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Oregano Percussion

Oregano DuoOregano Percussion is a Toronto-based group that performs music from around the world. With a vast array of percussion instruments, they combine different styles from Latin to Caribbean music, songwriting pop, percussion chamber music, and world/jazz. Their spicy touch focuses on new and traditional tunes from various cultures. Alejandro Céspedes and Michelle Colton are artists and endorsers of Pearl Percussion & Adams Musical Instruments; Dream Cymbals & Gongs; Humes & Berg and The Steelpan Store. They both have an active freelance and teaching career in Toronto. Oregano Percussion performs throughout North America and recently presented clinics at schools in the U.S. and Cuba. They were Artists-in-Residence, presenting clinics and performances, at MusicFest Canada in May, 2015.

Steelpan Store Artist Dr. Michelle ColtonDr. Michelle Colton is a versatile musician who plays and teaches all of the standard percussion instruments, multiple ethnic drums, steel pan, piano, and guitar. She recently released her debut album, Unpredictable Nature. She received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in percussion from the University of Toronto. Dr. Colton has performed in Beijing and Shenyang, China in 2006, in Tokyo, Japan in 2008, and in Havana, Cuba in 2014 as a guest artist/clinician. She was a percussion instructor for the Iowa Ambassadors of Music tour in the UK/Europe. She earned first place in the University of Toronto DMA Recital Competition and Concerto Competition. She often plays with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and has performed with NEXUS and Dame Evelyn Glennie. She has been a steel pan guest artist with the Grinnell College Percussion Ensemble, University of Toronto Percussion Ensemble, Evergreen Club Contemporary Gamelan as well as the Cedar Rapids Jazz Big Band in Iowa. In 2014-2015, she directed the University of Toronto Steel Pan Ensemble. She currently teaches in the percussion preparatory department at the University of Toronto as well as steel pan ensembles in the Greater Toronto Area. Her duo, Oregano Percussion, with Alejandro Céspedes performs and presents clinics internationally on steel pan and marimba. Dr. Colton is an artist/endorser of Adams/Pearl Percussion, Dream Cymbals, and The Steelpan Store.

Steelpan Store Artist Alejandro CéspedesAlejandro Céspedes, M.Mus, is an active freelance percussionist and educator in Toronto who studied with Russell Hartenberger at the University of Toronto, and Roberto Concepción at Amadeo Roldán Conservatory in Havana, Cuba. He performs classical percussion, body percussion, Latin percussion and steel pan. Céspedes performed with the National Opera and Ballet Orchestra of Cuba and the Kingston and Toronto Symphony Orchestras. He has performed with Bobby McFerrin, Jane Bunnett, and the Buena Vista Social Club, and was featured at the Toronto Body Percussion Festival. He was a musician/dancer/actor for Venom of Love and The Power of Harriet T! Céspedes has conducted the steel pan ensemble at Music By The Lake (Toronto District School Board music camp) and the Regent Park School of Music, which has performed with 2Cellos and also at events such as the Luminato and Toronto Jazz Festivals. He has also taught percussion at the National Music Camp of Canada, Manuel Saumell and Amadeo Roldán Conservatories in Havana. He has conducted body percussion workshops at Lizt Alfonso Dance Company in Havana and McGill University in Montreal. He is Co-founder of Oregano Percussion, which combines songwriting pop and percussion chamber music with world/jazz. He is also the Artistic Director and founder of Arrollando – Cuban Carnaval Ensemble. Céspedes is an artist/endorser of Pearl/Adams Musical Instruments, Humes & Berg and The Steelpan Store.

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