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The Days in December

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The Days in December

These are the musicians who all have the same thing in common: a burning passion for Latin music. It is this same passion which has driven them to play together as the (in)famous salsa band Cuatro de Diciembre, based in the United Kingdom (UK).
 

  Mike Beaken
Trombone, Hand Percussion
 
  mike_beaken  

Mike's solos are truly a marvel of nature, drawing from a profound well of experience of having performed daily in Jazz, Soul and Big Bands for (ahem) years. He also plays the cornet, but feels particularly partial to the maracas. If you're lucky, you might just catch him taking to them on the son numbers.

 

 

  Jan Rens
Violin
 
  jan_rens  

Jan is one half of our charanga section. A musician of extreme versatility, he performs a broad tapestry of genres, from Latin music, to the folk fiddlers circle, to being a first violinist in one Sheffield's best orchestras. Jan studied music in Belgium, becoming an accomplished classical guitarist before joining 4de12 via our Afro-Cuban Percussion (bongó, tumbadora and hand percussion) programme; which makes him one of our founding members.

 

 

  Ana Santiago Menéndez
Electric Bass Guitar, Vocals
Lyricist
 
  ana_santiago_menendez  

Singing vocals plus playing bass in the salsa genre is no mean feat, requiring rhythmic accuracy and independence. Ana's background singing and playing percussion (tumbadoras and hand percussion) means she has that in spades. As a lyricist, she is co-writer of all of our Spanish-language original songs. Ana knows what kind of music salseros move to. An avid salsera herself and a highly-trained instructor, she enjoys life equally playing onstage or dancing in front of it.

 

 

  Paul "Whib" Whibberley
Congas, Bongó
 
  paul_whibberley  

Whib's been a drummer all his life. A natural talent for rhythm, his handspeed and flair combine into bursts of energy that creates a percussive crescendo in our music. Apart from the hand-drums, Whib also plays the trapset - on which he records as a regular session musician, and performs with the group SKUD.

 

 

  Thom White
Trumpet
 
  thom_white  

Thom came out of retirement to play with Cuatro de Diciembre, and there is no higher an honest complement that can be paid to us by a musician of his calibre. His performances are sublime, articulated through his inimitable sense of 'place' - a sense only the great musicians achieve. Subtlety and humour are his hallmark, and we are all the richer for performing together sharing the same stage.

 

 

  Catie Williams
Standard Flute, Alto Flute
Melodics Leader

 
  catie_williams   Catie is a towering inspiration of talent and skill. Listening to her on flute will tell you more in one instant, than any number of accolades we could ascribe in tribute. When not in her Cuban charanga guise, she features regularly in the Folk-Metal group Nothern Oak. A multi-instrumentalist, Catie plays piccolo, recorder, tin whistle, and when the dark side consumes her, the electric bass guitar.

 

 

  Jeremy Wise
Piano, Vocals, Clave
Music Writer

 
  jeremy_wise  

Jeremy's montunos are so good, his blood must course to clave. His phrasing is the finest we've ever come across; a claim we do not make lightly. Apart from being an expert clave player, he has occassionally been seen at a set of congas or with a tres in his hands. Jeremy has played a key role, in conjunction with Loo, in establishing the harmonic and rhythmic structure upon which all our original material is built. He is our longest-established bandmember, having been with us in unbroken tenure since the Afro-Cuban Percussion programme.

 

 

  Loo Yeo
Lead Vocals, Hand Percussion
Music Director, Songwriter

 
  loo_yeo  

Loo is one of our lead vocalists and, as a true salsa singer, phrases perfectly to clave. A multi-instrumentalist, he was classically trained on the piano, but has been caught with an acoustic guitar or Cuban tres in this hands. He has at various times played tumbadoras, hand percussion, and bass for the band.

As Music Director, Loo guides the development of our repetoire; a role to which he is ideally suited being both a dancer in the AfroCuban genre and a DJ. He is also a respected ethnomusicologist and educator, earning him entry to the United Nation's Dance Council: the Conseil International de la Danse (CID) UNESCO by online publication merit. Loo has written all of our original songs, the majority of them in conjunction with Ana Santiago and Jeremy Wise.

 

 
 
 
 

 
1999 Salsa & Merengue Society
Email: enquiries@salsa-merengue.co.uk