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Obituary, donations for the family

Memorial service in NY, 8/6/00


Amelia US tour, 3/00 to 5/00

Santisimo: Amelia sings with Puntilla and Barreto on killer CD.

Lotz Of Music In Havana - Blues For Yemayá - CD release

Rebel Priestess and Sacred Drums  3/15/1999 Glendora Review: Amelia Pedroso. Archived at Michigan State University.


Amelia Pedroso: percussionist, singer, teacherglasses.jpg (6973 bytes)

Amelia Pedroso passed to the ancestors on 5/24/00 and was buried on 5/25/00.  She died as a result of a cancer which was poorly treated at its inception in '98 as Cuba did not have the medicines and equipment it needs, thanks to the genocidal blockade.  As a result she had a relapse while traveling and had to return to Cuba, cutting short her tour.

Amelia Pedroso is an icon of AfroCuban culture: a highly respected percussionist, singer, teacher, and performer of Afro-Cuban ritual music. For more than 20 years she taught and performed as a singer and master percussionist on stage, television, and radio as well as for recordings. She was an acknowledged expert in the texts of Yoruba ritual music in Cuba.

In 1985 Amelia joined Clave y Guaguanco. Their album, "Songs & Dances" (Green Linnet Records), was released in the US in the fall of '94. Amelia has also performed with Danza Nacional de Cuba and Danza Contemporanea.

In January '94, Amelia toured the US with Lazaro Ros. They performed concerts and workshops at schools and universities across the country, appeared in major clubs and concert halls, conducted master classes in instrumental, vocal, and dance techniques, and were guest performers at numerous ritual ceremonies in Cuban-American communities. In the summer of '94, Amelia was an instructor at AFROCUBANISMO, a 10 day international seminar and festival at the Banff Center in Canada.

In 1995, Amelia toured the US with her all-women vocal and percussion group, Ibbu Okun.  She toured solo in the UK in 1999 and again in the US, also in 1999.  Her last tour of the US was in spring of 2000, and it was cut short prematurely due to her worsening health.

Amelia sat at the heart of a strong network of AfroCuban women, and we expect to hear a lot more from them!



It is with great sorrow that I inform you that Amelia Pedroso, Olomide, has passed into spirit. Amelia died on May 24th, from lung cancer. Amelia was greatly loved and respected by many in Cuba, as well as internationally. She will remain one of the most revered singers of Afro-Cuban religious, and folkloric, music.

Amelia was initiated into Ocha De Regla (Lucumi) at the age of three, and was a priest for Yemaya for over 50 years. She was destined to become a singer, and in her early years thought that she would become a singer of boleros. However, at the age of twenty, she became a serious student of Lucumi religion, music, dance and language. She held a profound and widely respected knowledge of the many aspects of her culture and of the Yoruban language. When asked what was her main influence for her vast knowledge of religious songs, she replied that she had learned the songs by attending and singing toques (ceremonies) almost every day for the last thirty-two years.

Amelia was also a respected percussionist. She was the creator and leader of the group, Ibbu Okun, which features an all-female Bata drum battery. Amelia was among the first Cuban women to publicly play Bata drums, and was a pioneer and courageous leader in the movement towards the acceptance of women percussionists in Cuba, in the US, and in Europe.

Amelia's devotion to her culture and religion was inspiring. She was brillant, courageous, humble, humorous, loving, and always giving to all. Amelia, you will be forever missed.

--- Iyawo, Ewi Yemi, Omo Obatala

If you would like to make a contribution to the family of Amelia Pedroso, please write to

Memorial in NY, 8/6/00

Memorial Service to Honor & Celebrate
The Life and Work of
Amelia Pedroso

Sunday, August 6th, 2000
Memorial Service 7-9PM
Reception to follow

St. Peter’s Church
619 Lexington Avenue, Manhattan
(Entrance on 54th St. between Lexington & 3rd Avenues)

Amelia Pedroso died from lung cancer in her home in Havana, Cuba on Wednesday, May 24th, 2000. She was a trailblazer in women’s drumming, a renowned akpon and Santera. Her friendship, generosity, humor and warrior spirit are deeply missed.

She was a spiritual leader, teacher, mentor and friend to many.

Join us to commemorate Amelia Pedroso. If you can, bring a dish for the potluck reception following the service.

Please bring videos and photos to share during this time.

Contributions for Amelia’s family in Cuba are welcome.
For more information, call Tel # (718) 499-5727

US Tour Schedule - 3/00 to 6/00

Classes in Dilogun, song, conga drum, and bata/Concerts

Amelia was in Northern California from March 4 through the third week in May. She taught classes in Dilogun, song, conga drum, and bata. See her Bay Area schedule and contact info.

She was in Philadelphia from March 19-27 for classes and two performances.  See her Philadelphia schedule and contact info.

