CongaDr+ Tony's Conga Adventures: Erick Barberia - Master of his tradition

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

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Erick Barberia - Master of his tradition

As if the weather wasn't good enough to move here.. Master Singer, Dancer and Percussionist Erick Barberia is living in the bay area - openly sharing his deep knowledge with all of us. He is certainly a cultural treasure, and a large part of why the Bay area is the place to be.

Erick can be easily contacted for private and group lessons, DANCE CLASS SCHEDULE and directions, as well as booking a performance or workshop: (831) 818-4781, or at

To listen Erick in his various projects, visit, and to see videos of Erick in performance, check out and

We are greatly inspired by his solid knowledge and skill, as well as the loving way he shares his tradition to anyone who would like to know about it. We are some lucky people, to have him here.

Erick is one of very few Cuban folklorists in the area who knows the rhythms, the dance and the songs, along with deep knowledge of the practice and history of this amazing Afro-Cuban tradition, or set of traditions.

(pictured with Sandy Perez of AfroCuba de Matanzas, Fito Reinoso, and Jose Luis Gomez)

Here is a short bio of his posted on his facebook profile:

Erick was born listening to the music of his father, Luis Barberia, singer of the famous Orquesta Jorrin (the creator of the ChaChaCha). Erick began his studies in the School, Escuela Vocacional de Arte Juan Pablo Duarte. He continued his studies in the Escuela Nacional de Arte (ENA), graduating in Folkoric Dances, and studying under professors such as Lazaro Pedroso (Musician and Author), and Francisco Ofarril, who for twenty years was the principle dancer of the Conjunto Foklorico Nacional de Cuba.

(Erick is the singer who comes on at minute 3:00 of this video)

Erick graduated the ENA as a dance teacher and began his professional career working in Matanzas as a dancer, actor and percussionist, with the Proyecto Korimacao, directed by the actor Manuel Porto. In his two years with Proyecto Korimacao, he shared the stage with groups such as Pachito Alonso y sus Kini Kini, Conexción Salsera, Son Damas, La Farandula, La Karovan, La Reve, Maravillas de Florida amongst others. After Korimacao, Erick returned to Havana to teach Cuban Folkloric song and percussion in the ENA and in the Centro Nacional de Escuelas de Arte (CENSEA) for the next five years.

Erick is crowned Omo Eleggua, Awo Orunmila and comes from the Afro-Cuban Yoruba family of Papo Angarica. Erick, Omo Aña, was consecrated in the tambor Aña bi, of the deceased Nicolas Angarica and one of the oldest Tambores that exists in Cuba today. With Aña bi, Erick has played with many other drummers such as, Angel Bolaños, Regino Jiménez, Papo Angarica, Nene Carvajal, Alfredo Coyute, Cristóbal Larrinaga and many others.

Pasion Rumbera - Consuelate Como Yo from on Vimeo.

(The video above includes Master Ramon "Sandy" Perez and Tobias Gaster on percussion)

Erick currently lives and works in San Francisco, California. Working as a musician, he has had the pleasure to work with artists such as, Chucho Valdez, Papo Angarica, Michael Lazarus, Jesús Díaz, Sandy Pérez, Rebeca Mauleon, Pepito Gomez, Karl Perraza, Michael Spiro, Carlos Aldama, José Francisco Barroso, Susana Arenas, Raul Pineda, Fito Reinoso, among many others.

In 2006, Erick had the honor to record, in Cuba, with the great Chucho Valdez, creator of Irakere. and his Sister Maria Caridad Valdez (CD Obatala), produced by Colibri Records. Other collaborating artists included Yalordi Abreu, Dreiser Durruty, Orlando Vallez (Maraca), German Velazco, Jorge Reyes amongst others. Erick has also recorded with Fito Reinoso y su Ritmo y Harmonia (CD Comunicacion), Wobbly World (CD Wobbly World), Victor Little (Inner Portrait), John Santos (CD La Guerra No), P23, Sandy Perez y su Lade and others.

Besides performing, Erick also teaches Afro-Cuban Folkloric and Popular (Salsa, Mambo, Cha Cha Cha) dance, song and percussion. He teaches classes, in local dance studies, private classes, workshops, Middle schools, Junior High schools, High Schools and Universities. His entire schedule is available at

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