Tusa Montes is a percussionist, ethnomusicologist, and educator who specializes in the music of the Philippines, Asia, West Africa, and Latin America. She graduated in 2012 with a MM Musicology degree at the University of the Philippines College of Music. She taught at the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music for 10 years and is currently a Senior Lecturer at the UP College of Music. She has performed in various festivals in the Philippines and abroad, with notable local and international musicians such as royal Hartigan, Edsel Gomez, Joe Bataan, Bob Aves, Grace Nono, Winston Raval, and Bo Razon.
Saturnino, hailed by Time Out Magazine as one of the Top 20 Musicians in Hong Kong in 2008, TEDx Hong Kong presenter in 2016 and The Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines for Arts in Music 2016 by JCI Philippines. He was one of the consultants and juries of Asia Pacific Drummer Competition in Hong Kong in 2017, a member of the Percussive Arts Society World Percussion Committee, Liaison to International Committee, and President of Percussive Arts Society Philippines, and a Zildjian and Prologix drum pad artist.
As a session musician, he has played for performing groups and entertainment companies such as Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group (Manila), HK 3 Arts Musical Institute, HK APA School of Drama and etc. He also performed as drummer and bandleader in HK Disneyland Band (2005-2015), former Percussionist of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Former Principal percussionist of the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra, and etc.
Also, Saturnino is always enthusiastic in education, he organizes percussion workshops in Asian countries for the young and OFWs earned him the Bagong Bayani (modern-day hero) Award for Culture and the Arts in 2014, ABS-CBN Gawad Geny Lopez Jr. Bayaning Pilipino (Filipino hero) Award for Asia Pacific in 2015, UPAA Distinguished Alumnus Award for Culture and the Arts in 2018 and Presidential Award in 2018 conferred by the President of the Philippines. Not to mention, Saturnino won multi-gold medals and awarded Senior Division Overall Champion in the instrument jazz category in the 20th Annual World Champions of Performing Arts in the USA in 2016.
1. Percussion is not only about hitting several things, every instrument has its own story and character. When it comes to drumming, there is a deep level of spirituality and there is always a connection in the drum, ethnicity, community, culture, and identity.
2. Traditionally, Agung is used for transit messages as it rings so loud.
3. Saturnino was the bandleader between 2005 to 2015 in the HK Disney Band, the marching band needs to perform seven shows a day and seven times a week(there are totally two bands), but when we ask him about the workload, he smiles and answers "you won't feel bored on something as long as you love it."
4. It is important to go back to the basics, especially when you are tired.
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Tap on Pacific hearts,
Strike up Asia.