Batá Drumming Retreat

 

“Combined with the beautiful location, the company, food etc, this made a perfect retreat to nourish my soul whilst deepening my skills/ knowledge in Afro-Cuban music which I love. It was an amazing week – I’m definitely going to return at some point in the future!”
Julia 2022 

7th – 14th June 2023

We are delighted to offer a weeklong batá retreat which offers an intensive study of batá rhythm and song sequences whilst looking over a spectacular landscape. During the week, you will develop technique, stamina, timing and repertoire as well as meeting and socialising with other like-minded people passionate about batá music.

As with all of our retreats, we spilt the time between tuition and practice time, making the most of the amazing location (mountain walks, beaches, snorkelling, sunbathing, star-gazing, horse riding etc. ), relaxing and of course, eating and drinking.

Course tutors
David Pattman and Vicky Jassey
(Read more about them here)

 Prices:

Included in the price is 7 nights accommodation, three meals a day and 5 days x  5 hours of tuition. (Please see below for costs not included).

We have three apartments, each with two bedrooms and this year; we will introduce a two-bell tent glamping area. We offer various price options depending on whether you sleep in a single room, a shared room or share in the glamping area and whether you get the *Earlybird rate, which is when a non-refundable deposit of £150 is paid before the Earlybird deadline or the regular rate which is the deposit paid after this.

*Earlybird deadline: £150 by March 7th.
Full payment by May 15th

If you would like to arrange to pay in instalments, let us know. Scroll down to see how to book your place.

Single Room: 2 Available (please note, you will still be sharing a bathroom)
*Earlybird Single Room: £720
Regular Single Room: £790 (1-2 available)

 

Shared rooms: 3 available
Earlybird Shared Room: £595
Regular Shared Room:  £680

 

Glamping (2 x 4m bell tents, 2 people per tent):

We will use the glamping area as overflow accommodation if we have more than 7 people booking on the course.  Our tents are luxurious, spacious and comfortable. (Please note; the photo is from the company that has made our bell tents)

Earlybird Glamping: £565 each
Regular Glamping: £635

Please visit our Accommodation page to read more about the facilities available at Finca Ará Oko.

We need a minimum number of guests for a retreat to go ahead. Please check with us before buying your flights.  A full refund will be issued if Covid restrictions prevent the course from happening or if we do not have sufficient numbers for the retreat to run. Please also see our Retreat Cancellation and Participation Guide.

If you are interested in a bespoke percussion music retreat or would like to stay and have some 1-1 tuition, drop us a line.  enquiries@fincaaraoko.com.

Not included in the price

– Extra accommodation: please see our accommodation page for prices.

– Extra meals: Breakfast £5, Lunch £7, Dinner £10

– Alcohol

– Flights: The nearest airport is Almeria (1 hr 20mins drive), then Granada (1 ½-hour drive), then Malaga (2-hour drive). Fares range from £50-350 return. Malaga is often the cheapest and has the most frequent flights.

– Transport to and from the airport: Public transport, unfortunately, is rubbish. The cheapest way is to coordinate your flight times with others attending the course. We will help facilitate this and may suggest a flight time.  Here are some taxi prices from 2022.

Taxi to/from Almeria (7-seater) – €110.
Taxi to/from Malaga (7-seater) €170.
Bus to/from Malaga to Motril (Alsa bus company) – €10
Taxi to/from Motril €80.
Taxi to/from Granada €110

– Transport during your stay.

Car hire: Some of you may wish to hire a car during your stay. It is a lovely place to drive with good roads and no traffic. If you choose this option, please let us know as we have plenty of experience of how not to get ripped off by car-hire firms.

– Travel insurance: Please make your own arrangements.

– Extra lessons

– Extra excursions or activities: There are horse riding, cycling and water sports activities available nearby. If you would like us to organise any of these events, please let us know beforehand.

*If you wish to stay longer than 7 nights, please check with us to see if we can accommodate you. If we can’t for any reason, we will be able to suggest places to stay nearby.

How to book
Step 1: To secure your place, please make a deposit of £150. If possible, please pay via our bank account (details below) as we don’t get changed commission or if you prefer, you can use  Paypal, which includes a charge of 3.5%.

Step 2: Pay the outstanding balance by the date listed directly to the bank details below.

Please see our Cancellation and Participation Guide before booking.

There is no charge if you pay directly into our bank account. If you choose this method, please email your contact details, dates and name of the course so we know which course you wish to attend: enquiries@fincaaraoko.com. If you prefer Paypal, use the link below, but please note we charge a 3.5% bank charge fee.

