Build Your Groove: Win a Sela Snare Cajon Kit

I am delighted to announce the first ever #buildyourgroove competition where I am giving away a Snare Cajon Kit by Sela, a pair of Vater Cajon Brushes and a 1 year subscription to playcajon.org to the winner. I will also be giving prizes to the 2nd and 3rd place entries.

All you have to do is submit a photo or video that depicts building a groove in someway.

In a photograph or video (no longer than 3 minuets) I want you to #buildyourgroove. It could be as simple as just a cracking photo or video of you or someone else playing an instrument. Maybe you are actually building your own drum or musical instrument in the photo/video or maybe you are building a groove by making a creatively edited YouTube video, maybe it is just a great photo of someone playing a groove. Whatever your interpretation of the phrase “Build Your Groove” is, I can’t wait to see your entries.

The #buildyourgroove competition runs through November 2013 and I will be announcing a winner along with 2nd and 3rd place runners up on December 1st.

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You could win a Snare Cajon Kit by Sela

Here are some examples of what could be submitted:

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If you have something that you think fits the bill, submit it to the Paul Jennings Music Facebook, tag #buildyourgroove and you might just win.

For details of how to enter visit: http://www.pauljenningsmusic.com/build-your-groove

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Snare Cajon Kit by Sela. Version 2.0

The New Snare Cajon Kit

It has a super punchy bass, it has a snare that cuts through, it will allow you to achieve dozens of additional tones, it has a removable snare, it is a fun project, it is a drum set in a box. Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to the most advanced, affordable kit cajon on the market.

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The New Snare Cajon Kit by Sela is pushing boundaries and ticking all the boxes (pardon the pun).

New Features

The main new feature with the new model is that it features the Sela Snare System which is the same one that is used on the CaSela models. The Sela snare is totally removable and adjustable. You can also stack additional snares on top of the first snare to give you maximum snare sound.

The Sela logo has now been placed on the front instead of the side. This makes the Snare Cajon Kit much more ascetically pleasing.

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The Sound

This cajon would stand up against many top of the line cajons in the sound department. I can honestly say as a professional percussionist, I have never heard a cajon that sounds as good as this for the price. The bass has a powerful punch and the snare gives an excellent crack but the best part is all the additional tones that you can get when you run your foot up and down the front plate. I would seriously use this cajon at any gig.

It’s all in the box

Everything you need to build your snare cajon is in the box. Only a power drill is needed to complete construction. You don’t have to be a gifted craftsman to build the Snare Cajon Kit because all of the parts are prefabricated and make assembly very easy. Each step is well documented and easy to follow in the included manual.

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The spec:

– Body: 11 layers birch, 15mm

– Playing Surface: Poplar Veneer, 3mm

– Sela Snare System (Adjustable & Removable)

– Solid bass tone

– Excellent snare crack

– Many additional tones are achievable

– Weight: 13lbs

– Footing: Nonslip rubber feet

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The Snare Cajon Kit is $149.99 and is available from www.pauljenningsmusic.com

Alex Acuna Interview

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A while back I asked legendary drummer & percussionist Alex Acuña if I could do an interview with him. To my delight he said yes.

(Paul)
As a Peruvian, the cajon is obviously part of your cultural heritage. What are some of your early experiences with the cajon?.

(Alex)
A great player his name is Canano Barrenechea used to record all the Peruvian music at the studio where I used to work in Lima in the 60s,  he played  the rhythms from the north of Peru,  (the tonderos and marinerasstyles) He show me some beats on the cajon, later in the late 70s I went to other players in Lima from Peru negro and they show me the rhythms of the Afro Peruvian music that were and still are very popular in Peru and all over the world NOW!!!!

(Paul)
What cajon players have influenced you over your life?

(Alex)
All of the Peruvians – Cajoneros of course, to name a few,  Ronaldo Campos, Caitro Soto de la Colina, Pititi, Chocolate Argendones and, also the yonger players – present ones, Gigio Parodi, Rony Campos, Marcos Campos.

(Paul)
How do you feel about the ever growing popularity of the cajon across the world today?

(Alex)
Its fantastic!!!! – Im very proud of course.  BTW The first time a cajon was recorded in a major label, the artist was with Chick Corea 1983 in LA at Madhatters studios.

(Paul)
There are many players experimenting with new ways of playing the cajon these days. What do you feel about the development of the cajon?

(Alex)
Again fantastic!!!! the Cajon is an instrument that can fit any musical set up and genre, Classical, acoustic, jazz, Latin etc…  I love to see so many people playing it and of course there are many different techniques and ways of playing, etc…But I love to hear and see what’s happening with the Peruvian Instrument El Cajon Peruano.

(Paul)

You have played with many prolific artists in your career, who inspires you?

(Alex)

All of them for different reasons, there are so many it can take to long to elaborate, Ill mention some of them. Wayne ShorterJoe ZawinulElvin JonesJaco Pastorious Chick CoreaPaco de LuciaHerbie HancockJohn Williams. The list goes on and ON…

(Paul)
Was the cajon ever used in your time with Weather Report?

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Acuna with Weather Report in the 1970’s

(Alex)
No, but right after that I did it when we recorded with Chick Corea and Paco de Lucia  the name of the CD is “Touch Stone”.

(Paul)
As a set drummer, do you find the cajon, with its kick and snare type sounds, a good substitute for drum set in certain situations?

(Alex)
Well,,,,I know what you saying…but nothing can replace the real drums….I know,,,I know…But I have never thought of the cajon in those ways, but maybe  that will work when is played in a simple set up or simple beats..but when its played in the Peruvian hard core music, like the festejos, lando, etc… it is the main percussion instrument, who will dictate that style of music and the player must have lots of chops and great rhythm. The same will be when is played in the Flamenco music.  Another observation, The cajon player needs to know how to play drums to make it feel like a drummer, its all about the knowledge and attitude of the real set player…Honest opinion.

