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Rebeca Mauleon

Rebeca Mauleon

In 1999 Rebeca Mauleon made Round Trip (Bembe), her debut outing as a leader, and she was trying hard to promote the CD, taking nightclub gigs as much as possible. But instead of feeling like a pianist, Mauleon says she was turning into a business manager, which took her away from creating music. So she backed away from the $50 to $100 a night “chicken feed” club gigs and reevaluated her career. “I was tired of this mediocre pace that I was surrounded by and wanted to see myself rise above that,” says Mauleon. “For those doing the clubs, more power to you, because those are the trenches. You have to pay those dues, but at the same time you don’t need to settle for less.”

So Mauleon, who holds a master’s degree in composition from Oakland, Calif.’s Mills College, concentrated on teaching and wrote the celebrated instructional books Salsa Guidebook, 101 Montunos and Muy Caliente (Sher Publishing). For the last few years Mauleon, has dedicated herself to completing a Meet the Composer Grant at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, teaching at San Francisco City College and raising her two boys. Mauleon was first attracted to salsa dance music and Latin jazz as a kid hanging out at the SF Mission Cultural Center. Since then she’s gone on to play and record with Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum, Tito Puente, Carlos Santana and many others.

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