Bay Area Schedule

Amelia will be doing classes at La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley:
monday nights on the Dilogun, for Santeros only
tuesday nights -- conga classes
wednesday nights -- bata classes
thursday nights  -- song classes from 8:00 - 9:15.
Please e-mail for more information or to schedule other gigs.

Philadelphia Schedule 

1. Amelia will appear in a concert with NY- & Philly-based women's bata group Cambio Libre. Also featured Pedro Domech (dancer), formerly with the Conjunto Folklórico Nacional, as well as other guest artists from NY & Philadelphia. Sunday March 19, 7:30 pm, Rock Hall on Temple University Campus (on Broad St. north of Cecil B. Moore Ave., across the street from the Apollo of Temple). Free of charge & open to the public.

2. Open House for Women Drummers with Amelia Pedroso as guest of honor. Light refreshments will be served and a love offering (small donation for Amelia) is requested. Tuesday, March 21, 6:30-8:30 pm at the home of Nana Korantemaa Ayeboafo, 1730 N. 27th St. between Cecil B. Moore and Montgomery. This event begins Nana's class series for women drummers.

3. Song Lecture-Demonstration & Workshop, featuring Peache Jarman, John Wilkie, & Kenneth Fauntleroy on batá drums. Saturday March 25, 4:30-6 pm at AMLA (Asociación de Músicos Latino-Americanos), on 6th St. between Lehigh & Somerset in North Philadelphia. $10.

4. In conjunction with a current Cuban art exhibit, "Hidden Images," co-sponsored by several local groups, Amelia will perform with Cambio Libre at Brandywine Workshop, Sunday March 26, 3-5:30 pm. 730 S. Broad St. (Broad & Fitzwater) in South Philadelphia. Free admission.

Amelia is available for private and small group classes, and private dilogun consultations, March 20-27 in Philadelphia.

For more info, contact:

Schedule for Amelia's past visits to the US (1999)


Contact in California:

(for setting up gigs, etc)


Contact in Portland:

Virginia Lopez:

Check out concert & workshops in Portland, July 30 and 31

New York

If anyone is interested in setting up gigs in NY, contact Julie Carson at or 212-696-8524.

See updated (7/26/99) schedule in NY below for Amelia in August

Amelia workshops & concert July 30-31, 1999 in Portland, Oregon

International recording artist Amelia Pedroso will join The Mambo Queens for an unforgettable evening of AfroCuban music and dance at La Rumba Restaurant in Portland on Friday, July 30th. Also performing with the female percussion will be Isolina Romero, a member of Pedroso's own Ibbu Okun, a women's performing and recording ensemble based in Havana, Cuba.

Aficionados of AfroCuban music will remember Pedroso's first trip to Portland in 1994 when she performed with the famous Lazaro Ros at Club Key Largo and accompanied master dance classes at Portland State University. Pedroso broke ground into a field formerly denied to women, as the first woman to receive international recognition as a drummer of AfroCuban ritual music. She has also stunned listeners with her powerful singing voice on numerous recordings including "Santisimo" with Puntilla and "Ilu Aña" with Regino Jimenez.

Pedroso and Romero will play and sing with The Mambo Queens, a popular local group who last week entranced an audience of 800 at the Tualatin Commons with their lively show of AfroCuban rhythms. The eleven-member female percussion and singing group, headed by Cuban-born Virginia Lopez, includes an international cast from Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Panama, and the United States, and is enhanced by five guest dancers including Habiba Addo from Ghana. The repertory includes sacred music from the Yoruba tradition rendered on the bata drums, AfroCuban rumbas, a lively comparsa that invites the audience to join in the dancing, and music from the Congolese tradition in Cuba.

The show begins Fri July 30th at 7 p.m. at La Rumba Restaurant located at 130 NW Third and Davis. Admission $5-15 Limited seating. Call 238-2465 for info.

On Saturday, July 31, Amelia Pedroso will lead several classes:

1. Song class from 10:30a.m. to 12 Noon.

2. All levels drumming class 1:30 to 3pm

3. Advance drumming class 3:30 pm to 5:00pm

The cost of each class is $20.00

The location of the classes is 4225 SE Harrison St. Portland

Call 238-2465 in Portland to register.

Amelia workshops in NY, 8/99 1999

Learn Cuban Orisha Songs,
Rumba & more!

With renowned performer and akpon
Amelia Pedroso

Afrocuban Songs to the Orishas Series*

4 class intensive singing workshop
$60 per workshop series

Workshop #1: Aug. 13, 16, 19, 23
Brooklyn / from 7-8:30pm

Workshop #2: Aug. 14, 17, 22, 24
Brooklyn / from 7-8:30pm

Workshop #3: Aug. 26, 28, 30, 31
Manhattan / from 7-8:30pm

Afrocuban Orisha
Song Class
August 27th / 6:30pm - 8pm / $25
174 Broadway, Williamsburg
take the L to Bedford Ave.

