GRIOT (Global Rhythms in Our Tribe)—a collaboration between the New York City Mission Society and the Afro-Latin Jazz Alliance— to provide FREE musical instruction with academic enrichment.

Rooted in the global rhythms of the African Diaspora, GRIOT will be taught by award winning musicians and is for youth ages 10 to 18. Participants will learn foundational musical concepts, proficiency and skill on the trombone, trumpet, drums/percussion, reinforcement of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) skills and have the opportunity to perform in solo and ensemble performances.


Fees: NONE

Ages: 10–18

Practice times: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:30pm-6:30pm from September 12th, 2017 to June 21st, 2018.

Instruments taught: Trombone, trumpet, drums/percussion

Instrument Fee: NONE

For more information:
Lauren McMullen
Education Coordinator
NYC Mission Society
212-674-3500 x362

Regina Cole
Program Coordinator
NYC Mission Society
212-674-3500 x363

Meet the Instructors


Gabriel Globus-Hoenich, Percussion
Montreal native Gabriel Globus-Hoenich’s career reflects forays into the worlds of jazz, classical music, and world music as a drummer, percussionist, composer, and teaching artist.

A busy jazz drummer, Mr. Globus-Hoenich has performed with a multitude of jazz greats, and has been featured on drum-set with the Philly Pops and orchestras of Detroit, Louisville, Illinois and Curtis Institute. He has performed in premieres of works by Theo Bleckmann, David Ludwig, Steve Mackey, Stratis Minakakis, and Steven Stucky and collaborates frequently with Teddy Abrams and the Sixth Floor Trio, serving as principal percussionist and education director at the trio’s chamber music festival, GardenMusic, in South Miami.  In addition to his work in the orchestral and jazz music worlds, Gabriel has completed extensive world percussion studies having studied Afro-Brazilian percussion in Salvador, Bahia with Gabi Guedes and Mario Pam, as well as Cuban percussion with Girardo Piloto, Rociel Riveron, and Adonis Panter.  He regularly performs Cuban music with John Benitez, Luisito Quintero, Ariacne Trujillo and others.

Gabriel continues to work as a teaching artist for the Philadelphia Orchestra’s School Partnership Program and has been a teaching artist for Play On Philly! as well as musician-in-residence at The Please Touch Museum.  He is a co-founder of Drumming for Social Change, an organization dedicated to developing percussion-based educational programming. He is a 2008 graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Don Liuzzi and Robert van Sice.

Malec Heermans, Trombone
Malec Heermans is a trombone player, educator, and composer based in Brooklyn. As a performer Malec has had the opportunity to play in a wide range of styles ranging from Baroque to Big Band and beyond. He has had the honor to work with Cab Calloway, Billy Harper, Shawn Pelton, the Mambo Legends Orchestra, the Tom Abbott Orchestra, and the Stan Rubin Orchestra, and has contributed as a player and horn section arranger on a long list of recordings. In addition to a busy performing schedule Malec has had the great pleasure of working as a brass coach at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts and with the InterSchool Orchestra. Malec earned a BFA from The New School’s Jazz and Contemporary Music program and is working toward an MM in trombone performance at Brooklyn College.

Keisel Jiménez, Percussion
Since the beginning of his career, Keisel Jiménez has been exploring his roots and has actively and successfully driven the evolution of Cuban music. Born in 1983 in Camagüey, Jiménez has worked as a session musician as well as live performer. In recent days he has been playing and touring with Isaac Delgado and performed in the salsa musical Salsa, Mambo, Cha Cha Cha, which was produced by Isaac Delgado and directed by Maija Garcia. Keisel Jiménez Leyva earned his degree in Classical Percussion at the Institute of Superior Art (ISA) in Cuba. During his education, he received the opportunity to tour the world and its Jazz Festivals as a drummer with the legendary orchestra Orlando Valle Maraca. Alongside his fixed engagement with Alexander Abreu y su Havana d’Primera, Jiménez was one of the founders of El Niño y La Verdad, was an integral part of Alain Perez’s band on his frequent performances in Cuba, regularly played the timbales in Cucurucho Valdés’ Latin Jazz combo, and worked with Juan Guillermo (JG) as a musician and a musical counselor. Furthermore, he performed with legendary José Alberto “El Canario” during his visit in Cuba. Amidst all his performances, Jiménez was also a well sought after session musician. To name some of the many recordings, Jiménez performed with Alexander Abreu y su Havana d’Primera on “Me dicen Cuba” (congas/bongo), “La Bailarina” (drums), “Rosa la Peligrosa” (congas), Leoni Torres’ “Soledad” and he worked with Orlando Valle Maraca on the album Lo que quiero es fiesta (drums/timbales). For the album Llegó la Verdad by El Niño y la Verdad Jiménez designed the entire percussion part and recorded the timbales and the congas.

Steve Smyth, Trumpet
Originally from East Lansing, Michigan, Steve has been living and playing full time in New York City since 2000. He holds a Masters degree in jazz performance from the University of Miami. Steve has toured with the big bands of Artie Shaw, Woody Herman, Chico O’Farrill and Glen Miller.

Arturo O’Farrill and ALJA

Arturo O’Farrill, world-renowned GRAMMY award-winning pianist, composer, and educator, created the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO) in 2002 to bring the vital musical traditions of Afro Latin jazz to a wider general audience. Numerous Grammy nominations and awards attest to the success of this goal, most recently the 2015 Grammy win for Best Afro Latin Jazz Album for ALJO’s The Offense of the Drum. Mr. O’Farrill established the nonprofit Afro Latin Jazz Alliance in 2007 to further promote Afro Latin Jazz through a comprehensive array of performance and education programs.

Born in Mexico, Mr. O’Farrill grew up in New York City and studied at the Manhattan School of Music, Brooklyn College Conservatory (from which he received the Distinguished Alumnus Medal), and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. He played piano with the Carla Bley Big Band from 1979 through 1983, then went on to develop as a solo performer with such distinguished artists as Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis, and Harry Belafonte. In 1995 Mr. O’Farrill became the director of the orchestra that preserved much of his father’s music, the Chico O’Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra, travelling to Cuba to headline performances at the annual Havana International Jazz Festival. Mr. O’Farrill has recorded numerous albums, including the soundtracks of critically acclaimed films, Calle 54 and Chico and Rita.

As an educator, he has taught master classes, seminars, and workshops throughout the world for students and teachers of all levels. Mr. O’Farrill has served as the Alan and Wendy Pesky Artist in Residence at Lafayette College, as Visiting Artist at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, as Assistant Professor of Jazz at The University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and as Assistant Professor at SUNY Purchase. He is on the faculty at Brooklyn College and the Manhattan School of Music, and is currently an artist-in-residence at the Harlem School of the Arts and the Casita Maria Center for Arts & Culture.


Learn more about the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance at

This program is founded by the National Recreation Foundation.
Learn more about NRF at