new Afro-Cuban cross-over 

"Mark Lotz & Shango's Dance"

International collective within a cross-over of Afro Cuban Santeria Music (1995-2005). A fusion of an Afro Cuban vocal and drum ensemble with the Lotz Of Music quintet of flautist Mark Alban Lotz. 'Shango's Dance' is a creative platform for some of the finest vocalists and instrumentalists, each representing their own cultural background, but combining them to create something new.

Toured Germany, Cuba and Holland with Festival appearances like the Percuba Festival, Havana and the North Sea Jazz Festival. Released a trilogy of CDs on Dutch (Via/Loplop) and US labels (Random Chance) which were highly acclaimed by the international press. The CD's: Cd Lotz Of Music Meets Batá Drums, Cd Lotz Of Music In Havana, Cd Cuban Fishes Make Good Dishes.

slideshow shango's dance (double click foto to start slideshow)


about the music

"Shango's Dance" combines the powerfull rhythms and chants from the Santería & Yoruba religious tradition with the art of improvised music. The programme revives the ancient songs and dances the Cubans used to worship their West African ancestors and gods. The performance includes exciting grooves, harmonies, improvisations, dancing and melodic movement as the main ingredients. However, the secret of the success of the group lies in the fact that the spiritual and trance states of performance give meaning to the empowering atmosphere of music and dance. It is music that evokes images of African rituals as well as impressions of "Big City Life".

'Shango' is the powerfull African god of the Batá drums, dance and thunder, but above all he is a very creative and sucessful womanizer. The name of the band is dedicated to his many guises.

 slideshow Havana (Cd recordings) 1997  (double click foto to start slideshow)


Blues For Yemayá Blues For Yemayá (excerpt)

Chango In The Dark Chango In The Dark (excerpt)

Arara Track Arara Track (excerpt)

Bandada Bandada (excerpt)

The Road To Odua/Obatala The Road To Odua/Obatala (excerpt)

Praise King Nimunze And Ochun Praise King Nimunze And Ochun (excerpt)

about the performers

The line up includes singers & dancers, percussion, a family of flutes, tenor sax/clarinets, piano, tuba/bass and drum-kit. "Shango's Dance" features from seven up to twelve or more musicians/dancers.


International artists associated with "Shango's Dance" are a.o. the legendary Amelia Pedroso, Miguel 'Anga' Diaz, Martha Galarraga (first soloist of the 'Conjunto Folklorico National de Cuba'), José Pilar Suarez, Ariel Bridon Romero (first soloist of the  'Conjunto Folklorico de Oriente', Santiago), soloist of the 'Yoruba Anabo' and 'Clave Y Guaguanco' ensembles, internationally renowned Indian Tabla virtuoso Sandip Battacharya and Thelonious Monk Competition prize winner Marc van Roon, etc.

slideshow Martha Galarraga & Mark Lotz  (double click foto to start slideshow) 


about the History

The 'Yoruba Love Affair' started with the encounter between Lotz and master drummer Javier Campos Martinez in 1996. This unforgettable evening initiated by the musical exchange, resulted in the promise to nurture the seed into a creative work and ended up with CD recordings at the ICAIC studios, Havana, featuring many household names among the cognoscenti of the Cuban Orisha music. Soon people recognised the value of the initiative and Lotz of Music got invitations to attend major music festivals such as The Percuba Festival in Havana and the North Sea Jazz Festival in The Netherlands.

Asoyi Track Asoyi Track (excerpt)

Sweet Ochun Sweet Ochun (excerpt)

Bembe para Elegua Bembe para Elegua (excerpt)

King Of The White Cloth King Of The White Cloth  (excerpt)

about the art of improvised music

Following on from the improvisations made by Afro Americans in New Orleans at the beginning of the last century, many musical forms have now taken up the art of improvisation. Realising the freedom it gives to explore new boundaries of sound, rhythm, and harmony it has enabled musicians to advance their art at an ever increasing pace. Here we have a good example of the fruits of this quest.

slideshow press  (doubleclick foto to start slideshow)


Line Up

jazz quintet

  • Mark Alban Lotz (D/NL) – leader, piccolo, c-, alto-, bass and contra bass flute, vocals, percussion
  • Maarten Ornstein (NL) – clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone, tarogato
  • Marc van Roon (NL) – piano (earlier Stefan Schmid)
  • Eric Surmenian (F) – double bass (earlier Jos Machtel/Marius Beets)
  • Liber Torriente (Cu) – drum set, batá, percussion (Charanga Habanera) (earlier Stefan Kruger/Lukas van Merwijk)



  • Martha Galaraga (Cu) (first soloist of the 'Conjunto Folklorico National de Cuba')
  • Jazmin Saavedra (Cu) (soloist of the 'Conjunto Folklorico National de Cuba')
  • Jorge Martinez Galan (Cu)
  • Iwan Rodriguez (Cu) (Ballet National Cuba)
  • José Ariel Bridon Romero (Cu) (first soloist of the 'Conjunto Folklorico de Oriente, Santiago')


  • Javier Campos Martinez (Cu)
  • Jos De Haas (NL)
  • Jens Kerkhoff (D)
  • (earlier Sjahin During/Frank van Dok)

dancers (optional)

  • Maria Estela Johnson (Cu)
  • Rafael Castellanos Salazar (Cu)


 slideshow Havana (Cd recordings) 1997  (double click foto to start slideshow)


























































































































“Mysterious and increasingly penetrating ostinatos evoke an athmosphere of strange rituals.” (Groninger Dagblad, The Netherlands)

“Freed from the static of the chairs the public absorbed the kinetic energy of ‘Lotz of Music’.” (General Anzeiger, Germany)

“The North Sea Jazz Festival’s audience was hypnotized by the sacral athmosphere Lotz Of Music’s interpretations of cuban Santeria music materialized.” (NRC Handelsblad, The Netherlands)

“Inspiring evening with deep Afro Cuban Grooves and crazy jazz escapades presented with remarkable integrity.” (Oye Listen, The Netherlands)