Batá Drumming Retreat

 

Dec 28th – Jan 4th

We are delighted to offer a week-long winter 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 and meet and socialise with other like-minded people passionate about batá music.

This will be a small group retreat of five people. We will bring in the New Year drumming, singing and celebrating together.

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

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 various price options depending on your preferred accommodation and if you pay a deposit before the Earlybird deadline.

*Earlybird 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 15th November.

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: £755
Regular Single Room: £830 (1-2 available)

Shared rooms: 3 available
Earlybird Shared Room: £625
Regular Shared Room:  £715

 

How to book

Step 1: Fill out an online registration form.

Step 2: Pay your deposit either via our bank account (free) or Paypal

Step 3: Pay the outstanding balance by the date listed directly to our bank account.

Please check we have spaces and read our Cancellation and Participation Guide before booking.

Our Donation Policy
Would you like to support young artists (under 34 years) or female survivors of human trafficking to access our retreats? If you can spare any amount for this cause, we will match your funding. All you need to do is add the amount you would like to donate to your total when you make a bank transfer and let us know via the sign-up form. We will inform you as to how we spent the money. Thank you for your generosity.

Find out more about our work with female survivors of human trafficking – Moving Voices UK

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.

La Rijana

Google Reviews

Daniela Di ScalaDaniela Di Scala
02:13 23 Jul 24
I learned that in July 2024 there would be a masterclass held by Omar Puente and, without even thinking or checking what or where Finca Ara Oko was, I hurried to sign up. I have been to other Masterclasses held by Oma Puente in Cuba, France and London and I believe that Omar is the best music and life teacher in the world! Even if the masterclass had been held in a chicken coop I would have been extremely happy with how informative and exciting Omar Puente's masterclasses ALWAYS (without exception) are. But more: Finka Ara Oko is the door to Paradise (perfumes, colors, sounds and surfaces like those you find at Finka Ara Oko are those you imagine you would find in Paradise). Plus: Vicky and Dave added their delightful presence, their organizational skills, their unforgettable ability to mix foods to create unforgettable breakfasts, lunches and dinners, their immense knowledge of Cuban rhythm and music. Not to mention that the other students of the masterclass have become my dearest friends! Wren, Zoe, Nigel, Nano... wonderful people! I've been glamping and I think glamping at Finca Aka Oko should be included in the humanitarian bill... Hey, maybe I've been living a dream, in which case, don't wake me up! Let me know how it went, although I already know that you will find it wonderful too.
Nigel HoskingNigel Hosking
21:46 22 Jul 24
Vicky and Dave are excellent, thoughtful hosts and looked after us very well. The finca is in a beautiful and peaceful setting in the mountains - a real refuge from every day modern life.The accommodation is very comfortable and the food of a very high standard, with the evening meal prepared by a local restaurant.On this particular retreat we had the opportunity to play with a great maestro, Omar Puente, which was a real treat. The excellent Dave Pattman was also on hand to give percussion input. This was a really enjoyable week socially as well as s great learning experience.
Wren K. SWren K. S
20:02 21 Jul 24
The perfect combination of people, music, nature, and most importantly food! Vicky and Dave are such great hosts that I eagerly look forward to staying with again when I can x
Omar PuenteOmar Puente
20:02 21 Jul 24
Paul BlakePaul Blake
18:30 20 Jul 24
I’ve attended two folkloric retreats and can’t wait for the next time!
ohad lustigmanohad lustigman
15:50 20 Jul 24
If you like afrocuban music do yourself a favour and go to omthis retreat.Best teachers, best location, best vibe, best food and best everything.
Mario LopezMario Lopez
19:43 18 Jun 24
If I could give this place more than five stars, I would. The key word to describe both Finca Ara Oko and Vicky & David, the two beautiful humans who run it, is hospitality.I stayed here at the end of May and beginning of June and I'll surely be back. Accommodation-wise, V&D have struck a note-perfect balance between detachment and proximity. The Finca is isolated enough to make one feel as if there are no other human beings around and yet the closest town, Cádiar, is between ten and fifteen minutes away by car.V&D run music workshops (they're both amazing artists). which makes a visit to Finca Ara Oko a special occasion. Combine percussion classes with a local walk and you'll feel in cloud nine.Oh, and did I mention that sometimes clouds sweep through the house in the evening? 🙂
