Bantu (16 videos)

Although other African musical traditions have perhaps received more recognition in Cuban music discussions (the Yoruba derived music in particular is generally referred to the most), the importance of the Bantu heritage in Cuba cannot be overestimated if for no other reason than the largest number of Africans brought to Cuba during the slave trade were from the region of the Congo. In their music we find enormous influence upon rumba, both rhythmically and in song texts, as well as arguably the most African influence on the rumba dance forms, particularly in the relationship of Makuta to Guaguanco, and of Yuka to Rumba Columbia. The Bantu or Congolese cycle of music is generally divided into three main categories—The Makuta and Palo, both of which are sacred musical forms, and the Yuka which is a secular form of music and dance.  The following lessons focus on the forms as they are played in La Habana, and the Yuka form in particular is one which was taught to me by my teacher Regino Jimenez. This form is different than the one generally played in the capital, but it is so beautiful that I thought it would be great to include it on the site. All three forms are played with conga drums and sticks or a bell—You don’t need any other instruments to get started!
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