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VAMOS AL TAMBOR
Presentations in Matanzas, Cuba
Released by Kabiosile.
DVD: 90 minutes
Changos? is the presentation of three new initiates or priests to the
sacred drums, known as Aña. It documents the traditional
Matanzas style of presentation to the drums: the ?kings? or ?queens?
are dressed in luxurious garments in the colors of their Orishas, and a
complete sequence of praise songs is played and sung (as opposed to the
cursory Havana style presentation in which only the initiate’s
crowning Orisha is played to). The three Iyawos in this presentation
(two men and a woman) were all ?born? on the same day from the same
Padrino’s Chango. Alfredo Calvo is akpon (lead singer) and calls
the Orishas down to Earth in his inimitable style (just the part where
he sings to Chango is worth the price of the DVD). He is accompanied by
three of his finest drummers and members of the Santeria community of
al Tambor: Presentations in Matanzas, Cuba” is a DVD of
approximately 1.5 hours in length. It includes two separate Lucumi
Santeria presentations, both of which were recorded live at the home of
Alfredo Calvo in Matanzas.
“Aña” is the
presentation of newly consecrated sacred drums to the community.
Alfredo Calvo and his son Alberto are akpons and Toribio Garcia, one of
the hottest young drummers in Matanzas today, plays Iya (the
“mother” drum). Watching Toribio play drum-to-drum with the
newly born Iya as he transfers the spirit of Aña is simply
amazing. The presentation of new Aña drums is a rare event in
Cuba, no less in the US, as very few sets of sacred drums are
consecrated anywhere. The first set of Aña drums ever brought to
the US, by Francisco Aguabella, were born at Alfredo Calvo’s.
Polin of Descarga.com, the most respected and popular Internet site for
Latin music, has chosen “Vamos al Tambor” as an
Editor’s Pick. He says, “Wonderful DVD….This is a
very rare glimpse into the private religious practices of Santeria in
Matanzas, and done with great respect. Excellent quality….
Willie Ramos, a
well-known Santero and author, writes on his site Eleda.org,
“Kabiosile Productions [has released] two of the most
invigorating illustrations of orisha music and life to come out of
Matanzas since Lydia Cabrera’s and Josefina Tarafa’s
1950’s recordings recently released by the Smithsonian
Institute…. This DVD and CD are sure to become valuable
contributors to the documentation and preservation of Lukumí
religious music and traditions for all time.
And according to FolkCuba.com, “Vamos al Tambor”
beautifully captures two Matanzas Lucumi events never before
documented….Spirits and emotions are high, and the drumming is
The DVD is an excellent complement to the CD “Bata y Bembe de
Matanzas” (which also includes a complete cycle of praise songs
to the Orishas) because it gives the viewer the opportunity to
experience actual presentations as they occur in Matanzas, Cuba. And,
because the camera filmed from behind the drummers, you get a better
view than you would have gotten if you had actually been there!
We have several clips from the DVD available here, in a variety of
formats. The highest quality takes a long time to download over a modem
(up to 30 or 40 minutes), so if you have a slow connection, choose one
of the lower-quality samples.
MPEG 4 - requires Quicktime 6 and a fairly recent computer, but is the best quality.
MOV - requires Quicktime (older versions will work), and is good quality.
WMV - requires Windows Media Player
| 1. The Iyawos are presented to the community
2. The Iyawos are presented to the sacred drums (Aña)
17. Orula — View clip
|1. The new sacred drums are presented to the community and to Aña
3. Mairele okuo (“Something new has been born”) – View clip
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