Juanita Parra

Juanita Parra was born into a large community family called Los Jaivas, music was always present in every area of her life. Her first steps on her drums were at the age of 13, together with her best and eternal friend Ximena Cubillos (bassist). In addition, at that same age she formed a musical group with young people from her neighborhood.

At the age of 15 she decided to dedicate herself seriously to percussion studies. Gabriel Parra, her father, took her to the CIM Academy in Paris, where she Juanita had to interact with students of a professional career and in a class made up of 38 men and two women. After a year and a half of studies, Juanita had to leave the academy for personal reasons, maintaining the record of rehearsing and practicing her instrument.

Today, she has been a drummer of the Chilean musical group, Los Jaivas, for more than 30 years— a little more than half of the life of the historic band.

Photography by Javier Vergara

Juanita Parra nació en el seno de una familia numerosa y comunitaria llamada Los Jaivas, la música siempre estuvo presente en cada ámbito de su vida.

Sus primeros pasos en la batería fueron a los 13 años, junto a su mejor y eterna amiga Ximena Cubillos (bajista). Además, a esa misma edad formó un grupo musical con jóvenes de su barrio.

 A los 15 años decide dedicarse seriamente a los estudios de percusión. Gabriel Parra, su padre, la llevó a la Academia CIM en París, donde Juanita debió interactuar con estudiantes de una carrera profesional y en un curso constituido por 38 hombres y dos mujeres.

Tras un año y medio de estudios Juanita debió dejar la academia por motivos personales manteniendo la constancia del ensayo y ejercicio de su instrumento. 

Hoy lleva más de 30 años como baterista de Los Jaivas, un poco más de la mitad de la vida de la histórica banda.

Fotografía de Javier Vergara 

Gabriel Pedernera

Gabriel Pedernera was born on March 19, 1986 in Córdoba Capital, he is a musician, producer and mixer. The only child of music-loving parents, since he was a child they transmitted the passion and love for music to him, at the age of 8 he began to take drum lessons and within a few months he was already playing live with various Folklore and Jazz groups. .

In 1997 he made his first tour with the group “Gualicho” through the north of Argentina when he was only 11 years old, and at that moment he decided that this was going to be his profession. In 2001 he was summoned to be part of “Armando Flores”, a well-known Cordovan rock group with which he recorded an album and toured throughout the country until 2005. In 2006 he produced his first album, for Enrico Barbizi, a singer and composer from Cordoba, who trusted Gabriel to carry out his album “Tente En Pie”, from that moment he began his path as a music producer.

In 2007 he was the winner of the “Solidrummer” contest organized by the Argentinean battery factory “Solidrums”, being chosen among more than 150 drummers from all over the country, and arriving at the end of that same year he formed (together with Lula Bertoldi and Brenda Martin) ERUCA SATIVA.

As a producer he has worked with many groups and artists, in 2020 he was the winner of the Gardel Award for Producer of the Year, along with 6 other statuettes that he won for the album he produced for David Lebón “Lebón & Co”.

His studio “Acampis” is not only the place where he usually works as a producer and mixer, but it also became the home of his online seminar “La Canción Manda”, a cycle of monthly talks that Gabriel has been giving since May 2020, a space in which hundreds of musicians and producers from Argentina and the world participate.

GP began to show a great passion for drums at a very young age, and when he was 2 years old, some family friends gave him his first pair of drumsticks. At the age of 8 he formally began to study classical drums and percussion at Collegium CEIM, Córdoba, with Carlos Pichi Pereyra, who was his teacher for more than 10 years. In 2007 he won the national contest “Solidrummer” for the Solidrums Argentina brand, being chosen from more than 150 drummers from all over the country, and during these more than 20 years dedicated to the instrument GP has recorded dozens of albums, has collaborated with artists of different styles, and is considered a benchmark of the instrument in his country.

Pippi Piazzolla

Pippi Piazzolla studied with Rolando Picardi, Efrain Toro, Joe Porcaro, Casey Scheuerell, Ralph Humphrey, Fernando Martínez, Sebastian Peyceré, Eduardo Casalla, Fernando Valles, Horacio Lopez, Robbie Ameen, Carlos Riganti, Johnathan Blake, Kenny Washington, Rodney Green, Adam Nussbaum, etc.

