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Lázaro Galarraga

One of the great percussion masters, Galarraga was a native of Havana, Cuba, and a founding member of the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba. A world-renowned teacher, performing artist, choreographer and writer of Afro-Cuban music, culture and folklore, he later moved from Havana to Southern California.and has recorded, performed and taught across the U.S. and worldwide. He became the musical director for the Caribbean Crew and for the Percussion Artists Workshop (PAWS) Afro-Cuban Folklore ensemble in Los Angeles.



The trinity of the pulsating, soul-possessing, vibrant Afro-Cuban music is born within the song, dance and drum of "El Maestro" Lázaro Galarraga. Dedicating his life to his love of Afro-Cuban music, culture and folklorehas transformed him into a teacher, performing artist, actor, writer, choreographer and mentor.

A native of Havana, Cuba Maestro Galarraga was an original member of the distinguished Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba, and is currently the Folkloric Musical Director of the innovative international organization dedicated to the preservation of percussion, Percussion Artists Workshop PAWS), in Los Angeles. Maestro Galarraga has achieved world-wide fame with his amazing talent. He has recorded and performed with masters such as Cachao, P=EDo Leiva, Chucho Váldes, Paquito D'Rivera, Herbie Hancock, Al McKibbon and Placido Domingo among others. Other notable performances include the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, for President George Bush at the White House, the University of Southern California's Evening of Caribbean Music and the Latin Jazz Festival at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles. His life is captured in films like actor Andy Garcia's 'Cachao Documentary', Oscar Valdes' 'Documental La Rumba' and the feature film 'Dance With Me' starring Chayanne and Vanessa Williams.

At present, Maestro Galarraga is the co-musical director for the Maestros del Son and PAWS Afro-Cuban Folklore Ensemble. He also provides stimulating lectures at museums, educational institutes and universities on Afro-Cuban music and culture to the Southern Californian community. PAWS devotes its administrative and creative efforts in preserving and supporting his music.

El Maestro received his Honorary Doctorate Degrees in Music Theory, History of Art and in Cuban Folklore from the Escuela Nacional de Arte for his prophetic vision and solid influence he has given Afro-Cuban music as an artist.


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