Bank Details
Account name: Bombo Arts
Account number: 63017399
Sort code: 08-92-99
Reference: (Please add the name of the course)

Deposit – Bata Retreat ’23

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La Rijana

Google Reviews 5*

Marion CunninghamMarion Cunningham
08:07 02 Oct 22
Just back from the salsa percussion retreat Thank you so much Vicky and Dave for a fantastic... experience at La Finca Ara Oko, such a peaceful location with stunning views across the mountains, great accommodation with chillout areas including a plunge pool and hammocks (think I'm going to have to buy one). And for making us all feel welcome and at home! Delicious, tasty food every day, eaten on the patio with the mountains in the background, seeing the stars wow! And the lessons - thoroughly enjoyed playing with such a friendly supportive group of people, and a huge thank you Dave for being a great teacher and so so patient. Highly recommend this experience, I'll definitely be back!!read more
Alison TomlinAlison Tomlin
13:02 26 Sep 22
Just back from a glorious week playing salsa at Finca Ara Oko. What an amazing place to escape for... a music retreat with stunning views over the mountains and a great feeling of space. Add to that expert and patient tuition from Dave, the generous hospitality of both Vicky and Dave, and great company, and you've got yourself a perfect holiday. I really appreciated the effort that was made to not only accommodate a vegan diet, but to provide really delicious and healthy food. Treat yourself to a week here if you can.read more
Karen SteadmanKaren Steadman
10:28 12 Sep 22
I'm writing my review whilst still here, dangling my feet in the delicious, cooling plunge pool.... This place is special in every way, from the peaceful location with its spectacular views, to the beautiful accommodation and lovely spots to chill out and breathe it all in. We've been treated to delicious, wholesome food all week, all shared with a wonderful community of warm, friendly people who now feel like family. But it's not just about kicking back and relaxing. The level of study has been fantastic, immersing ourselves in Afro Cuban percussion for a week with just the right balance of challenge without creating any stress. Various trips out to the surrounding areas have given enough variety for this to be an all round magical experience. I came here with my partner who wasn't participating in the workshops and he was welcomed into the group beautifully and never felt left out.Do we really have to go home?read more
Juliana RuhfusJuliana Ruhfus
21:55 26 Jun 22
Been here twice for a Cuban drumming retreat. Loving the remote location with beautiful walks,... velvety star skies and complete calm. But the real draw is Vicky and Dave's teaching and playing of course. When teaching they manage to accommodate all levels and everyone gets attention which is no easy feat. Dave has countless ways of explaining the the tokes and rhythms and everyone walks away with new skills and renewed fire and passion. Due to the remote location it's possible to practice at all times. At night the drums come out for playing and chilling out. Can't recommend enough!read more
Julia BakerJulia Baker
19:26 22 Jun 22
I went on the batá drumming retreat at Finca Ará Oko in in June 2022 and had a lovely time. The... place is beautiful and extremely peaceful (apart from when we’re drumming starts of course!) and a brilliant location to disconnect from day to day life and focus on learning. As a retreat location it’s idyllic, in the Alpujarra / Sierra Nevada mountains with a panoramic view of the area and all the way down to the sea. It’s truly magical - especially at night when you get to see the stars and even the Milky Way at times. I loved the accommodation - I had a spacious apartment with my own privacy which I really wanted, but would've probably been very happy any one of the other shared rooms to be honest. The rest of the finca is lovely, including a plunge pool perfect for dipping in in the heat. The food was delicious and healthy which was great too. The other participants were lovely and I felt really comfortable getting to know new people as well as spending time with Vicky and Dave. The surrounding area was great also - including walks in the hills close-by and I really loved going on a couple of ‘excursions’ during the week to see nearby towns.And this is all before talking about the drumming - which was brilliant! We focussed on learning a sequence of toques which included transitions, variations, calls and responses and singing. It was really good to focus on the batá and then these specific toques to really try to master them. I have been learning for a few years with Vicky and Dave/Bombo Productions and I get a great deal out of learning - from a sense of community to a therapeutic feeling through playing and entering the 'flow' mode. Combined with the beautiful location, the company, food etc, this made a perfect retreat to nourish my soul whilst deepening my skills/ knowledge in Afro-Cuban music which I love. It was an amazing week - I’m definitely going to return at some point in the future!There’s a lot I haven’t mentioned as I’m aware people probably won’t want to read an essay…but trust me that you will get so much if you choose to visit the magical Finca Ará Oko. Thank you so much y hasta la próxima! 🙂read more
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