Victor GarciaVictor Garcia
16:00 20 May 24
Frank GeraghtyFrank Geraghty
10:38 03 Feb 24
Lovely place. Fantastic views.
Robert TozerRobert Tozer
07:02 02 Oct 23
The retreat was a wonderful communal and learning experience where we were able to relax and develop our percussion skills. I have no hesitation to recommend it to anyone interested in salsa percussion.
Larissa BailadoraLarissa Bailadora
10:22 30 Jul 23
Spent a week in July at Finca Ara Oko with Luanda Pau Afro Cuban Dance Retreat. What an amazing experience this was! Alongside fantastic dancing/drumming/singing experience we enjoyed our stay in this old Andalusian farmhouse nestled in the mountains at the altitude of 1.2k meters.Vicky and David were amazing hosts, making sure our stay was comfortable, relaxing and stimulating. Despite being extremely busy with hosting, catering, drumming and singing tuition, Vicky and Dave were extremely personable and always had time to talk and listen, play games and just be there for you.The activities during the time were well planned and organised. Food - amazing, and the rooms we stayed in well maintained, comfortable and clean.I would highly recommend and hope to be back one day for more.
Chantal RChantal R
17:10 25 Jul 23
Vicky and Dave are both lovely people that will make you feel welcome immediately. They live in a beautiful, peaceful area where you can relax. I loved the variety of delicious fruit available all day!
Arran CleggArran Clegg
09:54 25 Jul 23
A wonderful retreat in a delightful setting with focus on body movement, musicality and technique. Thanks to Vicky, David and Luanda for coming together to produce the amazing immersive and authentic Afrocuban experience!
Christina CChristina C
12:58 20 Jul 23
A beautiful experience! I did the Coro de Clave retreat in June/July 2023. Vicky & Dave are not only expert musicians, but experts at building community. Sharing space in an off-grid farmhouse can present some challenges, but that was more than made up for by the beautiful surroundings, lovely people, delicious food, and soul-stirring music. I hope to return next year!
Alex WoodwardAlex Woodward
20:36 10 Jul 23
I had a beautiful week at Finca Ora Oko for the Coro de Clave retreat. Vicky and Dave opened their home and hearts, and shared the music they love with us. I learnt so much and had a fulfilling and joyful experience in the mountains of southern Spain. I would return in a heartbeat to do it again. It really was a special experience that will always stay with me. Truly amazing!
Erik BaumertErik Baumert
20:44 06 Jul 23
I just got back from a week long retreat full of singing, drumming, and relaxing. Although the dates didn’t fully fit my schedule, Vicky and Dave were very flexible in accommodating me and tailored a couple of custom workshop days to my liking which was incredible. The workshops themselves were just the right amount of challenging with a very comfortable atmosphere to learn, so I could playfully grow my knowledge of Afro Cuban songs and rhythms. The finca is beautifully situated in between almond fields with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and starry night skies - and there’s various beautiful porches and hammocks to enjoy them from during siesta. Special shout-out also to the food, I’m a vegetarian and just loved all the dishes made from fresh, local veggies! Thanks for the perfect week!
Sue BeardonSue Beardon
18:52 04 Jul 23
Vicky and Dave are so generous with their talent and passion to share the wonderful music of Cuba. They manage to make the experience fun and yet with attention to detail and excellence. The beauty of the setting, the vibrancy of the music, great food, excellent company all topped off with the fulfillment of learning new skills. Altogether marvellous
Séverine DelfosseSéverine Delfosse
15:12 06 Oct 22
I attended a Salsa Percussion Retreat at Finca Ará Oko and had the most amazing time. Vicky and Dave were very welcoming and great to learn from. The tuitions were fun and insightful, Dave catered to different levels within the group easily and my lovely co-students were also helpful. The finca is homey (there’s even a pool if you’re not nesh!), the views are stunning and the food delicious. We got to do some nice walks around the valley, visited the local bar for some tapas and gazed at stars at night. I highly recommend this retreat and look forward to coming back next year. 🙂
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!!
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.
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?
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! 🙂
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