Rhythm Workshop with Richard Kensington

27th January 2018


Time till the big event?








1:30 – 4:30 pm

The International Community Centre(I.C.C.), 61b Mansfield Rd, Nottingham, NG1 3FN


Our dificulty

Rhythm is such a vital part of music.  Rhythm is what makes the notes make sense.  Any student at Express Guitar will be aware of this – Simon, Matt and Mike will have gone on about this in your guitar lesson often.  Sometimes we struggle to give you the experience of feeling the beat, rhythm and groove as deeply as we’d like you to.

We thought “we need a real expert in rhythm to give our students the experience of feeling beat and rhythm right down into the boots of them so that they really understand what we’ve been banging on about”.

So …

Richard Kensington will be joining the staff of Express Guitar to bring you an exciting afternoon of rhythm and music at our rhythm workshop. You’ll be learning to drum rhythms and feel beats that come mostly from Cuba.  Then, having learnt these rhythms we’ll apply them to a specially composed piece for guitar orchestra. You don’t need any prior experience of drumming – Richard has loads of experience in getting people to feel beats and rhythms in ways you’ll find fun and informative.


You can buy your tickets right here – you can pay using paypal or any card.  It’s completely secure.  Just click the ‘Buy Now’ button and enter your details.

Buy a full ticket now

This is a ticket for the full two hours of rhythm work plus the guitar orchestra (suitable for all treble clef instruments as well as guitar).


Buy a ‘rhythm class only’ ticket now

This is a ticket for the full two hours of rhythm work but without the orchestra hour (for people who don’t play portable instruments or those who have just started playing guitar).


Who is it for?

This workshop has been organised primarily to help Express Guitar students with their rhythm.  I will be inviting other local teachers to invite their students too.  Anyone can do the two hour rhythm workshop.  For the guitar orchestra you need to have some basic skills on guitar.  If you play another instrument you will need to be able to read a little and we will be working with treble clef only.


£30 for guitarists.  £20 for who just want to learn the rhythms but won’t be able to join in the orchestra. (Those who can’t bring an instrument – eg pianists, timpanists, or marble machinists). 

Further info

The workshop will take place in the ICC Small Hall.

Getting there

The ICC is a short walk from Nottingham town centre and is well served by bus services.


There are some parking spaces in the ICC but these are limited.  You can park in the Victoria Centre car park, or the Trinity car park.  There is usually plenty of on street parking too.  There is metered parking on Mansfield Road and on North Sherwood Street at the top there is free parking for 2 hours.

What to Bring

Your guitar

Please bring your guitar, footstool and plectrum if you use one.  If you can bring an acoustic guitar that would be best.  If you only have an electric guitar then please bring a small amp.  If you have a hard case for your guitar then please use that as there will be lots of instruments around and people moving around and dings could occur.

Please bring your camera

There will be a prize for the best photo of the day.


It would also be a good idea to bring water with you.  There are vending machines for drinks on site but I think it’s a good idea to have water during the workshop.  We will take a short break or two – depending on how people’s energy looks, so if you want to bring a small snack that would be good too.

About Richard

Workshop Facilitator

Sep 1999 – Present

Richard has run workshops in drumming and rhythm skills since 1999. He has worked on short run projects in many schools, delivered wider opportunities projects for Key stage 2 and been artist in residence in Rufford Primary School for 10 years.

He likes to teach music by ear and leave participants with a sense of having an embodied understanding of the music they learn with him.  This is one of the main reasons for running this event.  Richard has an amazing ability to get you feeling beat and rhythm.

Richard’s background

Richard first took to the drums during his early life living on the island of St Lucia in The Caribbean. Since then he has gone on to study Afro Cuban drumming in the UK and on many occasions in Cuba, since his first visit in 2002. He has studied with bands such as Clave Y Guaguanco, Afro Cuba de Matanzas, El Septeto Nacionál De Ignacio Piñero and La Orquesta Sublime. He has also studied intensively with Santiago Garzon Rill ‘Chaguito’ during every visit to Cuba. Chaguito has become Richard’s mentor over the years and this relationship was at the heart of the collaboration that saw Más Y Más travelling to Havana where they recorded their third album ‘La Bala’.

Richard also plays alongside Simon Bowhill and Dave Boston in The Axis Percussion Trio, dedicated to the playing, study and promotion of Afro Cuban percussion. He is a committed educator having worked for over 12 years in a great variety of educational settings with a number of his pupils having followed in his footsteps to Cuba. Since 2009 Richard has also been working more intensively with music in health care settings through OPUS, specialists in music and health.

Richard has played with Rikki Thomas-Martinez and Wayne D. Evans in Más Y Más since 1998 playing on every gig and album with the band since then. He has toured extensively round Europe and the far-east with his favourite gig to date being to 20,000 people in the Rainforest in Sarawak, Borneo. Richard has also played and recorded with Rich and Famous, The Last Pedestrians, Muha, Shmoov, Bass Tone Slap, Orquesta Timbala and is featured on two albums by Zoë Johnston.

Richard as a percussionist

Mas Y Mas

Richard has played as percussionist in Mas Y Mas since 1998.  Here’s a sample of their work on the left.

Musically this has involved the evolution of a percussion set up combining congas, cajon, kick drum, clave (pedal), cowbell (pedal) and guiro. He plays conga traps set!

Geographically it has involved playing regularly in the UK, loads round Ireland, a lot on mainland Europe. They have also had more than their fair share of gigs in Malaysia, China and even Cuba!

Rich has have recorded on all of the Mas Y Mas albums since 1998 and appeared on a massive amount of film footage of the band as well.

Bass Tone Slap

Richard played as part of this 15 -20 piece rhythm orchestra. They were featured on TV as part of the relaunch of the Cadbury’s Wisper Bar and were successful contestants on the BBC TV show Dragons Den.

The Axis Percussion Trio

The Axis Percussion Trio are Simon Bowhill, Dave Boston and Richard Kensington. Dedicated to the study, performance and teaching of Afro Cuban based percussion music, the trio play a mixture of traditional and original material on congas, batá drums and drum kit.

We run workshops and teaching seminars as well as performing recitals and working as a percussion trio for bands.


Any further questions please feel free to use the comments form below and we’ll answer as soon as possible.

1 Comment

  1. Simon

    I’ll be letting everyone know about this by email and there will also be a Facebook event. Please go to the facebook page, select the event and and click ‘going’ if you can. Thanks.


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