The Language of the Masters

Transcriptions and Etudes of 10 Great Latin Percussion Artists

by Michael Spiro (and Michael Coletti)

This book allows us to walk through the minds of the legends whose legacies inspire us still.”
— Karl Perazzo

Armando Peraza
Tito Puente
Ray Barretto
Manny Oquendo
Tata Guines
Guillermo Barreto
Johnny Rodriguez
Mongo Santamaria
Orestes Vilato

(Plus a BONUS Giovanni Hidalgo transcription!)

The Language of the Masters includes:
  • Three transcribed, classic solos from each one of these 10 artists' recordings
  • A written etude summarizing the essence of each percussionist's style
  • Play-along tracks for each etude — first with the solo performed and then with accompaniment only, so you can practice the etude yourself.
  • Michael Spiro's 16-page written overview of how to study these transcriptions and incorporate them into your own playing.

This book is the first collected, comprehensive analysis of all these great masters of Latin percussion, giving them the respect and attention they deserve. Getting inside the minds of these artists will help you find your own voice as you become more fluent in the language of Latin Percussion improvisation.

Perfect for intermediate to advanced percussionists to learn salsa and Latin jazz by studying the major figures in the genre.

This is the ideal book for student and academic auditions — absolutely the first of its kind!

Spiral-bound, 127 page text, with 20 easily downloadable audio tracks.

Download Tracks

Michael Spiro

Michael Spiro is known throughout the world as one of Latin music's finest percussionists. He has performed with some of the all-time greats of Afro-Cuban music, including Cachao, Eddie Palmieri, and Changuito, and has also performed with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, David Byrne, McCoy Tyner, Carlos Santana, Gilberto Gil, and Toninho Horta.

A Grammy-nominated recording artist and producer, Michael has been recorded on literally thousands of CDs. He is also the author of Sher Music Co.'s The Conga Drummer's Guidebook, and is currently a Professor of Music at Indiana University.