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.