Our Teachers    

Screen Shot 2020-02-11 at 1.47.31 PM.png
 Lorena Ayub    



Lorena Ayub was born in Barranquilla (Colombia) and currently resides in New York City where she is a dancer, Dance instructor and choreographer for music vid-eos and performances.Starting her training at the age of 4, Lorena has trained with international dance teachers such as Nadejda Podtchikova (ballet), Raquia Hassan, Mohamed Shahin, Portia and Antonina Canal (Arabic rhythms,classic egyptian), summer intensives at Steps on Broadway (with the school faculty), intensive courses with the Camaguey Cuban ballet and Ballet Hispánico NYC. Performed with Nadejda Podtchikova at the prestigious Colón Theater of Bogota, Colombia. She has danced with the Afro-Caribbean dance company at the Barran-quilla’s carnival (declared intangible heritage of humanity by the UNESCO) where she won Congo Gold award for best choreography and artistic presentation. She par-ticipated in the international dance festival of Panama with Jorge Arnedo Company representing Colombia; she participated in the “Tengo talento mucho talento” (I Have Talent) Television contest in Los Angeles, California, reaching the semi final top 10, as a dancer. Went to the INT theater festival in South korea as member of Tabula Rasa NYC The-ater and Performance Lab, beside that also Performed as a Guest Artist at the gala. At last she has been performing with the folk dance company Pajarillo Pinta’o in different occasions, performed with Raks Al Zahra Oriental Dance Company, as well as her latest project as a lead dancer Anoranzas de Colombia season at the Thalia Spanish Theater.

rafa leal retouch.jpg
  Rafael Leal 



Drummer, Percussionist, Composer, Band Leader, Producer and Educator with 40 years of experience. Since his early years, he has been active in different playing situations such as Concerts, Shows, Recordings, and touring with different artists and bands in Colombia and other countries. During his years in Colombia he used to teach in different Music Schools, Academies, and Universities from Colombia such as Universidad Pedagogica, Universidad EAN and Taller Musical Francisco Cristancho to name a few. In 1998 his first Book named “Como tocar en Batería ritmos internacionales y autoctonos”, authored with drummer Jorge León Pineda was published by Planeta Colombiana Editorial S. A. Since he arrived to New York City he has been working on different projects with different musicians.

JJohanna Castaneda

Guitar and Voice  


Johanna born in Bogotá, Colombia from a modest home, but full of artistic tradition, started her career dancing at an early age by attending the Centro Cultural Llanero, a school of folkloric music in Bogotá that specialized in rhythms from the eastern Colombian plains (los Llanos Orientales where she was exposed to typical rhythms, typical songs, dances, and instruments of the region. At the Centro Cultural Llanero, she learned how to play the cuatro (four), a small guitar with four strings, and started singing. Johanna gravitated then towards the cuatro and some guitar, which she has now over the years become her loyal companions. At eight years of age she enrolled in the music conservatory of Tunja, Boyaca, Colombia where she alternated her regular academic curriculum with harp, music theory and singing lessons. The next shift in her life was at age fifteen when she and her brother Edmar Castaneda, now a renowned harpist, migrated to the U.S in 1994. As a singer of many artists, Johanna was able to travel all around the world playing at many prestige venues. Currently Johanna along with composer/singer and husband Ronald Polo and Master percussionist Moris Cañate have been working very hard with their band Grupo Rebolu to share not only their culture but their MUSIC! The inspiration was embedded since youngsters, and it becomes almost impossible to not be influence by all the diversity in Music that Colombia offers.

Screen Shot 2020-02-11 at 2.30.47 PM.png
Chris Rodriguez

Latin Percussion  

Christian Rodriguez has an active musical career as a performer and educator. His area of study is Afro-Caribbean drumming, with a current focus on Afro-Colombian rhythms of the Atlantic coast of Colombia. A teacher in public schools since 2015, for the New York City Board of Education, Christian has helped disseminate culture and traditions that slowly are being forgotten. When not teaching, he performs with groups such as Maraca Bruja, Bulla en El Barrio, and La Cumbiamba Eneye, these groups are Colombian folkloric groups in which he puts into practice the language of the Tambor Alegre.

  Guest Teacher Artists    
  • Johanna Castañeda - Vocalist/Cuatro player

  • Ronald Polo - Gaita player/Composer/Vocalist

  • Moris Cañate - Master Colombian Percussionist 


Johanna Castañeda

Community Outreach, Public Relations and Social Media Coordinator

Jorge Arevalo Ph.D.

Project Director

Man Playing Drum

Rafael Leal 

Administrator, Academics

Ruben Dario Mejia

Corodinator, Academics

Screen Shot 2019-02-02 at 1.19.15 PM.png
Children Playing Bongo Drums