An accomplished musician, author, teacher, and DJ, Arturo has performed worldwide, sharing the stage with such music legends as Tito Puente, Dave Valentin, Paul Horn, Pete Escovedo, Brandi Carlile, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and many more. Never one to stand still for very long, Arturo is both a familiar face and a powerful force on the local Seattle music scene. While moving through the musical boundaries of jazz, pop, rock, and even folk music, Arturo has an amazing talent for bring people together in a social setting.
Arturo grew up in Los Angeles, in a household where his mother was a passionate mambo and salsa dancer, and his father was an avid conguero who played with the Hispanic Music Association and formed the group Salsa Express. They made certain music was integral to everyday family life. Arturo admits is is no surprise that he wound up in a career so completely reflective of his childhood experiences.
“Each morning, my mother would wake us up for school with the music of Celia Cruz and Ismael ‘Cortijo’ Rivera, and a lot of soulful footwork in the living room.”
Arturo’s early love of percussion led him to study with several prominent ethnomusicologists, and eventually became the genesis of his own company, Interact and Learn, that offers self-study courses, workshops, and public and private training for beginner through advanced students. Now, with three books in his Ethnic Percussion Series (published by Mel Bay Publications), and a growing online training business, Arturo’s teaching style stresses the importance of community.
“I see music as an opportunity for people to learn to work together. Playing music within a group is a lesson in social awareness and collective consciousness. Ultimately, the goal is to give of one’s self – to be as one with the music and the musicians.”
I have taken drum lessons from Arturo over a period of six years and can recommend him highly as an instructor and a source of musical inspiration. He knows many genres and I’ve studied several of them with him, both in groups and in private lessons. It’s always challenging, but fun and rewarding to gain some skills on the skins. Arturo is very encouraging as he guides students from beginners to achievers, and his enthusiasm carries over as practice groups form. He gives the belief that YOU can be a drummer, too. And, it is always fun to see him perform in the community, as he displays his knowledge and ability. I think you’ll enjoy drumming with Arturo.
The richness of the musical tradition Arturo teaches is accessible and inspiring, and quickly develops and deepens your musicality. Even though guitar is my primary instrument, actually playing on a drum has improved my rhythmic capabilities dramatically and rapidly.
I have been taking lessons from Arturo on and off for the past couple of years. I appreciate the way he can break down complicated rhythms slowly and in small chunks so I am able to understand and pick them up quickly. He s also highly skilled on lots of percussion instruments, so he was able to help me improve my skills on the conga, bongo, cajon, and drum set. I recommend Arturo for anyone interested in playing percussion.
I have been taking the group classes for about a month. I had planned only to take one just to have some exposure to hand drumming, but I find that I really enjoy these group classes. I am pleasantly surprised. Arturo definitely provides great instruction. I am happy with my progress given this short period of time. I think anyone looking for introductory music classes to develop rhythm and timing would benefit from these classes. Also, if you have some music experience, this can be an opportunity to learn something new as well.
Arturo has been our DJ at our annual fundraiser in Tacoma for the past few years. He very friendly, professional, and easy to work with. When you are planning an event for a 1000 people it is so nice to know that you have a DJ who will show up on time, set up, and get going with very little to no oversight. Thanks again Arturo for everything!
I have done a couple of private lessons with Arturo, as well as about 5 group classes and they were all fun and helpful. He is friendly, patient, and very positive. As a beginner, I found the group class to be pleasantly challenging, but not overwhelming. I also think it is more fun to play with others than alone. I would definitely recommend Arturo to anyone, especially those with limited or no experience in drumming.
Celebrate World Music
Burmer Music (2013)
Seven Songs for America
Bergevin Brothers Music (2008)
For the Moment
Marco de Carvalho (2003)
Bobby Medina (2001)
Layla Angulo Sextet (2001)
Tan Cerca, Tan Lejos
Amilcar Guevara (2000)
Rumba Del Sol
Calling All World Citizens
Arnold / Klingenfus (1995)
Welcome to My World
Reggie Garrett (1991)
Sample Music Clips
Fascinating Rhythm (Live)
Bernie's Tune (Live)
Street Life (Studio)
Latin Jazz Compilation 1
Latin Jazz Compilation 2
Brazilian Jazz Compilation
Interested in taking private, group, or Skype drum and percussion lessons from Arturo? Would you like his Rhythm Ambassadors group to bring cultural awareness through music to your school assembly or artist-in-residence program? How about live music or DJ services for a party, wedding, or other special event? Use the convenient form below to contact Arturo with your needs. Or, if you prefer, you can call Arturo at (206) 276-6401 or email him at any of the addresses below.