Miguel 'Angá' Díaz - Complete Discography

 Miguel 'Anga' Diaz R.I.P (15 June 1961 - 9 August 2006)

The late great Anga is without a doubt my favorite percussionist. Anga rose to fame as the conguero for Irakere, continuing the 5 conga tradition started by Jorge "El Niño" Alfonso. However Anga was also an incredible rumbero. Miguel Aurelio Diaz Zayas was born in San Juan y Martinez in the Pinar del Río Province in Cuba, an area known for its rumba traditions. 

I was first intoduced to Anga's playing in the self titled album Cachaito by Israel "Cachaito" Lopez.

Anga's melodic conga playing on this album is truly some of the most beautiful conga playing to be heard. Of course the next album to follow was Echu Mingua, Anga's solo release. Truly this record is one of the most innovative and groundbreaking albums from Cuba.

The documentary of that album is excellent as well and offers incredible insight into this great conguero's mind.

Sadly, Anga left this earth at the young age of 45 and we will not be getting anymore music from this great artist. Instead, I have embarked on a mission to collect all his albums from past recordings. I have compiled here as complete a discography of Anga's as I could from various resources. Some of these recordings are readily available while others being quite obscure. For example,  Anga Nascimentos, which I only heard about through the great percussion educator and author David Penalosa. David was kind enough to send me digital files of this album, as there is virutally no possibility of finding a hard copy, as it seems to have been only distributed by Anga himself at seminars. I'm uploading one track here for my readers enjoyment.

  Rumbanga 2 by superbongos

Anga has also been an incredible influence on my rumba playing. A while back my friend provided me with a compendium of rhythms from one of the largest gatherings of Cuban music and culture held at Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta Canada, 1994. This book has an excellent set of rumba patterns with variations as presented by Anga. The book and the accompnaying sound tracks are constatnt source of study and inspiration for me. This incredible session also produced the wonderful Afrocuanismo album.

Here are a couple tracks from the Banff music seminar of 6/8's rhythms as presented by Anga.

  anga 6/8 by superbongos 

Anyways, here is my discography of recordings by Miguel 'Angá' Díaz, a work in progress. I have a feeling a few more Irakere albums need to be added to the list. I welcome any additions my readers have that I can include to make the discography more complete.

as complied by Geordie Van Der Bosch.

  1. 69-96 / Magik Malik Orchestra
  2. A Lo Cubano / Orishas
  3. A Love Affair in Paris / Buddy Montgomery
  4. A Toda Cuba Le Gusta / Afro-Cuban All Stars
  5. Anga Nacimientos, Miguel “Anga” Diaz
  6. Arpa Fusion / Anga Diaz & Pascal Coulon
  7. Barbarismo / Frank Emilio Flynn y Sus Amigos
  8. Buena Vista Social Club Presents Manuel Guajiro Mirabal / Manuel "Guajiro" Mirabal
  9. Buenos Hermanos / Ibrahim Ferrer
  10. Cachaito / Orlando Cachaito Lopes
  11. Central Avenue / Danilio Perez
  12. Chanchullo / Ruben Gonzales
  13. Chocalate / Alma Rosa
  14. Crisol Habana / Roy Hargrove
  15. Cubanismo / Jesus Alemany
  16. Distinto Diferente / Afro Cuban All Stars
  17. Echu Mingua / Anga
  18. En Chile (Con Chucho Valdes, Irakere e Isabel Parra) / Silvio Rodriguez
  19. Exuberencia / Irakere
  20. Flor de Amor / Omar Portuondo
  21. Formula Uno / Orlando Valle
  22. Genesis & the Opening of the Way / Steve Coleman
  23. Habana Secreta / Jose Maria Vittier
  24. Hajji: Kathy Kidd & Kongo Mambo / Kathy Kidd
  25. Havana Calling / Maraca y Otra Vision
  26. Indestructible / Irakere
  27. Latin Soul / Alma Rosa
  28. Live a FIP / Omar Sosa
  29. Live at Ronnie Scott’s / Irakere
  30. Live In Cuba CD / Mingus Amungus
  31. Maferefun / Tony Martinez
  32. Mambo Sinuendo / Ry Cooder & Manuel Galban
  33. Merengue a Quilo / Opus 13
  34. Paquito D'Rivera Presents Cuba Jazz / Paquito D’Rivera
  35. Pasaporte / Tata Guines & Miguel “Anga” Diaz
  36. Pasion Latina 1 / Raul Gutierrez & Irazu
  37. Presents Cuba Jazz / Paquito D'Rivera
  38. Que Llueva de Una Vez / Opus 13
  39. The Legendary Irakere / Irakere
  40. The Legendary Irakere In London - Volume 2 / Irakere
  41. Tratame Como Soy / Nora
  42. Ritmo Y Candela II: African Crossroads / Carlos 'Patato' Valdes
  43. The Very Best Of ¡Cubanismo! - ¡Mucho Gusto! / ¡Cubanismo!



Rumba and the Shakuhachi flute

What does the lively boisterous Afro-Cuban rumba have with peaceful tranquil zen flute music. Actually very little, but for me there is a connection.

Several years ago while studying architecture in college I was introduced to folkloric Japanese music, the biwa, the taiko drums and the shakuhachi flute. I was interested in playing the shakuhachi but with my tuition was never able to afford one. Then after college I discovered congas and bongos and rumba, and well here I am.

Not being able to afford  my own shakuhachi flute, I puchased a cool book by California local Monty Levenson who makes shakuhachis here in Northern California. The Japanese Bamboo Flute: notes on craft and construction; which basically illustrates how to make your own shakuhachi flute.. Monty is an example of one of those cool California stories you here often of people moving out to the country to devote themselves to some very esoteric craft or art and eventually becoming a leader at it.
one of Monty's flutes.

Well, I also saw that creating one of these very delicate instruments was beyond my skill at the time. However this book introduced me to a special technique of binding bamboo to prevent it from splitting. Well years later I began to make guaguas and cata out of bamboo and somehow I recalled reading about this technique. I dug out Monty's homemade and hand illustrated pamphlet and adapted this technique for flutes to percussion instruments. It has served me very well; all of the accounts I have heard of guaguas and catas I have sold report that my instruments are quite durable and hold up well. My own guagua has been used for countless hours of spirited rumba and is still fully intact.

Anyways, I bring this up now because of an unusual comment I received in my last post about a cajon. Seems like someone named SA Perillo is spamming the web about shakuhachi flutes:

SA PerilloDec 29, 2011 04:49 AM
If you are into Zen then having a Japanese bamboo flute can help you with your focus. The sounds that the bamboo flute can give could be added to the soothing feeling with the ambiance. shakuhachi flutes!
Seems like Monty Levenson is still at it and more power to him. Also it seems as if there is a newcomer to the California shakuhachi scene, a protege of Monty's, Jem Klein. Very cool indeed.

So if you are at all interested in shakuhachi flutes, or just want to visit the site of some very cool and original musical instrument craftsmen here are the links. While I never did get or make a shakuhachi, shakuhachis did help me make better catas and guaguas and for that I am grateful.

Tai Hei Shakuhachi Japanese Bamboo Flutes

Hosetsu Shakuhachi Flutes