Mozambique, Cuba’s exciting Carnaval rhythm, created by Pello el Afrokan in the 1960’s opened a channel for new musical expression which has led to Songo, Timba and other contemporary forms.

In this lesson, Kim shows you how to play the rhythm in 2-3 clave.  You will learn 2 different arrangements: Cuban style and New York styles and how the play the rhythm in a band setting.

“Mozambique Vol 2 is every bit as good as Volume One – These two videos are far and away the most thorough products available for learning about Mozambique”.

Michael Wall – Drummer, Producer, Organizer – First Circle Drums, Honolulu, Hawaii

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Cuban & New York Style in 2-3 Clave
Intermediate to advanced playing level. 
55 minute instructional video and 30-page booklet.
Companion to Mozambique! Volume 1.

Volume 2 focuses on Mozambique in a band setting, in both Cuban and New York styles. Performers include Chris “Flaco” Walker, David Penalosa, Noah Mosgofian, and Cary Griffin.

In the first half, I show how Pello el Afrokan’s Cuban Carnaval music feels in 2-3 clave. We learn two bell parts, a two conga part, a single conga part and two bombo (bass drum) parts.  We play in a small group, then I perform it with a nine piece group, I solo a bit, and we dip into Mozambique in 6-8 (!)

In the second half of the video I show variations of the New York style on two congas, as well as a three drum style that has become one of my favorite grooves. I teach the basic timbale part with bell and bombo and we do a performance of  ”New York Mozambique, California Style”

I’d like to thank all the Cuban, Puerto Rican, and American drummers who have created and expanded this fantastic groove, born of the 1960′s.

“Kim Atkinson has recently released an excellent follow-up to last year’s outstanding video ‘Mozambique, Vol 1’.

Mozambique Vol. 2 begins with a 4 person combo performance on surdo, bell, and three congas featuring Atkinson’s tasty solos. As in the previous video, the first thing the I noticed is that these people are having FUN playing!

The first half of the approximately 1 hour video is devoted to a detailed breakdown of the Cuban version of the rhythm, in 2/3 rumba clave. The second half of the program is devoted to the New York style of Mozambique, also in 2/3, which Atkinson explains is the style most commonly used today.

Kim Atkinson is an excellent teacher, and there is a wealth of information and parts presented on the video. All the parts of each arrangement are patiently broken down and clearly explained. In addition to the detailed transcriptions (in both standard and box notation) in the accompanying booklet, Kim counts out each part while playing it, in both 1/8th and 1/16th notes. He even speaks slowly through the various conga patterns using a set of drum-sound syllables, which are explained in the booklet.

All the various parts are demonstrated in relationship to each other, with an emphasis on understanding the spots in time when the parts overlap or intersect so that the student has clear reference points. Kim also makes a point to demonstrate each part not only beginning on “1”, but also on the “ponche” (or “4”) where the rhythm traditionally is begun. Attention to these sorts of performance details illustrates Atkinson’s desire to help us understand and better assimilate the proper feel of the rhythm.

Again, as I wrote in my review of Vol 1, it’s great to have a video where the teacher breaks the more complicated patterns down into smaller chunks, and repeats each chunk – as well as the resulting whole – long enough to really understand and play along. There’s none of the “4 bar demo, rewind and squint again” syndrome in this video!

Following the demonstrations of the clave, bell, conga-tumba, high conga, and two bombo parts, a full ensemble performance with 7 players (adding the shekere as well) is presented – complete with calls and breaks!

The second half of the video focuses on the “American” or New York style, and features an arrangement for timbale and cha cha bell, conga-tumba, high conga, clave and guiro. In addition, Kim presents a number of conga part variations, including a 3 drum pattern designed for a single player which creates space within the pattern for soloing.
The video closes with an exciting performance of what Kim refers to as “Mozambique, California Style” featuring Atkinson, Noah Mosgofian, David Penalosa and Cary Griffin

Mozambique Vol 2 is every bit as good as Volume One – These two videos are far and away the most thorough products available for learning about Mozambique.  There’s LOTS of meat, and virtually no filler! My hope is that Kim Atkinson will continue with these fine products and treat us to more videos exploring other Cuban rhythms with the same kind of detail and depth.

VERY highly recommended!

 Michael Wall – Drummer, Producer, Organizer
First Circle Drums, Honolulu, Hawaii

“Kim Atkinson demonstrates the individual percussion parts to two versions of Mozambique (the Cuban musical genre created in the 1960’s) – the authentic Cuban style and what he terms the “New York style,” which is commonly found in modern drumset adaptations – in this video/booklet educational package.

The Cuban Mozambique ensemble consists of cowbells, three tumbadoras (congas) and one or two bombos (Cuban bass drums) , and is often found as a marching unit during Carnaval. The “New York” style usually involves timbales, cowbell, tumbadoras, claves (and sometimes shekere) and is typified by the work of Frank Malabe and others.

Atkinson demonstrates each part, counting in cut time, 4/4 and in African onomatopoeic syllables, and the booklet shows both conventional and Time Unit Box notation – a drum tablature system used at UCLA. Several extended ensemble sections complete the video. Atkinson’s delivery makes each part easy to understand, even for non percussionists in a community setting, for example. For percussionists who are interested in the roots of Mozambique and how it metamorphasized in North America, this is an excellent video.”

Terry O’Mahoney
reviewer for Percussive Notes, the journal of the Percussive Arts Society, Vol. 36, No. 5 October 1998


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