Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Rump-A-Pum-Pum Holiday Drum Summit

November 16th, 2013

Dixon Hall
Tulane University, Uptown Campus

Photo: Cuban percussionist Alexey Marti performs at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 2012. Marti will be one of six musicians performing at the Rump-A-Pum-Pum Holiday Drum Summit on Nov. 16. (Photo from the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South)

By: Benton Oliver

“You just want that feeling; there’s going to be such a vibe!” says Karen Celestan, senior program manager of Music Rising at Tulane University, about the second “Rump-A-Pum-Pum…A Holiday Drum Summit.” The event will take place Saturday (Nov. 16) at 6:30 p.m. in Dixon Hall on the uptown campus, and it is free and open to the public.

Rump-A-Pum-Pum, hosted by Music Rising at Tulane, will consist of a repertoire of familiar holiday songs being played by six virtuoso New Orleans musicians. The songs will be performed as interpretations of the originals, incorporating distinctive New Orleans and Cuban rhythms, techniques and sounds.

“I hand-picked these musicians because I wanted to challenge them with this concept and see how they chose to tackle it,” Celestan says. The featured musicians will be New Orleans greats Shannon Powell and Johnny Vidacovich each on a drum set, Cuban percussionist Alexey Marti, pianist Larry Sieberth, saxophonist Roderick Paulin and bassist Chris Severin.

Music Rising at Tulane is a division of the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South at Tulane University, which works to research, promote and teach about musical cultures with origins in states touching the Gulf of Mexico: Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Cuba is also included in the focus of the center.

Music Rising is an initiative launched by U2’s The Edge, legendary music producer Bob Ezrin, and Gibson Guitar chair Henry Juszkiewicz in response to the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans’ musical culture. Its goal is to restore and preserve NOLA’s unique musical tradition through the donation of instruments to New Orleans youth, as well as the development of a coordinate major at Tulane, Musical Cultures of the Gulf South.

“Rump-A-Pum-Pum is just one way in which the center and Music Rising at Tulane can highlight the similarities between the musics of Cuba and New Orleans, and share this interconnectedness with the world,” Celestan says.

Benton Oliver is a junior at Tulane University majoring in communication and music

See the original article that was published in Tulane’s New Wave





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Bate Papo! Speak Portuguese

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Bate Papo! Practice your Portuguese and enjoy some Brazilian treats. It’s Happy Hour em português! Start off your weekend conversando! This event is sponsored by TULASO and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies. Admission is free. For more information, please contact Jessica Glass at

Stone Center Undergraduate Showcase/Open House

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As a part of Tulane Homecoming and family weekend 2016. Explore the programs and activities offered through Tulane’s renowned Stone Center for Latin American Studies, including international and local service-learning, summer and semester abroad programs at Tulane’s Costa Rica campus and beyond and students’ post-Tulane careers. This event is sponsored by the Stone Center for Latin American Studies.
For more information, please contact Edie Wolfe, or call 504.865.5164.

MARI Brown Bag: Timothy Beach "The Re-Enchantment of Maya Wetland Fields from Earth and Sky"

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Dr. Timothy Beach, the Centennial Professor of Geography and Environment at the University of Texas at Austin, will present a talk on his recent research about Maya agricultural practices in a talk titled “The Re-Enchantment of Maya Wetland Fields from Earth and Sky.”

For more information and a full list of Brown Bag talks, visit the Brown Bag Website.

Sugar Skulls at the Pebbles Center

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The Pebbles Center at the Children’s Resource Center is hosting a sugar skull making workshop for kids of all ages. Join us to make a sugar skull in celebration of Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.

A collaboration of the New Orleans Public Library and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies, the Pebbles Center provides books and resources on Latin America.

Free and Open to the Public!

