Martin Cohen, photo taken by son Matthew.

Martin Goes to Harvard

I was honored to be part of a panel of celebrated figures in Latin music that took place at Harvard University on October 1. Organized by Harvard Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, Doris Sommers; the panel included bandleader, Larry Harlow; arranger, Marty Sheller; filmmaker, Leon Gast; Yale Professor, Robert Farris Thompson; Havard Professor, Ingrid Monson, Smithosonian Curator, Marvette Perez and ethnomusicologist, Sebastian Zubieta.

The theme of this gathering was Jewish Latin Mix. It explored the connection in the 1950s and 1960s between Jews and Cuban music.  I presented my slide show, "From My Basement to Bangkok, The Growing of a Percussion Industry," which traces the 40-year journey of my original crazy idea to build bongos in my basement to the establishment of enormous factories in Bangkok, Thailand that build the finest percussion instruments in the world. I explained how a personal passion for music, photography, and the people making the music fueled the creation of LP, the largest percussion company in the world - from a four-page, two-color catalog to a 130-page, full-color catalog!

To see exclusive photos from this event, please click here.