He has played with world-renowned artists such as Paquito D’Rivera, Ute Lemper, Guillermo Klein, Aaron Goldberg, Bill McHenry, Miguel Zenón, Hugo Fattoruso, Marty Friedman, Ben Monder, Mike Mossman, Diego Urcola, Juan Cruz de Urquiza, Richard Nant , Luis Bonilla, Gary Valente, Arturo O’Farrill afro latin jazz big band, Scott Robinson, Dave Samuels, Elena Roger, Lito Vitale, Pablo Aslan, Ligia Piro, Carlos Cutaia, Raul Lavié, Ernesto Snajer, Anders Jormin, Villu Vesky, Tiit Kalluste, José Angel Trelles, Susana Rinaldi, Gustavo Bergalli, Maria Estela Monti, Escalandrum, Fernando Suarez Paz, Pablo Ziegler, Fernandez 4, Hernan Jacinto, Lucio Balduini, Héctor Console, Nicolás Guerschberg, Horacio Malvicino, Sexteto Mayor, Ute Lemper, etc.

Together with his group Escalandrum they won 9 Gardel awards and 1 Gardel de Oro (highest distinction in the Argentine music industry), they are the first jazz group to achieve that distinction.

Escalandrum was also nominated for the Latin Grammy’s. Escalandrum already has 21 years of history and 14 recorded albums. Together with his trio he has released 3 albums and won 2 Gardel awards for best jazz album of the year, the most recent with his album Rata.

Pippi Piazzolla estudió con Rolando Picardi , Efrain Toro , Joe Porcaro , Casey Scheuerell , Ralph Humphrey, Fernando Martínez ,Sebastian Peyceré ,  Eduardo Casalla , Fernando Valles , Horacio Lopez , Robbie Ameen , Carlos Riganti , johnathan Blake , Kenny Washington , Rodney Green , Adam Nussbaum , Etc. 

Ha tocado con artistas mundialmente reconocidos como Paquito D´Rivera, Ute Lemper, Guillermo Klein, Aaron Goldberg, Bill Mc Henry, Miguel Zenón, Hugo Fattoruso, Marty Friedman , Ben Monder, Mike Mossman, Diego Urcola, Juan Cruz de Urquiza, Richard Nant, Luis Bonilla, Gary Valente, Arturo O´Farrill afro latin jazz big band, Scott Robinson, Dave Samuels, Elena Roger, Lito Vitale, Pablo Aslan, Ligia Piro, Carlos Cutaia, Raul Lavié, Ernesto Snajer, Anders Jormin , Villu Vesky , Tiit Kalluste , José Angel Trelles, Susana Rinaldi, Gustavo Bergalli, Maria Estela Monti, Escalandrum, Fernando Suarez Paz, Pablo Ziegler, Fernandez 4 , Hernan Jacinto ,  Lucio Balduini , Héctor Console, Nicolás Guerschberg, Horacio Malvicino, Sexteto Mayor, Ute Lemper, etc.

Junto a su grupo Escalandrum ganaron 9 premios Gardel  y  1 Gardel de Oro (máxima distinción de la industria musical Argentina), es el primer grupo de jazz en lograr esa distinción.

También Escalandrum estuvo nominado a los Latin Grammy’s. Con Escalandrum ya tiene 21 años de historia y 14 discos Grabados. Junto a su trío tiene 3 discos editados y ganó 2 premios Gardel a mejor álbum de jazz del año , el más reciente con su disco Rata .

Raul Vargas

Raul Vargas graduated from Francisco Flores Sánchez School of Music in musical education and Percussion. He is certified in Berklee College of Music on Drums. He studied Music Education at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He has participated in Youth Symphony Orchestras at the State, Regional and National levels, as well as International Cultural Festivals, International Jazz Festivals and International Drum Festivals. He has given drum clinics, Conferences, Master Classes in various educational institutions such as the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Michoacana University, DIM Music School, CAM Music and Arts Center, GMartell Music University, National Conservatory of Music of Mexico, among others. He has also played drum clinics in music stores and Expos for different brands of musical instruments.

He has made educational contributions to Editorials such as Berklee Today Magazine, Digital Drummer Magazine, Rhythm! Scene Magazine, Percussive Arts Society.

• Berklee College Online Mentor.
• University of Oxford Mentor.
• University of West London International Partner
• Microsoft Education Partner
• Google for Education Partner.

Estudios en Berklee College of Music, Harvard, MIT Massachussets Institute of Technology.