Trends in Latin American Literature: A Conversation with Jorge F. Hernandez & Yuri Herrera

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A Conversation with Jorge F. Hernandez & Yuri Herrera

Wednesday, November 9th from 6:00 pm-9:30 pm. Together, writers Jorge F. Hernandez and Yuri Herrera will explore past and present trends in Latin American literature. Their dialogue will take place at the Freeman Auditorium in the Woldenberg Art Center from 6:00 pm-7:15 pm. Please join us at the Latin American Library afterwards for a reception and an exhibit, from 7:30pm-9:30pm. This talk is part of a Big Read program for Sun, Stone, and Shadows, edited by Hernandez.

The Latin American Library of Tulane University is partnering this year with the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society in presenting a community-wide BIG READ, funded in part by the National Endowment of the Arts. The BIG READ program provides support for community groups to read and discuss one book together. This year’s focus book, Sun, Stone, and Shadows, is a collection of the best Mexican short fiction curated, edited, and translated by Mexican author Jorge F. Hernandez. One of Mexico’s leading journalists and author of both non-fiction and fiction, Hernandez currently lives in Madrid, where he writes for the leading newspaper in Spain, El Pais. Recent events have brought to the fore the importance of understanding our neighbors to the south and there is no better way to familiarize oneself with a nation’s people than through their literature. Sun, Stone, and Shadows serves as a window on the soul of the Mexican people, containing prized jewels of short fiction, work by such Mexican masters as the late Carlos Fuentes.

The evening will begin with a conversation between Hernandez and the young Mexican fiction writer Yuri Herrera, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese. Herrera and his translator recently were awarded the highly prestigious Best Translated Book Award for Fiction. Herrera’s work explores ongoing societal issues surrounding Border culture and employs incredibly inventive language for his characters. His latest novels, both translated into English, are Signs Preceding the End of the World and The Transmigration of Bodies. Their dialogue will explore past and present trends in Latin American literature. The discussion will be followed by a reception at the library unveiling a new exhibition of rare treasures from the the Latin American Library’s collections of Mexican literature, art, and cultural artifacts. The reception will feature Mexican culinary treats and music.

This event is sponsored by the Latin American Library, the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society and the National Endowment of the Arts BIG READ program.

For more information visit the event webpage

Exploring the 2016 US Elections

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The US’s November elections are especially critical. The world’s power structures are undergoing dramatic changes, and so the internal political process of this world leader has even greater global consequences.

Looking beyond just the US’s foreign policy is key to understanding its actions. Over the next few months, the teaching programs at several Costa Rican institutions will focus on the following:

  • An analysis of succession of power within institutional structures.
  • The role of political parties (polarization).
  • The influence of changing demographics.
  • The geographic expression of social change.
  • The effect of the democratic process in the formulation and implementation of the US’s foreign policy towards Latin American in particular.

The University of Costa Rica, through its School of Political Science, and the Centro de Investigación y Estudios Políticos (CIEP), has joined forces with the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones y su Instituto de Formación y Estudios en Democracia (IFED), as well as with the University of Tulane, through its Center for Inter-American Policy and Research (CIPR), for a series of outreach activities during the second half of 2016. These activities will utilize the resources at these educational and research institutions to promote a better understanding of the electoral process in the US.

The results of this upcoming election will have repercussions for the world, particularly in Latin American and Costa Rica. A broader, deeper understanding of the current situation will be useful for both universities and public policy decision-makers.

Participating institutions are confident that a proper analysis of this political process will lead to improved understanding and cooperation between the two nations.

Schedule of Activities


  • Thursday, 8/18: Talk on the United States’ electoral system by Diego Brenes, IFED.

  • Thursday, 9/1: Discussion on demographics and electoral geography in the US with Constantino Urcuyo and Jesús Guzmán.
  • Thursday, 9/22: Talk on Politics and Elections: Celeste Lay, Phd. Tulane University.

  • Thursday, 10/13: Discussion on elections and external politics: Carlos Murillo, Phd. in government and public policy.
  • Thursday, 10/27: Talk by Jenny Lincoln Fullbright from the US Embassy.

  • Monday, 11/10: Round table. Analysis of election results with Constantino Urcuyo, Felipe Alpízar, Nuria Marín, and Fernando Zeledón as moderator.