Los Munequitos de Matanzas

Oh yes, yes, yes! Looks like Los Munequitos de Matanzas is coming to San Francisco and guess who has tickets! That's right I do. They are performing at Mission High School right here in San Francisco just a quick walk from my house. Mission H.S. is right across from Dolores Park which is the home of the rumba and Afro-Cuban scene here in S.F., with several of Santana's drummer's playing there, including John Santos, who tells the story of getting arrested there for playing rumba back in the day, so Mission H.S. is a totally appropriate venue and location!

I'm really looking forward to seeing the show and writing about it. Who knows, I may end up with a few sound files somehow "wink, wink".

Here's the link and info to the show, it's being put on as part of the San Francisco International Arts Festival.

Los Muñequitos de Matanzas presents Tambor de Fuego

San Francisco, CA

Los Muñequitos de Matanzas presents Tambor de Fuego
From 1992- 2002, Los Muñequitos thrilled U.S. audiences and built a devoted fan base with their performances and workshops throughout the country (the company performed at Mission High School in San Francisco in 1992).  Finally, after nine long years,  Los Munequitos return to the U.S. in April-May 2011 with a brand new program: Tambor de Fuego, featuring work from their latest recording, tributes to legendary members and new pieces created especially for this eagerly awaited tour.

Hailed as the "reigning regents of rumba" by the San Francisco Chronicle, "the essence of Cuba's musical soul" by the San Diego Union Tribune and "truly keepers of a sacred flame" by Latin Beat, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas are amongst the highest regarded percussionists in the world and masters of Afro-Cuban ritual and rumba music and dance. Founded in 1952, the group currently spans three generations of an extended family of musicians, singers and dancers.

The music of Los Muñequitos de Matanzas keeps alive 500 years of drumming, chanting and dance, preserving the vibrant culture of the African Diaspora intrinsic to Cuba's living legacy.  While sustaining these cultural traditions, the group's choreography and new musical compositions continue to innovate from the African roots of Cuban culture.  In one evening's concert, Los Muñequitos may play the rhythms and drumming of the Santeria religion which originated with the Yoruba tribe; the songs of the Abakuá, a secret fraternal organization originally from Nigeria; and contemporary Cuban rumba in its varied and ever evolving forms.

Los Muñequitos has performed in more than 50 cities across the U.S., from intimate (and packed!) shows in community centers and dance & music clubs to full-scale theatrical productions in grand concert halls.  Whatever the setting, their complex drumming, captivating vocals and spectacular dancing transport audiences to the vital streets of Matanzas and the soul of Cuba.
Start: Monday Apr 04, 2011 7:00 PM
End: Monday Apr 04, 2011 9:30 PM

$15.00 - $50.00

Mission High School
3750 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
United States


Some lovely new claves

Well the postman arrived with some lovely new claves, and a guagua. Handmade in Belize by Isla Percussions. Seems like not a moment too soon. If you bloggers remember one of my more recent posts, my current set of claves had seen better days.

Anyways, I'm very happy to get these new claves, made from some exotic tropical Belize hardwood I don't even know the name of. I've spent a little time tapping away on them, trying to find the best pairs of machos and hembras. There is nothing worse than a bad sounding set of claves, cuz you're going to have to listen to them the entire rumba. Lucky for me they all sound great. They look great, and they are nice and light so they feel great too. Ah, no more splinters or nasty dirty tape on my claves for a while at least.
The guagua sounds great too. It seems to be made from 2 types of wood. I'm usually partial to the sound of bamboo and I've been making all my own guaguas from bamboo. But I'm willing to give this little guy a chance. It has a great sound, dry and cutting, not too shrill. I guess I'm going to have to figure out how to make a stand for it, I can't see holding it between the legs like I do with my bamboo ones.


Adios Totico, Vaya con dios.

It is with great sadness that I write this post. Sadly the great rumbero Eugenio "Totico" Arango has passed away.  I am sure most of my readers will be familiar with Totico through his landmark collaboration with Patato.
My cohorts in the blogosphere have written excellent articles on Totico's passing. You can learn more about this influential rumbero by visiting their blogs.

Sentimiento Manana

Fidel's Eyeglasses

Sentimiento Manana contributor Willie "El Ruso" Everich has had the great honor to play alongside Totico. Mark Sanders at Fidel's Eyeglasses has written a great post showcasing many rare albums that Totico has contributed to along with some musical track.

Ibae, Totico.