My shekeres in Manchester

I made a couple of shekeres for a friend in Manchester a while back. He just posted an image of them along with a shekere he already had. I made these two for him to make a complete agbe set of 3 shekeres (agbes). Here they are sitting on top of his beautiful set of Isla Percussion drums.

What he has now is a set of three shekeres in ascending (or descending) sizes and tones. This set up is ideal for playing guiro/bembe, where three shekeres are played accompanied by a guataca or bell and usually a single conga drum. The three shekeres and their different tones play rhythmic melodies similar to how three congas are played. Traditionally the shekeres are referred to by the same names as bata drums; okonkolo, itotele and iya, but now it is also common to refer to the instruments as cachimbo, mula and caja as well. The traditional names reflect the African and spiritual origins of the shekere and it's music. In rumba, which is a secular musical form, typically only one shekere is played, however sometimes you can hear two shekeres being played in a rumba.

It is incredibly rewarding for me to think of this fine gentleman making music for others to enjoy 1/2 way around the world with instruments I made in my Haight Ashbury apartment in S.F.

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