May 2023 Workshops



May 2023 Workshops

At 8EAST and online

May 7 - May 28


FREE with NOW Membership (purchase here or in the workshop)

Donations gratefully accepted (donate here


Since 1978, the New Orchestra Workshop Society (NOW) has presented music improvisation workshops, offering space for exploration and participation. Our workshops are for improvisers of all levels of ability and ranges of experience, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, age, race or religion. We protect privacy in our workshops and adopt the We Have Voice Collective Code of Conduct. Read more about NOW workshop policieshere.

The NOW Society Spring 2023 workshops will be presented in person at 8EAST and online. Find out more about each workshop facilitator below.


May 7 2:00 - 3:30 pm • at 8EAST
Introduction to South Indian and West African percussion Workshop

with Curtis Andrews



This workshop will explore music as a vehicle for growth and exploration, to gain more insight into who we are, what we are doing and try and to foster love, understanding, truth, wonder and excitement for being alive.


Curtis Andrews is a Canadian musician with global persuasions, who specializes in South Indian percussion, West African drum/dance, drumset, and mbira. A percussionist/composer/teacher who creates music that is informed by his many years of experience with these traditions yet transcends most categories. His personal musical journeys over the years have extended to villages and metropolises of Ghana, India, South Africa and Zimbabwe, and he has developed a deep knowledge of the history and performance of music from these areas. His personal mentors have included (the late) Don Wherry, Trichy Sankaran and Kwasi Dunyo. He continues to study and perform with these masters whenever possible.



May 14 2:00 - 3:30 pm • Online, FREE (register here)
Introduction to Son Jarocho Workshop

with Sirani Guevara


photo: Mario Alberto Hernández

This workshop aims to immerse participants in the rhythmic possibilities in son jarocho (including percussion, dance, jarana) that predominates in the sones of southern Veracruz as well as in other regions of Mexico. We will explore how rhythmic phrases can be combined to generate the polyphonic richness that is appreciated in this musical genre and how to identify the meaning of sones through the association of the beats of the measure with specific verbal phrases. Please register for this workshop.


Sirani Guevara González is a pillar of the son jarocho community, attending fandangos, cultural events related to son jarocho, and performing in concerts internationally and in the town she lives, Santiago Tuxtla, where there is one of the most vibrant and traditional communities of son jarocho and the fandango. She has worked on various projects in active pedagogy, literature, ecological agriculture, and music for children. She has organized music festivals with an altruistic focus, such as Rezuma and Sueño, and has been a founding member of groups such as La Surada, Jarántula, and Flor de Limonaria.



May 21 2:00 - 3:30 pm • at 8EAST
Introduction to Jarocho Rhythms Workshop

with Tania Márquez Aragón

photo: Noah Jordan

This workshop with Tania will continue our introduction to son jarocho and will focus upon rhythms and how to participate in the fandango. This workshop invites, musicians and non musicians, participants of all levels of ability and experience in son jarocho.


Tania Márquez Aragón worked on research projects on Cognitive Linguistics and interculturality in language teaching. Her studies have been focused on literature, especially poetry. She has participated in various poetic anthologies and literary magazines. She is co-author of the book "Detrás del horizonte," testimony of Patricio Hidalgo, a book that addresses issues of son jarocho, traditional Mexican music. She has taken zapateado, jarana and poetry classes and workshops since 2015 with various dancers and son jarocho teachers. She has participated in musical and poetic presentations and collaborations in Mexico, Canada, The Gambia and Senegal. Currently, she collaborates in the interdisciplinary project "Borders / fronteras" that integrates music, poetry, photography and digital media.



May 28 2:00 - 3:30 pm • at 8EAST
Introduction to Blue Grass Workshop

with Sue Malcolm



This workshop will be about learning bluegrass jamming skills - learning to hear chords, learning a couple of traditional songs and instrumental tunes. We may make up songs on the spot, using the skills of the participants in the workshop. We will explore the roles of different instruments in the context of a bluegrass band or jam and different ways of communicating.


Sue Malcolm has been a mainstay of the Vancouver folk and bluegrass scene since 1980 as a performer, instructor and organizer, and a founder of The Pacific Bluegrass and Heritage Society. Recognized for her ability to help beginners gain confidence and enjoy making music in a group setting, Sue developed the Slow Pitch Jam method of teaching bluegrass jamming. Since 1996 Sue’s monthly Slow Pitch Jams at the ANZA Club in Vancouver have been drawing huge crowds. She has taught beginner guitar and bluegrass jamming at many music camps including the BC Bluegrass Workshop (now Nimblefingers) and the Georgia Strait Guitar Workshop.