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Aguilar and Stringbeans
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Circuit Productions Inc. (CPI) is supported, in part, with public funds from New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Annette Aguilar & Stringbeans

Annette A. Aguilar and Stringbeans is a Latin Jazz ensemble that incorporates Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian rhythms along with other world music forms including Jazz, Folk and Classical Music. The group features founder and percussionist Annette A. Aguilar with Ellen Ureyvick on harp and percussion, Harvie S (formerly Harvie Swartz) on bass and Freddie Bryant on Guitar.

The group engages, educates and encourages audience participation in their samba jamboree where a wide variety of percussion instruments make it feel like a real celebration of life and music! Stringbeans has appeared at 3rd Street Music School, the Guggenheim, the Whitney Museum and nightclubs in New York City. As one of Dr. Billie Taylor's selected ensembles at The Kennedy Center, the group won rave reviews and a promise to return to Washington.

A standard program includes selection from the group's first CD, Special Friends in addition to new compositions from their upcoming 2nd CD. Some of the CD highlights will include: "Moliendo Caf" (Hugo Blaco); "Bachianas Brasileiras #5" (H. Villa Lobos); "Wachi Wara" (C. Pozo and D. Gillespie); "Berimbau" (Baden Powell and Vinicius de Moraes); "Dolphin Dance" (Herbie Hancock); "Rumba" (Traditional); "Well You Needn't" (Thelonious Monk). Arrangements for "Moliendo Caf" are by Ellen Ureyvick and Annette A. Aguilar. All other arrangements are by Annette A. Aguilar.

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Annette Aguilar

Annette Aguilar

Annette A. Aguilar (Percussion) was born in San Francisco, California, into a family from Nicaragua. She began playing music at the age of 11, and started drum lessons at the age of 13 in San Francisco's Noe Valley and Mission District, where Santana developed the "West Coast Latin Beat". As a budding artist she was influenced by the boleros and tangos on the radio as well as by Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead. By the time she was sixteen years old she was sitting in and performing with renowned Latin artists Chepito Areas, Cal Tjader and Pete and Sheila Escovedo (Sheila E).

She studied Afro-Cuban percussion with Marcus Gordon and learned Brazilian percussion performing with the Afro-Brazilian group Batucaje. After graduating from San Francisco State University with a degree in classical music/orchestral percussion, she earned her Masters in Music from the Manhattan School. She also studied privately with Jerry Gonzalez and Afro-Cuban music with Luis Bauzo and Johnny Almendra at Harbor Performing Arts School in East Harlem.

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The multitude of percussion instruments in her arsenal includes congas, hand drums, marimbas, drum kit and timpani. Ms. Aguilar has recorded for mainstream and independent record companies and television broadcasts and has toured extensively with well-known Latin, reggae, classical, pop and jazz artists. She has shared the stage and performed with Stevie Wonder, Darlene Love, Tito Puente, Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Jimmy Cliff, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin and Toshi Reagon. For ten years she toured with the contemporary reggae group Casselberry-Dupree, whose album City Down, with Ms. Aguilar's percussion, won the 1986 NAIRD Award for Best Independent Reggae Album.

She appeared at the 1987 Sisterfire Festival in Washington, D.C., and has worked with flamenco dancers and ballet companies, toured with opera companies and played with several orchestras in the New York area, where she is the timpanist with the Bronx Symphony Orchestra. Her Broadway and tour credits include the Grammy-award winning Smokey Joe's Cafe, Streetcorner Symphony, Paul Simon's The Capeman, the Lincoln Center workshop and Broadway production of Chronicle of a Death Foretold, and the hit musical Once On This Island.

In 1992 she formed her Latin-Brazilian jazz group, Annette A. Aguilar and Stringbeans, which released its first CD Special Friends in 1999. Special Friends won instant airplay, immediate success with listeners and the magnanimous praise of music industry professionals. Ms. Aguilar teaches percussion at the Third Street Music School Settlement and gives seminars and clinics throughout the boroughs of New York City as part of the New York Public Library's educational programs.

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