Pilon (3 Videos)

The pilon was the creation of Pacho Alonso in the 1960s, and is also a dance form with the same name, where the dancers imitate pounding sugar cane in a “pilon”, or large mortar. Alonso originally sang with Beny More in the 1950s, but then went on to have several hits under his own name that were based on this rhythm, as did his band that continued on without him, Los Bocucos.

The pilon has a unique conga drum part, as well as a timbale part where the bass drum is an integral part of the rhythm. Along with the guiro, a strong signature sound is created between the percussion parts to enable the dancers to imitate the pounding of the sugar cane.