Afrocuban Singing & Percussion
August 28th / 10am - 1pm / $45
Bluestockings Bookstore

172 Allen Street (between Rivington & Stanton)

bring your own drum

Afrocuban Orisha
Song & Dance

August 29th / 6pm – 9pm / $25
174 Broadway, Williamsburg
take the L to Bedford Ave

Private Lessons Available

Location of classes will be given at registration.
Register for all classes

To register for classes or for more info:
212-696-8524 or jcarlson@urbanjustice

The Catskill Mountain Womyn's World Drum & Percussion Happen'n 1999

The Catskill Mountain Womyn's World Drum & Percussion Happen'n 1999

Amelia will be teaching drum classes here on Aug. 20 and 21

The Catskill Mountain Womyn's World Drum and Percussion Happen¹n , August 19-22, will run from THURSDAY 3pm through SUNDAY 3pm at Elat Chayyim (Tree of Life) Center for Healing and Renewal located in Accord, New York. Elat Chayyim is a beautiful and comfortable retreat facility with full view of the mountains.

"The Happen'n" is a women and girls only multi-cultural gathering. We expect to welcome 200 women to experience the uplifting and inspiring presentations of our very talented staff of teachers. Explore rhythmic technique and musical styles of the Djembe, Conga, Surdo, Frame Drum, Steel Drum, Shekere, Taiko and Stick Drumming. Develop a deeper sense of the traditional styles of West African, Brazilian, Afro-Caribbean, Native American, Japanese, and other cultural rhythms. Explore Deep Listening, Movement Meditation, Dance, Improvisation, Instrument Building, and Women's Drumming Traditions. Other Happen¹n features for '99 include a Blessing of the Drum Ceremony based on the traditions of the Candomble, a Purification Lodge led by Mohawk teacher Rainbow Weaver, the Marketplace, Exhibits and Gallery, our wildly popular Saturday Night Showcase (start working on your routines now!), and lots of other surprises. All levels and percussive instruments are welcome. 

Scholarship Fund : You can make a tax deductible contribution to help cover the cost of participation of low income and Elder women. A limited number of scholarships / partial assistance grants are available to individuals who show financial need. If you are interested in applying for Scholarship assistance, send in the Registration form with a letter of request for a Scholarship application by May l5th.

Teachers: * Edwina Lee Tyler * Ubaka Hill * Phyllis Bethel * Caru Thompson *

* Emilia Biancardi & Geralyn Burke * Pauline Oliveros * Leaf Miller *

Elaine Fong * * Cathy Bishop-Thielke * Fre Atlast * Rainbow Weaver * White

Feather * * Emily Lanxner * Judith Muldoon * Eliza Usher *

Registration/Accommodations Fees:

Accommodations Before July 1st / After July 1st :

* Quad (4 women per room) $325.00 / $350.00

* Double (2 women per room) $350.00/ $375.00

* Single (1 womyn) $495.00 / $525.00

* Camping (very limited) $275.00/ $300.00

* Commuter (all four days) $275.00 / $300.00

* Day Rates (Fri & Sat only) $100 per day / $115.00 per day

* Children/Young Adult (ages 10-18) $200.00/ $225.00

The per-woman fee includes all workshops, showcases, activities and use ofrecreational facilities, 3 vegetarian/Kosher meals daily, indoor or outdoor accommodations, pool, and hot tub. Accommodations do not apply to Day Rates or Commuter Rates. Cancellations will be charged $50.00 before August 1st. After August 1st, deposits are not refundable unless we can fill your room.

Please make Check or Money Order Payable to: THE ARTS COMMUNITY

* Mail Registration and Check/MO To: Drum Central
P0 Box 34 Woodstock, NY 12498

After July 1, 1999 Money Orders accepted only

For more information and questions: Drum Central 914-247-0398

Drum Central is a project of The Arts Community. Please fill- in and return Registration Form below

The Catskill Mountain Womyn¹s World Drum & Percussion Happen'n 1999

I'm Coming !!!

Please Print all information





Please check appropriate Accommodations. If registering with roommates,

please make copies for each woman, and send forms together with payments.

___QUAD: list other roommates 1_______________ 2______________ 3_______________

___ single beds _____ double bed (s)

___DOUBLE : list other roommate ____________________ single beds___ double bed___

___SINGLE ____CAMPING: List other tentmates____________________________________

___COMMUTER __DAY RATE ___Fri __Sat

TRAVEL: By Car __ Yes, I am able to provide a ride ____ I need a ride________

Flying ______Stewart Airport in Newburgh , NY is the closest. Albany is

the next best choice.

