Oregano Percussion is a duo that combines musical styles from Latin and Caribbean to songwriting, pop, and percussion chamber music. Alejandro Céspedes and Michelle Colton perform throughout North America and have presented clinics at schools in the US, Canada and Cuba. Oregano Percussion appeared as Artists-in-Residence at MusicFest Canada and the Birch Creek Music Performance Centre, and will be guest artists at the Prairie Music Residency in 2024.

Meet the Artists

Dr. Michelle Colton

A versatile percussionist who has performed throughout North America, Asia, Europe, and Central America. She often performs with the Canadian Opera Company, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Soundstreams, Esprit Orchestra, Niagara Symphony, and her duo Oregano Percussion. She has also performed with NEXUS, Keiko Abe, and Dame Evelyn Glennie. Her solo album, Unpredictable Nature includes original compositions as well as works by TorQ Percussion members. She can also be heard on the JUNO Award-winning album, Detach. She earned her Doctorate and Master of Music degrees from the University of Toronto and her Bachelor of Music from the University of Iowa. She has directed steel pan ensembles at the University of Toronto, Royal Conservatory, and the Toronto District School Board. She has been guest faculty with the Birch Creek Percussion and Steel Pan Academy, Prairie Music Residency, and the Iowa Ambassadors of Music European tours. Dr. Colton directs the University of Toronto Percussion Preparatory Department and serves as the Ontario Percussive Arts Society President. She is an artist/endorser of Pearl/Adams and Dream Cymbals. www.michellecolton.com

Alejandro Céspedes, M.Mus

A percussionist and educator who graduated from the University of Toronto and Amadeo Roldán Conservatory in Havana, Cuba. Céspedes performs classical percussion, body percussion, Latin percussion and steelpan. He is the principal percussionist of the Ontario Pops and Casa Loma Symphony Orchestras and has performed with the National Opera and Ballet Orchestra of Cuba, as well as the Niagara, Kingston, TO Live, and Toronto Symphony Orchestras. He has performed with Bobby McFerrin, Jane Bunnett, the Buena Vista Social Club, and was featured at the Toronto Body Percussion Festival. He was a musician/dancer/actor for Venom of Love and The Power of Harriet T! As an educator, Céspedes founded and conducted the steelpan ensembles at Music By The Lake (Toronto District School Board Music Camp) and the Regent Park School of Music, which performed with 2Cellos and events such as the Luminato and Toronto Jazz Festivals. He has also taught percussion at the National Music Camp of Canada, Manuel Saumell and Amadeo Roldán Conservatories in Havana. He has presented body percussion workshops at Lizt Alfonso Dance Company in Havana and McGill University in Montreal. Céspedes is an artist/endorser of Pearl/Adams Musical Instruments, and Humes & Berg.

Special Celebrations

Oregano Percussion’s unique sound will create a memorable event experience at your upcoming wedding, birthday party, and family reunion. We are a dynamic husband and wife duo that offers the ideal soundscape for any celebration ceremony, reception or dinner!

Bluewater Percussion Camp

A one-week camp, hosted by the Bluewater Outdoor Centre (Wiarton, South Bruce Peninsula) and programmed by Oregano Percussion, for percussion students entering Grades 7-9. 

As music directors of the Bluewater Percussion Camp, Michelle Colton and Alejandro Céspedes are excited to share their knowledge and bring students to a new musical level! Through classes, ensemble rehearsals, and performances, the students will work directly with professionals and other students, gaining confidence as well-rounded musicians.

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