David Peñalosa is devoted to the study of Afro-Cuban and related music genres. He studied African drumming and jazz improvisation in college and popular dance at Cuba’s National School of the Arts (ENA). He has spent most of his life performing, teaching and promoting Afro-Cuban music. David has written numerous reviews of Cuban music, hosted a Latin music radio show and as Executive Producer for Bembe Records (www.bembe.com), has re-released classic Cuban recordings such as Música Yoruba (Conjunto Folklórico Nacional de Cuba) and El Trombón Majadero (Generoso Jiménez) and introduced ground-breaking music such as Bata Ketu (Michael Spiro and Mark Lamson) and the 1997 Grammy-nominated Babalú Ayé (Irakere). He also produced and directed the acclaimed CD Drum Jam (Descarga al tambor) for Bembe (2000).
David formed and directed Kachimbo, a salsa band which appeared throughout Northern California. As a batá drummer, David has played ceremonies and accompanied countless dance and song classes, including some conducted by José Francisco Barroso, Roberto Borrell, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, Lázaro Ros, and members of the Conjunto Folklórico Nacional de Cuba.
David Peñalosa has taught Afro-Cuban percussion since 1979 and has taught numerous drummers who have gone on to become teachers themselves. He is a regular faculty member of the annual Explorations in afro-cuban dance and drum workshop, held on the Humboldt State University (http://www.humboldt.edu/afrocuban/index.html), working with Cuban masters such as Francisco Aguabella, Lázaro Galarraga, “Sandy” Pérez and Regino Jiménez. David is a preeminent clave theorist and is sought out by scholars and authors for his analytical expertise.
David is the author of The Clave Matrix and Rumba Quinto. See: http://www.unlockingclave.com/volume-1-the-clave-matrix.html. As a clave theorist, he has been cited in several theses (The Three Against Two Relationship as the Foundation of Timelines in West African Musics by Dr. Eugene Novotney, Afro-Cuban Son Trumpet in the Septeto Period: Performance Practices and Historical Context by Eric Ferguson, A Theory of Flexible Rhythmic Spaces for Disaporic African Music by Dr. Christopher D. Stover) and academic papers (Generating "Good" Musical Rhythms Algorithmically and The Rhythm that Conquered the World by Dr. T. Toussaint, Retention, Protension, Projection: Analyzing the Role of Call and Response in the Teleology of Guaguancó by Dr. Christopher D. Stover) and credited with conceptual guidence in the Tomás Cruz Conga Method books, Kevin Moore’s multi-volume Roots of Timba Piano series and Conor Guilfoyle’s Odd Meter Clave.
David Peñalosa lives in the small college town of Arcata in Northern California.