Boogalu Productions is culture and travel organization with headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area and Havana, Cuba. Founded in 2001, our group has been to dedicated to producing media and more recently providing travel services - always with the focus on Cuba.
For 12 years we produced an acclaimed series of Cuban music and dance educational videos and in the process developed strong relationships with some of the best musicians, dancers, performing groups, and creative professionals on the Island.
For foreign students wanting to study music-dance in Havana Cuba, we can connect you with excellent professional performing artists who are available for private classes in:
• salsa-casino dance
• traditional, popular, and folkloric dance
• percussion music and other instruments including piano, guitar, voice, and other instruments
OTHER CLASSES & PURSUITS AVAILABLE
• Spanish classes
• photography excursions
• film-video production
• custom projects of your design
Classes with Cuban artist-teachers are only possible as a fully hosted option with our Hosted In Havana travel program. This program is a package of services including pre-trip consulting and arranging of custom programs such as music-dance classes. Click here for the full description of the Hosted In Havana program
dance with YOHANA DUSATZ
Yohana is presently a principal dancer with the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba and was trained in Havana's National School of the Arts. Yohana specializes in folkloric dance but is also an exceptional teacher of salsa-casino and all the other Cuban popular dance forms. Her talent, expertise, and professionalism are impressive.
dance with ISAIAS ROJAS & YACELIS SANCHEZ
featured on Danza Charanguero - video
Isaias Rojas is the Director of the Havana dance company "Ban Rara" and has extensive experience teaching Cuban dance to foreigners. Isaias and Yacelis (the lead dancer of Ban Rara) are available to teach private classes in all the Cuban dance forms including: son, pilon, mambo, chachacha, salsa casino, rueda de casino, rumba, congo, palo, yoruba, makuta, and others.
dance with LAZARO "LACHY" EDILSON & TAMARA TOLEDO
featured on Casinando - video
Lachy and Tamera are a husband and wife team that are featured on the Casinando DVD performing and leading a beginning dance class. When not practising architecture, they are very popular foreign student dance instructors in Havana.
percussion with JESUS MADERA DIAS
Jesus studied music at an early age at the Nacional School of the Arts in Havana. He has taught percussion for over 12 years and has worked with orchestras such as Yumuri y sus Hermanos and Pedrito Calvo y Nueva Justica. He has recorded with Maraca and Chucho Valdes as well as many other top musicians. Jesus is available for private percussion classes in all forms of popular Cuban music.
percussion with SANTIAGO "CHAGUITO" GARZÓN
featured on Rumbambeo - video & Pi-Mozambi-Son - video
Chaguito is the former musical director of “Rumberos de Cuba” and "Clave Y Guaguancó". He has a warm and outgoing personality, and is regarded by other Cuban musicians as one of the best creative drummers in Havana. Chaguito is available for private classes in a wide variety Cuban musical forms including: rumba guanguancó, yambú, columbia, batá, yoruba, arará, conga, yuka, congo, makuta, bembé, guiro/shekere, mozambique, chachachá, guaracha, songo, timba, and salsa.
percussion with TOMÁS "PANGA" RAMOS
featured on Pi-Mozambi-Son - video
Panga is a very well known drummer and studio musician in Havana and has played with Pupy y Los Que Son Son, Buena Vista Social Club Alumni, Cubanísmo, and Paulito FG. He is a master of all the Afro-Cuban and popular music forms.
REPORTS FROM DANCE STUDENTS
Maria Whittaker - Kansas, USA
(Lachy and Yohana 2014)
Today I had another lesson with Lachy. He is a lovely person a great teacher and has this great location. Yoanna is incredible; I feel so honored to be working with a true professional and she is so knowledgeable. Thank you very very much.
Jed Wallach - California, USA
I find myself now practicing on my kitchen floor inspired by dance classes in Habana that Boogalu's director graciously led me to. I found his advise consistent, up to date, and really for my benefit - even when I didn't know it. To have a new inspiration like learning a new language/dance turns one's competent world upside down yet makes you feel alive and on the edge. Thank you, Boogalu !
Laszlo Filip - Germany
I called Lachy and Tamara and went to their dance school for salsa and rumba lessons. Both are very nice people and excellent teachers. The school is also very nice and has enough space for many other students. I did learn a lot so I can recommend them to anyone wanting take classes. One thing is sure - when I return to Havana, I will definitely go to their school again. They are perhaps the best teachers there.
