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Sandy at homeRamon "Sandy" Garcia Pérez


Sandy is one of the best known and most talented of the younger percussionists from Matanzas. He was for 12 years with Afrocuba de Matanzas, did several recordings with other artists, and has now moved to Oakland, CA. He is a member of the far-flung and talented Villamil family.

Autobiography (English)
Biografía (Español)

Sandy joined Grupo Afro-Cuba de Matanzas at age 17, and within a few years he earned the positions of principal drummer and soloist that he maintained until his move to the US. Sandy was a featured artist at the 1996 Havana Jazz Festival and was invited to perform at the 1996 Afrocubanismo! festival in Banff, Canada. Although the roots of his techniques are founded in Afro-Cuban folkloric styles, Sandy's open-minded approach has enabled him to adapt to styles ranging from Cuban popular (Salsa) to fusion and avant-garde jazz.

Osa Meyi - Homage to Wole Soyinka

November 15, 2017, Sandy Perez and Vanessa Lindberg welcomed Prof. Wole Soyinka to Harvard University with chants and rhythms from Ará Okó 'land of Matazas', a center of African heritage in the Caribbean, to support Soyinka's presentation about the reclamation of Yoruba heritage in the face of colonialism. Ivor Miller

15 Noviembre, 2017, Sandy Pérez y Vanessa Lindberg dieron la bienvenida a el Prof. Wole Soyinka a Harvard University con cantos y ritmos de Ará Okó 'la tierra de Matazas', la cuña de raíces africanas en el Caribe, para apoyar la presentación de Soyinka sobre la reclamación de la herencia Yoruba en resistencia al coloniaslimo. Ivor Miller


Osa Meyi - Homenaje to Wole Soyinka - I Osa Meyi - Homenaje to Wole Soyinka - II


NYC Preview: Afro-Cuba Culture on the Upper West Side  4/29/2016 Cuban Art News: "A Rumba in the Alley. The week kicks off with a free block party with the Román Díaz Rumba Ensemble, featuring Afro-Cuban percussionist Román Díaz, guest vocalists Sandy Pérez and Melvis Santa, and Cuban visual artist Carlos Mateu."

Africa to Cuba to Berkeley: Riding the Rhythm  2/28/2004 Berkeley Daily Planet: "The musicians however, never forgot their island roots, and the show at La Peña is meant to showcase both sides of the 90-mile gulf between the two countries. Sandy Perez, for example, who is only 33 years old and dresses in baggy jeans and a baseball cap, is well-known as one of the most talented Cuban folklore musicians from Matanzas. That is one of several provinces which have helped preserve the Afro-Cuban roots of the folklore music."



La Pena Cultural Center
3105 Shattuck Ave. , Berkeley
Saturdays 1:15-3:00
some congas provided


African American Cultural Center
762 Fulton, San Francisco 8-10 pm Thursdays
students need to bring their own drum.

For current info, call 510.653.7523

For information or Private instruction (Bata or Conga) :
Phone: (510) 239-2256



Born in 1970, I began playing music when I was 8 in a group where we were all children and played musica campesina. We worked in national festivals and played in Matanzas.

After I was 10, I began with a group where all of us were children of members of the Muñequitos de Matanzas. Its name was "Nueva Generacion" (New Generation). We played in all of the Muñequitos' concerts.

Afterwards I created a group whose name was (and still is in '97) Yumurinos de Matanzas. We worked in important Havana festivals, in the Festival de la Rumba in Matanzas, and many others.

I began playing with the folkloric group Afrocuba de Matanzas in 1987. I have worked alone in various universities in the United States such as Stanford, University of Arcada, and many others in California.

After that, I decided to work with Steve Coleman, and I worked with him in many places, including a tour of Europe. I also worked with Anga Diaz and Yosvany Terry. We also worked in Africa with some of Youssou N'Dour's people, with Sawinu and other important artists from outside and inside Cuba.

-- Sandy, '98



Empese la musica cuando tenia 8 año en un grupo donde la cual eramos todos niños y tocabamos musica campesina.  Trabajamos en festivales nacionales y haciamos actividades dentro de Matanzás.  Posterioramente a los 10 años, comence con un grupo que todos eramos hijos de los Muñequitos de Matanzás.  El nombre de ese grupo se llamaba Nueva Generación, dondre tabajamo asi en todas las actividades con los Muñequitos de Matanzás.

Despues yo, Ramon Garcia (Sandy), hize un grupo llamado Yumurinos d' Matanzás donde trabajemos muchos en eventos muy importantes con Festivales en la Habana, el Festival de la Rumba en Matanzás, etc.

En el año 87 comence con la Agrupacion Folklorica de Matanzás Afrocuba y estuve trabajando en los Estados Unidos solo en distintas Universidades como Stanford, la Universidad de Arcada, la de Los Angeles, y otros lugares en California y todo el pais. 

Despues decidi trabajar con Steve Coleman donde he trabajado mucho en distinto lugares tambien con Anga Diaz y Yosvany Terry. Trabajamos tambien en Africa con algunas gente de Youssou N'Dour, con Sawinu y otros artistas importante de alla y de aqui.  

Gracias -- Ramon Garcia Peréz
Sandy, '98

Contacting Sandytop

Address: P.O. Box 29281
Oakland, CA 94609

Phone: (510) 239-2256


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