We're pleased to welcome Sam Werk as the new Director of the Afro-Cuban Folkloric Ensemble. Sam Werk has been studying percussion since the age of 10, when he joined the local school band. Soon after, he discovered the drum set and a passion for music that he never knew he had. Playing in garage bands all through high school, he decided that he needed to study percussion at a more serious level and applied to study music at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. During his time there, he discovered the music of the Caribbean and he knew that that was what he was meant to play. He has since studied in Havana, Cuba under Alejandro Carvajal Guerra and has performed all over the world including the Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland, the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy, and the Encuentro de Tambores in Juncos, Puerto Rico. He currently resides in Chicago, IL, playing with several folkloric Afro-Cuban and Afro-Puerto Rican groups in addition to maintaining an active teaching schedule. In addition to writing for reverb.com, he has recently written an article for Modern Drummer entitled "Puerto Rican Claves: Afro-Boricua Basics and Contemporary Appications for Drumset", as well as working with master Puerto-Rican drummer Jorge Emmanuelli Nater to write a book on Afro- Puerto Rican percussion. Most recently, he has published a book on Afro- Cuban music titled Songs of The Oru Cantado.