Well here it is. Believe it or not I got this instrument done on time for the rumba. It performed very well, and sounded great. I got a lot of compliments on it. I really like its old school look and sound. It has a looser more "gravely" tone than most of the modern shekeres you hear. There are some tracks on Mongo Santamaria's "Afro Roots" CD and the Grupo Afrocuba De Matanzas CD Raices Africanas that have shekeres whose sound I was trying to emulate with this latest instrument of mine.
This shekere turned out to have a nice response, very good action and was fairly light. I was a little concerned because the gourd was so large and I used some larger size beads that this instrument would be heavy and unwieldy, but such was not the case at all.
I spent a lot of timing browsing images of shekeres I liked to use as models. First and foremost are the creations of Morty Sanders that you can see at the Fidel's Eyeglasses Blog by his son Mark. There are others from various resources as well. I'm going to post some up here so you can see where I got some of my ideas from.
Anyways, this one is done, and this particular shekere is for me, I'm keeping it. I'm going to be using it at the rumbas and sessions that I go to. But I have plenty more to make, I'm still working on the agbe set, that is going to be available for sale, and I have a shekere to make for one of my jazz musician friends that I play congas with. I might have one or two single shekeres that I might sell as well. Still plenty of work to do. Eventually I'm going to have to make one like this guys SUPER funky gourd. Love it!