Pete Ellingson and Thomas VanSchoick created what is now the Cuban Music Experience six years ago in an effort to incorporate more Cuban music into their department at the University of Colorado Denver. "For me, it's just the style of music that I really enjoy the most," Ellington explains. "For a long time, I've played in salsa bands and Latin jazz groups, but at the same time, it's not a style of music that's been accepted in a university setting as a regular thing."
But thats changing. Over the years, the event has grown from just a concert to include clinics with Latin-jazz greats Wayne Wallace, John Santos, Michael Spiro and David Belove for those interested in learning more about the music. There will be five such clinics today on the Auraria campus, including Roots of Cuban Music: The Colonial Period, a Latin bass clinic and a recording discussion. And on March 5, the Experience will culminate with a Night of Cuban Music concert featuring the same big names.