrevista

Latin Beat Magazine , March, 2004 by Rudy Mangual




A true performer gets the job done, night after night, stage after stage. They`ve spent years honing their craft and when selecting tools there is no room for compromise, only the absolute finest will do. Bobby Allende is a true performer and his tools of choice are Pearl.

Bobby`s Signature Series Congas and Bongos were designed under his watchful eye to meet the grueling demands of a working performer.

Seamless fiberglass shells with an extra wide base provide optimal projection and stability while the 28" height make them perfect for the seated player. The stock Remo Fiberskyn 3 heads compliment our all-new rim design that makes extended jam sessions a pleasure. The exclusive finish is a silky #620 Caf Con Leche.

Bobby Allende and Pearl Percussion, true performers, night after night.




A true performer stands confidently in the spotlight ready to bare their soul through their instrument. This is the time that they have prepared for through endless hours of rehearsal and practice. Marc Qui ones is a true performer and it shows in every aspect of his music. He demands perfection in himself, his tools and will settle for nothing less than the finest, Pearl.

Marc`s Signature Series Timbales are unlike any other Timbales available, 14" and 15" polished steel shells featuring two inverse beads with a unique five lug design that allows maximum cascara striking area with less lug interference. The included socket wrench takes advantage of our exclusive top tuning feature that allows fast head changes without the worry of nuts and washers falling off. The included cowbell post features a sympathetic sound dampening sleeve to prevent our bells and blocks from ringing through the stand. By using a one wing bolt design the entire unit mounts in seconds to the included heavy-duty double braced tilting stand.

A PBL-20 Clave Block is included at no charge.

Marc Qui ones and Pearl Percussion, true performers, spotlight after spotlight.

Pearl Drum Profiles

In recent years, Pearl Corporation, the world`s leading maker of drums, has expanded and reconfigured their commitment to Latin percussion instruments by bringing aboard some of the stellar players in the business, whose specifications and ideas have resulted in the making of better percussion instruments. The latest addition to their team of master percussionists is the legendary conguero/bandleader Rey Barretto. The following conversations took place with percussionists Ritchie Flores, Bobby Allende and Marc Qui ones during the 2004 Winter NAMM Show held in January at the Anaheim Convention Center in California.

Richie Flores

Rudy Mangual: Where are you from?

Richie Flores: I was born in Brooklyn, New York but was raised in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico since the age of three months, and stayed on the island until my 20th birthday, when I relocated back to the Big Apple.

RM: When did you first become interested in music?

RF: As a young kid, my father was trying to teach my older brother to play the congas but he wasn`t interested at all. I wanted to learn but my dad thought that I was too young. Finally one day he asked me to sit in front of the drums and from that day on he became my teacher and I`ve been playing ever since. I was five years old then. By my seventh birthday I was playing with the popular Puerto Rican ensemble Batacumbele as the special attraction of their show, playing the tumbadoras (congas) on one of the songs. About a year later, I started performing with several other bands around the island, including El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico. My dad would take me to all the fiestas patronales (patron saint celebrations) throughout the island and I would sit in with whomever was performing.

RM: At what age did you perform professionally, making money?

RF: I recorded on two successive albums for Roberto Roena y su Apollo Sound as a twelve and thirteen-year old conguero. I suppose that was my professional debut in the business. I toured with the band, playing in 17 consecutive concerts throughout the New York and Tri-State Area. The following year or so, I joined the Cano Estremara orchestra and continued doing recordings with many bands and artists in Puerto Rico. I attended the Escuela Libre de M sica in Hato Rey, majoring in percussion, and by my 18th birthday was a member of the Eddie Palmieri Band. I stayed with Palmieri for 10 years, recording and touring the entire planet. Then I went on to work with saxophonist David S nchez for about two years, and now I am solo.

RM: Whom have you been working with lately?

RF: As special invited guest with the McCoy Tyner Band and Steve Turre`s band, among others. And I`m working on my own project to be released very soon.

RM: When did you join the Pearl Drum family as an endorser?

RF: Pearl Corporation approached me about three years ago when they were revamping their percussion line of instruments. I became an endorser of their fine products and this year they are releasing my own signature model of congas and bongos. The design and concept for the new drums came from my wife (Jennifer Delgado) and me. The drums are covered with indigenous designs from the Taino alphabet of signs, depicting musicians and other positive primitive signs. Everyone at Pearl is happy and supportive of the new line of drums.


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