12622228_1016363258403133_3103794187941199591_oPuerto Rican native Ramirez, lead drummer of Nashville-based Caribbean dance band Revolfusion, plans to teach two apprentices –Rachel Rodriguez and Khe Crutcher – to become congueras, or congas players.  Ramirez learned how to play the congas at age 10 from his cousin, and was already playing congas in a band by age 12.  After moving to Tennessee in 1999, Ramirez played congas as well as djembe, cajon, and auxiliary percussion for a series of bands, including two he initiated and led: Kaciques in 2008 and Revolfusion in 2011.  “These bands play a variety of Caribbean traditional and popular music,” he explains, “and the members are from various parts of the Caribbean.”  It is important to train talented local musicians in congas because, he explains, “the congas are being replaced by electronic devices since it takes years to learn them.  There are few congueros in Middle TN.”  Rodriguez has a strong background in Mexican and Tex Mex music and, since coming to Nashville, has been an avid learner of other genres of Latino music as well.  Crutcher, whose roots are in traditional old-time and Kentucky bluegrass, has also expanded her musical interests to Latino music since coming to Nashville.  They plan to perform at Latino music club Sambuca in Nashville and Las Fajitas restaurant in Antioch.

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