HAPCO Music Foundation

One Stop Rhythm Shop

Michele Fernández and Rich DeRosa
Michele Fernández and Rich DeRosa, clinicians

Tips to Get Your Rhythm Section Groovin’ in Various Styles – from Swing to Salsa

“One Stop Rhythm Shop” is a clinic designed to give educators and students an aural, visual and interactive experience. Over the course of the session: directors and students will learn ways to interpret a drum chart, set-up common ensemble swing rhythms, as well as learn tips relevant to all rhythm section players for playing swing, funk, ballads, salsa, bossa nova and samba styles with more authenticity. The concepts demonstrated will be of interest to all students regardless of instrument and can be implemented immediately with students at any level, from elementary to high school and beyond. Session attendees will be given handouts containing examples and concisely written techniques to utilize in the various styles presented.

Michele and Rich have developed this integrated demonstration session to share their pedagogical methods with today’s inquiring music students and educators. In addition to their professional experiences with Latin and Jazz styles, both educators bring a wide spectrum of experience: Michele at the public school level, Rich at the university level.  Both have presented pedagogical clinics in international settings and conducted All-State, All-Region, and All-County Bands at the middle/high school levels. Both are published composers with music designed for public school students.

About the Clinicians…

Michele Fernandez is an active educator, clinician/adjudicator, and published composer. She has served in Florida’s public school system since 1989, where her Miami High Symphonic, Marching groups consistently earned top honors and Jazz groups gained international acclaim. Her groups have been selected for appearances at Midwest Clinic (Chicago ’93 & ’98), IAJE (Boston ’94 & NYC ’97), Montreux Jazz Festival (Switz. ’96), FMEA (’93 & ’97), and have been featured in national publications. Michele was featured on “CBS Sunday Morning”, Band Director’s Guide and featured as an outstanding music educator in Downbeat Magazine.

Michele has published works for jazz ensemble through Hal Leonard, Print Music Source/JW Pepper, premiered works at Midwest, IAJE, All-State venues, and composes for “Jazz Zone” book series (J. Richard Dunscomb). She has served as guest conductor for 2020 TN Mid-State HS Jazz, 2019 FL All-State MS Jazz Band, and frequently guest conducts Regional Honor Concert and Jazz groups. She has appeared as a Midwest Clinic lecturer (’07 & ’16), as well as a frequent conference lecturer, clinician for various university camps/festivals including a yearly guest conductor position at FSU camps. She has also served as an Adjunct Professor at FIU, an oboist/percussionist in the Miami area and spent several years as a pianist in a local Latin ensemble.

Richard DeRosa is the Director of Jazz Composition and Arranging at University of North Texas. He received a Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Composition (2015) for his big band composition “Neil”.  He has arranged and conducted for the WDR Big Band in Cologne, Germany, and for Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center.

As a jazz drummer, DeRosa toured and recorded with Gerry Mulligan’s quartet and big band, Bob Brookmeyer, Jackie Cain & Roy Kral, and Susannah McCorkle. Other tours with Marian McPartland, Peter Nero, and Larry Elgart.

DeRosa’s jazz ensemble charts are available through Alfred Music, JW Pepper, e-Jazz Lines, and Sierra Music. He is the author of Concepts for Improvisation: A Comprehensive Guide for Performing and Teaching (Hal Leonard) and Acoustic and MIDI Orchestration for the Contemporary Composer (Focal Press) with Dr. Andrea Pejrolo.  Mr. DeRosa remains active with adjudications, clinics, workshops, and guest conducting throughout the U.S. and abroad.