Samba to SalsaArt Form(s):
"The arts are an essential element of education, just like reading, writing and arithmetic...music, dance, painting and theater are all keys that unlock profound human understanding and accomplishment."
--William Bennett, former US Secretary of Education
Josh Robinson is a native of Woodstock NY. He is a member of Alô Brasil, a popular Philadelphia based Brazilian band, Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra, a group that fuses Cuban, Brazilian, African, and Indian drumming traditions, and Rhythms & Roots Latin ensemble, a group that he co-founded back in 2000. He was selected to the Philadelphia Music Project’s Latin orchestra led by famed bandleader Johnny Pacheco. He is a teaching artist with numerous arts organizations including Young Audiences and the NJ & PA State Council on the Arts, where he facilitates residencies, workshops, and professional development programs for people of all ages.
Andrés Cisneros was born in Caracas, Venezuela. Growing up in Caracas, Andrés was exposed to various artistic expressions such as dance, music, art and theatre. Since his arrival in the United States, Andrés has taken the opportunity to study, travel, and research percussion genres from the the Caribbean, West Africa and the Middle East. He currently perform with several groups in Philadelphia.
Alex Shaw is a percussionist, vocalist, composer, and arts educator specializing in Brazilian music traditions. He holds a B.A. from Swarthmore College (2000). Alex is a member of Philadelphia’s award-winning Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra and director of the renowned Brazilian ensemble Alô Brasil. A freelance arts educator since 2001, Alex regularly teaches and performs throughout the tri-state region and joined the music faculty at the University of the Arts in 2010. He currently serves as a board member for LiveConnections.org, as well as a lead facilitator for their music education programming.