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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Enrique Pla is a man of few words but of a very musical ear.  Since he was just a kid, he picked up on the melodies produced from his sister’s piano, and very soon earned the nickname “little drummer boy,” because he would improvise on that instrument for hours on end. He invented his own unique drum to begin his journey through the world of music, that of Cuban percussion.
After stints with different bands in his home province of Santa Clara, he made it into the Cuban Modern Music group and the National Symphonic Orchestra. Later when the band Irakare was founded, Pla was the drummer, with the rich polyrhythmic sound of Cuban percussion instrumentation and mixed it with sonorities typical of jazz and rock.  Along with other percussionists in the group, he made the batá and arará drums give a new expression to Latin jazz.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Afro Cubanismo in Banff 1997

Two fabulous events in my life...both held in Banff, Alberta.
Cuba landed upon us.  Drummers, pianists, folklore, and folkloric
singing and drumming by Mantanzas, Ikere, Chucho Valdez,
Jose Luis Quintana (Chanquito), Richard Eques, Bata drummers
Regino Jimenez, Jose Pilar and Grupo Ilu Ana, dancers, anthropologist,
Santeria, Cuban food, film, Wafredo Reye (Sr), Rebecca Mauleon and a slew of musicians
from San Francisco that were into Afro Cuban music.
The list goes on and on.  It was held twice and
during that time Chucho Valdez and Ireke recorded at Banff.  I
posted a link to an article about it.

I was an attendee, participant, music studying, playing and thoroughly
absorbing Conga lessons with Chanquito, timbale workshops, piano,
Rhumba, Descargas, and playing at concerts and going to those
put on by all the great performers that a came from Cuba.
This is the beginning of an old project.  Lots of scanning to do
because I took tons of photos of the events. Now to find them and
the negatives and present this wonderful memories of the time
we had at Cubanismo.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

"Arturo Sandoval's band in 2005, with Gilberto in white, and his cousin (conga player, can't remember his name) in orange/brown shirt. Brown suit jacket was the pianist (astonishing), the drummer (at back), the bass player in the black shirt, and an astonishing conga player who played six congas (amongst other percussion) and sounded like Elvin Jones...he was incredible."  A. Johnson, bass player with Rumba Calzada   I have to add here that when in Cuba, I was taken to hear these groups and rehearsals.  The dedicated professionalism and showmanship of Cuban musician is outstanding.  Something you barely ever see here.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013