Judy John-Baptiste - England
The reason for my most recent visit to Cuba was to learn more about the historical components of Cuban dance, namely casino, son and danzon. In Isaias I found all the answers to the questions that alluded me in England. I found Isaias Rojas to be an accomplished dance historian who possessed the passion for dance that has been absent from others I have met in the past. In addition his practical knowledge of Cuban dance made him the ideal tutor and mentor for my research. I will be returning to Cuba for additional studies next year and will without doubt be meeting with him yet again to further my research.
Anders Hedman - Sweden
(Yudelsis Frometa & Domingo Pau)
Thank you so much for your contact information. I had the great opportunity to take classes with Yudelsis Frometa and also with Domingo Pau. This really made my trip to Cuba since I wanted to learn from the best of teachers. Yudelsis was a wonderful teacher. So much skill and feeling, and so easy-going and helpful. Domingo Pau is a legend when it comes to rumba in Cuba I understand and he really took me through all the basics in rumba. He was very friendly and patient with me. I would highly recommend both of them without a doubt.
REPORTS FROM PERCUSSION STUDENTS
Steve Haney - USA
I spent two months in Cuba studying with different drummers on rumba, bata, and salsa bongo, timbal, and congas.Chaguito is the man knowing rhythms from Guantanamo to Havana. Chaguito is not only a great singer/percussionist he is a good person. In Havana you want to study with a great drummer, but also someone to trust and inspire. Chaguito is versed in many styles. I took lessons on changui bongo, modern rumba guarapachaguero cajon, and conga. He is very unique and innovative presenting Cuban percussion in a new light.
Richard Grudzinski - Professor
Berklee College of Music, USA
I studied with Panga. Panga was la toda madre-totally awesome. All of our classes were in Spanish, which was great for me and he's a very good teacher. He's patient, deliberate, and certainly knows his craft. He is (as you know) a master percussionist. My only regret is that I didn't have more time. I hope to return to study with him again.
Richard Kensington - England
I have studied with Chaguito many times over the last 6 years both in the UK and Havana. I have learned from him in one-to-one and group study situations organized by La Timbala in the UK. I love learning with Chaguito for a great many reasons. Firstly he is a fantastic drummer and it is a joy to watch him demonstrate anything that he is showing you. He is incredibly patient and relaxed and he works with individuals in a non-judgemental, encouraging way pushing you forward and never letting you run before you can walk. He is an excellent technician and completely transformed my technique and approach to conga drumming. He has a broad knowledge of traditional and folkloric Cuban musical forms and is eager o share this with those willing to put in the time and energy to learn.
Chaguito is a real innovator who not only plays traditional music but uses his knowledge of traditional music to fuse old styles and create new ones. He is very creative with his playing and not only a guardian of tradition but a great rumbero in the true sense of the word; he can play sing and dance rumba. His compositions have been performed by some of Cuba's finest and most renowned groups. Chaguito is very welcoming and friendly and his concern for his pupils extends beyond classes. He has often gone out of his way to help me in Havana and has been keen for me to attend rehearsals and ceremonies with him where I have had the chance to play. This experience is available in no class room!
To finish Chaguito is a great musician, teacher and human being. I would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone wishing to learn about Afro-Cuban Conga drumming styles and song. Always remember the message of the clave "Tran-qui-lo - Re-lax !
Paul Wheatley - England
I studied with Chaguito for two weeks in Havana in a series of one-on-one lessons. At my request, we covered many folkloric styles (including Palo, Yambu, Columbia, Guaguanco) on cajones and congas, plus some modern grooves including some really funky fusions of old and modern styles (such as MerenGuaguanco). Chago's conga/cajon playing is simply awesome, he must surely be one of the greatest players in Cuba today. Just watching him play is an education. On top of all this, he is a thorough teacher, always calm and patient, and can teach to any level. I'd highly recommended him to anyone wishing to improve their playing!
Fouad Nazih - Germany
I met Chaguito in Havana and had one week of lessons with him everyday. Chaguito is a very good teacher and very simpatico. I enjoyed every lesson very much.
Michael Keog - USA
I spent a week in Havana and had classes with Chaguito every day. An amazing talent. Thanks for providing his details.
Celene Yohemas - Canada
What a trip! A week was not enough. I only got to have one lesson with Chaguito on Wednesday. It was good, but wish I could have had a few more lessons. Breaking bad habits is tough to do... in an hour! I will have to make a special trip out for a couple weeks to do workshops next year. Thank you for all your information and suggestions about Havana. I appreciate your honesty and integrity, and that you fully support local musicians.