Rest in peace, Jesús Alfonso Miró

Sadly, the great artist and rumbero, Jesús Alfonso Miró passed away yesterday June 4, 2009. He was 60 years old. Jesús Alfonso Miró was the musical director and quintocero for the most famous rumba group of all time:

Los Muñequitos de Matanzas.

For many American players of rumba, the albums by Los Muñequitos were the number one source for the music, with rumberos learning directly from the albums tracks how to play the music.

I have always enjoyed Jesús Alfonso Miró's distinct style, what has always stood out is his distinctive use of nkembi while playing quinto. The nkembi are little shakers strapped to the wrists from the Yuka tradition.

The photo of Jesús used for the cover of the Congo Yambumba album playing what has got to be the tiniest requinto ever (!), has in my opinion, always encapsulated the very essence of rumba and Jesús' artistry.

Please read more about this great artist in Mark Sander's, Barry Cox's and Rafael Duque's blogs.


  1. I am so glad I got to see Munequitos, a group I was only able previously to admire on LP and CD, at the Vancouver Folk Fest two years ago. Peace.

  2. The magnificent lighting storm (kabiocile chango) that arrived that night (6/3/09) marked the passing one of the Greatest if not The Greatest Teachers, Rumberos, Quinto Players, Composers, Iyawos and Friend that I have ever known.

    The significance of Jesus Alfonso Miro cannot be measured with words, symbols or even the music that he composed and left for the world to see that perfection CAN be attained, but it can be measured by the positive influence he had on his many disciples whom he taught. With a firm yet patient style of teaching, he impacted my life more than anyone other than my Father and Mother.

    In 1992, Jesus gave me the incentive to become a great rumbero.

    At that time he was my teacher; But over the years he became my dear friend. One who cared for me as much as his own children.

    I will mourn his passing with a ceremony and a rumba dedicated to the Great Rumbero that I will miss dearly.

    -Ramon Pardo

  3. Ramon, I hear you. You must be Jorge Pardo's son who was my conga teacher in Detroit from the late 60's to the 80's, when your family moved. I heard from Steve Morris that you had become a student of Jesus and an excellent player in your own right. I sat in a workshop with Jesus when Munequitos came to Detroit for the first time in the early 90's - just before their tour stop in D.C. when you must have met them, and I was a geat admirer of his taste and fabulous technique. He was, as you say, humble and patient as well. Even though I knew only a few Spanish words, at the concert they performed in Detroit, I managed to talk to him for a moment while I was taking a closer look at their various drums sitting in the hallway and indicated to him gropingly that I was interested in the idea of Elegua; he touched his heart with his fist and indicated his god was Chango. Give my regards to Jorge. Best regards to you,

    Darryl Bradley
    Detroit MI.

  4. With The Munequitos De Matanzas coming to New York this week, May 4-7, 2011, I would like to pay my respects to the memory of Jesus Alfonso Miro, whom I had the pleasure to see live three times during the groups last visit to NYC, over ten years ago. As stated above, his unique style of play was the model for me, an aspiring conguero. I broke my cassette tape recorder, stopping and rewinding his caminas over and over...then wearing out batteries in my remote on the subsequent CD's of Los Munequitos' extensive variety of cuts. RIP to him and all the other ancestors who've blessed us with their contribution to the ongoing legacy of LMdM.

    I will see them again, this week, with a new generacion de la familia tocando, bailando, y cantando aqui in Neuva York!

    Muchissima Gracias Para Todos. Toca lo!