Other___________________________________________________________________ _

I have special dietary/environmental needs________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________ _

Enclosed is my Check/MO for the full amount of $_______

I¹m including $_____ for Scholarship Fund

Drum Central Vision Statement

Drum Central is dedicated to the advancement of women's participation inthe ancient and sacred rite of drumming. We support the expression of this tradition in innovative, diverse and unifying ways, as well as the creation of a personal and community based art form, inclusive to women all around the world. 

The Catskill Mountain Womyn's World Drum & Percussion Happen'n is our initial visionary action. We have assembled some of the most effective women teachers/musicians and visionaries to create a diverse cultural program of world drumming and percussion styles from the sacred to the secular.

By providing a creative environment, women will learn the skills needed to form similar local "Happen'ns", drum councils, healing circles and other events in their own communities. The overall focus of Drum Central is to further the cultural evolution of a women's drumming tradition in the United States/North America.

Co-Producers: Leaf Miller - Free At last

Focus Of Intent

*Exploration of Women's Drumming Traditions

*Rhythmic Vocabulary and Practice Exercises

*Developing and Strenghtening Technique for Hand and Stick Drumming

*Drum and Dance

*Performance Showcases

*Creating and Maintaining Community Drum Councils/Circles

*Training for Teachers

*Ritual, Ceremony and Vibrational Healing

*Drumming in Creative Collaboration

*Deep Listening Sensitivity

*Creating Authentic Drum & Percussion Music

*Instrument Making, Maintenance and Repair

*Rhythm and Time Sensibility

*Exploration of Various Drums and Percussive Instruments From World


*Health of the Mind, Body, and Spirit

*Documention, Preservation and Presentations

Drum Central, PO Box 34, Woodstock, NY 12498, (914)247-0398, email

Schedule for Amelia's visit to the UK, 3/99

Amelia is due here on Fri 19th March. The first thing is a Fiesta de Bata in London. Next there's a weekend of performances, workshops and a Bembe in Manchester. Finally there's another performance of Orisha song and dance in London before Amelia returns to Cuba on the 31st.

Dates, times and addresses as follows:

Fiesta de Bata, London, Sun 21st March 6pm

The Grosvenor
17 Sydney Road, London SW9

Information: 0961 391 964

  Weekend event in Manchester

Fri 26th Formal performance of song, drum and dance for the Orisha, 8pm

Sat 27th Afternoon workshops and Fiesta de Bata, 2-5pm; 8pm The Green Room

54-56 Whitworth Street West Manchester M1 5WW Box Office: 0161 950 5900

Formal performance of Orisha song,etc. London, Tue 30th 8pm

The Tabernacle
Powis Square, London W11 2AY

Box Office: 0171 565 7890

The CD <Lotz Of Music In Havana - Blues For Yemayá> is released!


 The CD <Lotz Of Music In Havana - Blues For Yemayá> is released!

Via Records 9920592

- The music involves a fusion of religious Afro-Cuban folklore music with European Jazz.

- Recorded in April 1997 at the ICAIC studio in Havana, Cuba!

- Participants are the quintet <Lotz Of Music> of flautist Mark Alban Lotz and Cuban soloists like Miguel Anga Diaz, Amelia Pedroso, Jose Pilar Suarez and many others. (Known through their work with Irakere, Conjunto Folklorico National, Profundo Raices and Clave y Guaguanco)

- The jazzy interpretations of the songs of praise to the African Yoruba gods of the Cuban Santería religion provide a different look at Latin Music.

- The 2CD box -Le Coq Rouge / Lotz Of Music Meets Bata Drums- already is very successful. The result are performances at festivals like the Percuba Festival in Havana and the North Sea Jazz Festival at the Hague, The Netherlands.

- Radio stations, from Australia to Miami, still give enthusiastic attention to <Le Coq Rouge> . (In June <Le Coq Rouge> no.1 on WEFT, Illinois!) Here the successor!

- Marketing and distribution by Via Records : Via Records, P.B. 4026, 1200 LA Hilversum, The Netherlands; phone: +31-35-6422338, fax: +31-35-6420880

- More information, Sound files, Photo¹s, CV¹s etc. at internet web site <>


mark alban lotz

mail to:

internet website:

fon/fax +31-30-6924285


Songs & Dances

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1. Cantaremos Y Bailaremos
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7. Yo Soy De La Timbalaye
8. La Prueba De Ritmo
9. Mama Abuela
10. Amo Esta Isla
11. Que Viva Chango
Dejala en la Puntica

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8. Para Rita Montaner
9. La Jerigonza
10. Na Francisca
11. Dejala En La Puntica
Santisimo: Amelia sings with Puntilla and Barreto on killer CD.  
Lotz Of Music In Havana - Blues For Yemayá - CD release  


Contacting Amelia Pedroso

Through Carolyn Brandy:

Contacting AfroCubaWeb

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