Festival of the Drum: Source of the Cuban Percussion
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- Arts and Culture
- culture an traditions
- Culture and Traditions
- 03 / 10 / 2010
The party of the Cuban percussion is right around the corner with the 9th Festival of the Drum Guillermo Barreto in Memoriam with venue in Havana and that includes concerts, competition, and theoretical events.
This encounter is one of the most representatives of Cuban culture in the world, therefore artists and foreign executives attend which reaffirms the Island in the preference of good music.
Giraldo Piloto, president of the event highlighted the importance of the percussion competition for the development of the Cuban music, since it doesn’t discriminate age, sex neither academic training.
"Great Cuban teachers like Tata Guines, Chano Pozo, Guillermo Barreto and many others members of current musical groups didn't study in academies, yet they raised the flag of Cuban percussion".
Piloto spoke to Cubasi on the importance of the festival.
There have been 9 event of the Festival of the Drum, if you had to make a summary of what it has meant for the Cuban music and Cuban culture, what could not be missing?
What’s most important for us is to see how the youth has developed and how they acquire the knowledge of all Cuban rhythms. In this event we teach how to play Mozambique, Pylon, Cha cha cha, Danzon… The musicians who attend, become sponsors of the knowledge and when we travel abroad we are surprised to see how in other places they already know how to play our music.
We don’t have a well developed study plan in our schools for all these information, hence the festival becomes the perfect vessel to know where we are coming from, and who we are until today.
Many of these youths who have won our competitions are members of the main Cuban orchestras next to Hernan Lopez Nussa, Manolito Simonet, Van Van, and in important folkloric groups like Yoruba Andabo. Besides, we feel that pleasing taste of promoting and developing our culture worldwide, which is our festival.
The drum is a very versatile instrument but, could it be spoken of preferences to a certain musical genre among contestants?
The tendency shifts onto the Cuban music, we have very few rockers who participate here, though it’s very good that rock drummers learn to play Cuban music, which is something all of us who live here carry in our blood.
In the case of the prize to the best infantile performance, what are the experiences during the competitions?
All of them have been special. We had a9-year-old girl who astonished everybody playing the Bata drums. A bongo drummer also participated, who we even took to the 23 y M show in television he was incredible, he really raze, he nearly won the first place among mature competitors. I also remember a boy from Bejucal who impressed a lot, he had the theater stand up… In short, every competition we notice that there are always a little player who steals the show. Those children who came out of that festival today study in music schools and they will become stars with time.
The group Klimax which you direct has been a space for youths, for example the pianist Dayramir who is one of the most outstanding among the young Cuban jazz players. Which is your criterion on that new generation of jazz players and do you really think they are doing a new jazz in Cuba?
The best thing about Cuba is the source and talent, I’d say it’s inexhaustible.
All the work of these youths represents the continuity to a work that we started a few years ago. Yes I believe this is a new jazz: the patterns they are using are not the same of our time, we also learn from them.
I try to go to every Latin jazz concerts I can and they astonish me with the new ideas they have, the way of improvising, the new concepts when writing. The work of Colibri Record House in the recording of the young jazz players is one of the best things that can be done to keep that spirit of creation and development alive.
What will Klimax do to celebrate its 15th anniversary?
We are thinking of a national tour maybe for next June and we are also preparing a disk. We still don’t have a record house but almost the entire repertoire is ready.
By: Elizabeth Lopez Corzo