I've been getting into rumba and Afro-Cuban music for a little while now and one of the things I really like about this music is the instruments.
I like the humble beginnings of a lot of the instruments. Sticks, boxes, gourds, beads, cow bells, hoe blades, shakers, pieces of bamboo and of course the conga drum.
As I started to get deeper into playing rumba and other rhythms I realized there was no place to buy a cata or gua-gua, that special little instrument that keeps the beat. Skekeres were expenisve and often not that well made. Where can one buy a nkembi?
Anyways I started making my own instruments and got into maintaining my drums myself; even restored a conga. I realized that resources for doing these things were a little on the thin side. I came across the idea of this blog, being inspired by other blog examples. I also started to experience a greater enjoyment of the music playing instruments I made myself and hearing other rumberos playing them. Also through this practice I have gained a deeper appreciation for the origins of rumba and Afro-Cuban music; the drive, the energy, the ingenuity and the craft involved.
In the interests of helping others make their own instruments and to promote the music itself I will be documenting the craft of making these instruments and trying to explore their history and origins in the process.