SE LLAMA SABROSO (They Call it Tasty) by Zona Franka (a zona franca is a duty-free port) is an exciting introduction of a style called "Changüí con flow", a fusion of traditional rural changüí with rap and other urban Cuban music. As the name of the group implies, various musical styles from around the Americas are also featured. The songs are Cuban classics re-imagined in fresh, clever and innovative new arrangements that far differ from the original versions.
Beyond Salsa Piano is a history and anthology of the role of the piano in the Cuban rhythm section – from its first appearance to the present. In a broader sense, it’s a study of the tumbao – the art of creating music from layers of repeating rhythmic and melodic phrases. Whether these syncopated figures are called tumbaos, guajeos, montunos, riffs or vamps, this Afro-Cuban concept lies at the heart of nearly every popular music genre from salsa to rock , funk, R&B, hiphop and jazz.

While presented as a set of method books, the series doubles as a history course and record collecting guide for listeners, dancers, and players of instruments other than the piano.

Perhaps the most important goal of the series is to provide a comprehensive understanding of how tumbaos are constructed, their central role in the texture of Latin music of all eras, and the endless possibilities they provide for creative composing and arranging.

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Free TIMBA Piano Transcriptions

April 27, 2009

By Michael P. Lazarus, Founder LPM

Free piano transcriptions of José "Pepito" Montes playing on TIMBA DE PRIMERA TOMA by EL PIKETE. Get the video and use the balance control to either isolate the piano (left channel) or play along with the band El Pikete (right channel)! Pay close attention to the instances of counter motion between the left and right hands. Transcriptions courtesy of Greg Woodward from the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music.


This FREE DOWNLOAD includes 3 PDF FILES -piano transcriptions for the first three songs off El Pikete's TIMBA DE PRIMERA TOMA: 1) Hay Pero No Te Toca - 2) No Pasa Nada - 3) Ya No Se. These piano transcriptions are intended to be used with our first TIMBA PIANO VIDEO from El Pikete. Get the video and use the balance control to either isolate the piano (left channel) or play along with the band El Pikete (right channel)! Video sold separately. There is no AUDIO or VIDEO included with this download -transcriptions (sheet music) only.

If you choose to download this free album you agree to make your email available to Greg Woodward for marketing purposes. Be assured that in all and any resulting communication you will have the choice to opt-out of their email list.

After many requests to release an instructional product for TIMBA style piano, we present Video Class: Timba Piano with El Pikete. With the video you can play along while honing in on the body langage and hand technique. For your convenience the audio tracks are also split with the piano on left and band on right.

Greg Woodard is a recent graduate of the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, where he received a degree in Piano Performance with a Jazz Emphasis. He entered Lawrence as a classical percussionist, and stayed actively involved with the ethnic ensembles led by percussion professor Dane Richeson, fostering a deep love of Brazilian samba, the drumming and dancing of the Ewe people of south-eastern Ghana, where Greg studied for three weeks in the summer of 2008, and Afro-Cuban folkloric music. He co-led, as arranger, rehearsal director, and artistic director, the salsa band "Valé Todo" for two years (which will be restarting in Minneapolis in the fall of 2009), cutting his teeth on transcriptions of Ray Barretto charts, among others. Greg has also worked for the past two years as the chief research assistant for world-renowned musicologist Dominque Rene DeLerma, who specializes in the music of Black classical composers. Greg was recently turned on to by Michael Spiro, who has been a fantastic resource and inspiration, as he has to many others. Greg is available for further transcription and copyist projects. If interested, contact him at woodardg [at]

  • User_testimonials 
  • There is a history of musical innovations being forged on the island of Cuba before finally breaking out into the wider world and making their mark on music at large. Books like those by Rebeca Mauleón have enabled more of us to participate in that process. Now, ten years after Rebeca’s last book, Kevin Moore has produced a unique and outstanding set of works which make the last twenty years of Cuban music accessible to anyone who cares to learn to play it. It remains to be seen whether the rest of the world is now ready for an injection of Cuban timba.
    - Keith Johnson, England