(Paul)
Do you ever use any other percussion, such as a conga, in a set up with the cajon or would you normally just play the cajon by its self?

(Alex)
Again because I am a drummer and a percussionist I have developed great coordination’s and that gives me so many choices to use the cajon in many and any ways I like.

(Paul)
In your opinion, what are some of the best cajon makes on the market today?

(Alex)
I have to say the ones made in Peru for my company – GonBops,  Alex Acuna Limited Edition,  its made the real ways because the Peruvians have been making cajons for a very long time –  some great cajons are also being made in Spain.

(Paul)
What projects are you working on right now?

(Alex)
This week I m going to play with Peter Erskine “Drummers of WR” and the next week Ill be in NY recording 2 CDs with Chick CoreaJohn MclaughlinPaco de Lucia and Jack d Johnette. Later I will be playing four concerts with John Patitucci in Peru, Santo Domingo, Chile and Argentina. In June I’ll be at the Puerto Rico Jazz Heineken, With Paquito d RiveraEddie PalmieriMichel Camilo, they’re all Jazz events Which I love so much.  And In the summer Ill be in Europe with Bobby Mcferrin…etc…always very busy, practicing, teaching and recording a lot.

It was an absolute pleasure to interview Alex. He continues to be one of the most influential drummers around today.

More info on Alex Acuna:
Alex Acuña was born in Pativilca, Peru. He played in local bands from the age of ten, then moved to Limain his teens. In 1974 Acuña moved to Las Vegas and began working with artists such as Elvis Presley andDiana Ross. The following year he joined the jazz-fusion group Weather Report, appearing on the albumsBlack Market and Heavy Weather. Acuña left Weather Report in 1978 to focus on work as a session musician in California.

Acuña has recorded and played live with Paul McCartneyJoni MitchellElla FitzgeraldJim WalkerChick CoreaWhitney HoustonPlácido DomingoPhil Keaggy, Sergeant Petter, Sam Phillips, former Weather Report bandmates Wayne Shorter and Joe ZawinulHerbie HancockCarlos SantanaAntonio Carlos JobimBeckRoberta FlackU2, and Al Jarreau. He can be found on recordings by musicians as culturally diverse as Javier Malosetti, Lee RitenourPeter GabrielJohnny CleggRobbie RobertsonJackson Browne and Flavio Sala.

Sela Cajon on ABC News at NAMM

One of the things about Summer NAMM 2013 that we did not expect was all the great media attention we managed to attract. As well as doing interviews for Balcony TV and Drummer Cafe, we also were asked to to a live interview on ABC Morning News. This was great for us and Sela Cajon who we were representing at the show.

Here we are on ABC Morning News

Free Cajon Lessons

Hello cajon people. I wanted to let you know about our new site: freecajonlessons.com. It features a beginner cajon course as well as a technique section and a grooves section.

The beginners course will give you a good start on cajon, teaching you the first things you will need to know. The technique section will start you on a road to refining your style and making the cajon your own. In the groove section you will find free lessons on grooves from all over the world.

Here is a sample lesson

Visit www.freecajonlessons.com for more lessons.

Paul at NAMM SHOW: Day 1

Summer NAMM 2013 opened in Nashville yesterday and what a day we had.

Many great people came by to see us at our booth where we were featuring the amazing Sela Kit Cajons. NAMM goers were amazed at not only the high quality of the kit, but also of  just how good the Selas sound.

It was great to meet some great fellow exhibitors like our neighbours, Pintech and ARJ Percussion who are making some very unique cajon products.

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With Bart Elliot from Drummer Cafe

It was an absolute pleasure to meet Bart from Drummer Cafe and chat to him for a while. He is a top guy and runs a fantastic drumming resource.

Tomorrow will be a big press day for us as we will be appearing on ABC Morning News in Nashville as well as on the world-wide internet TV show Balcony TV. This is so exciting for us and a great opportunity to get the word of the cajon out in America.

I must also say that it was great to finally meet the NAMM staff. Without their hard work none of this would be possible.

Okay, I must go. Another day of meeting the music industry awaits.

PJ

Kopf Cuban Cajons: A secret Weapon

A couple of years ago Steve Head from Kopf Percussion called me up and said: “Paul, I want to send you something you might like” I said: “Sure what its it?” Steve: “It’s a new Cuban Cajon I have made” Me: “Yes!”

A few days later the Kopf Tumba Cuban cajon arrived and I gave it a test drive. The first thing that hit me was its resonance. It has a lovely resonance that warms you to the core. The bass tone is subtle but strong and the open tone is rich and sustains like the open tone of a conga. The muted slap could cut through at a gun range and you can also get a high open tone which is reminiscent of a tabla. Talking of tabla, one other tone which surprised me was when using the tips of your fingers to sound the bass tone in the middle of the drum, immediately mute it again with the same finger tips and it will sound like the low end of a tabla.

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Steve was right, it was something I liked, very much. I was playing the thing all day and my wife, who has an amazing musical ear, was also blown away by how cool it sounded. I have used the Cuban in many situations and I am very happy to have it as a secret weapon in my percussive arsenal.

There are two models of Cuban Cajons from Kopf, the Tumba with a 13″ playing surface and the Segundo which has a smaller head at 11″. They are both made from Baltic Birch and have a hand rubbed gloss finnish. I am a big birch fan when it comes to drums particularly cajons and the gloss finish gives the Kopf Cuban a very nice look while also giving it a nice feel when playing.

Here I am doing a video review of the Kopf Cuban Cajon.

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Buy the Kopf Cuban Tumba

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Buy the Kopf Cuban Segundo