Conferencias, Master Classes en diversas instituciónes educativas como en la Facultad de Bellas Artes de la Universidad Michoacana, Escuela de Música DIM, Centro de Artes y Música CAM, Universidad de la Música GMartell, Conservatorio Nacional de Música de México y festivales internacionales de batería.

Mentor y Partner Internacional de Berklee College Of Music, University of Oxford, University of West London, London College of Music, RSL Awards, Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

Nanu Villalba

Nanu Villalba is an Argentinian musician born on August 13th, 1999. She works as a session drummer and drum teacher and also sings and plays keys. Nanu writes her own music and is also a content creator.

Music has been in Nanu’s blood since childhood. At the age of 8 she started playing her first instrument: piano. As she grew up listening to Rock and Heavy Metal music, she was strongly attracted to drums, which she started playing at the age of 16. When she turned 17, she did her first performance as a drummer and has never stopped since.

Between 2016 and 2019 she took part in different Rock and Metal bands as a member and session drummer. After releasing many singles and EPs along the way, she decided to create her own Metal band under the name of “Arthemisia”.

In 2020 Villalba was eager to play new genres as a musician, so she began to explore different styles such as Pop, Funk and Hip-Hop. Since social media had been widely used during the pandemic, she started creating content and promoting herself which led to endorsements with Zildjian, Vic Firth, Tama, Evans and Overload.

In 2021 Nanu started freelancing and teaching drums as a full-time job. 2022 was a memorable year for her career; she toured with Nervosa in Europe and Latin America playing 44 shows in 16 countries where she had the opportunity to play in the best festivals of the scene (México Metal Fest VI, Sylak Open Air Festival, Time To Rock Festival) and shared stages with the best bands of the genre (Arch Enemy, Behemoth, W.A.S.P, Jinjer, Mayhem, Dark Funeral among many others).

Yissy Garcia

Drummer/composer Yissy Garcia belongs to the forefront of the new generation of Cuban jazz musicians. Her music shows a mixture of modernism and tradition, captivating both her audience and the critics, who can’t resist the groove of her drum playing. She has shared the stage with some of the greatest of all times, such as Omara Portuondo, Dave Matthews, Roy Hargrove, Horacio “El Negro” Hernández, Jane Bunnett and Joshua Bell. Since 2012 she leads YISSY & Bandancha, a quintet that follows the routes of Latin jazz, funk, electronics and Cuban music, and that recently released their debut album “Última noticia” and their first DVD “Descarga con Bandancha”. She is one of the stars of the acclaimed group Maqueque, comprised of six Cuban women and Canadian saxophonist Jane Bunnett. The group has earned rave reviews in performances across North America .

Vera Figueiredo

Vera Figueiredo is a Brazilian drummer and composer recognized as a world-class drummer
especially in the matter of Brazilian rhythms. She’s released three albums and a play-along for
drum based on the last one. The Vera Cruz Island – Brazilian Rhythms for Drumset was released
by the American Hudson Music and has been distributed worldwide in book and e-book formats.
She has worked hard to divulge Brazilian Music around the world by performing in a number of
festivals and giving clinics and masterclasses about Brazilian Rhythms in-depth all throughout her

She has played as a guest in some of the greatest international drum and percussion festivals:
Percufest Latino America (online), La Rioja Drumming Festival (Spain), Percfest Memorial Naco
and PAS (Italy), Mendoza International Drum Fest (Argentina), Cape Breton International Drum
Fest (Canada), PASIC – Percussive Art Society Convention (US), AGP Drum Event (Luxembourg),
Montréal Drum Fest and among others.

She’s also the creator and artistic director of the Brazilian main event on drumset and percussion,
the Batuka! Brasil. With fifteen editions and two CDs accomplished, the festival fits its role as a national culture and international interchange diffuser, by combining concerts, workshops and
performances of Brazilian and foreign artists.

Returning to presential events she has played in several festivals, such as Laguna Drum Fest
(Mexico), Dinamika International Drum Fest (Italy and Spain), the Brazilian Dia do Baterista and 4ª
Semana da Bateria (Minas Gerais) and Palhoça Drum Fest (Santa Catarina). She also gave
masterclass private classes in Arezzo/Italy at Dinâmika Drum School and a drum clinic in London.
Back to stage, Vera Figueiredo Trio has already performed at several venues and events in Brazil,
such as JazzB Club and SESC Belenzinho (São Paulo) and Festival Minas em Harmonia (Belo
Horizonte – MG ).