Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tumbadoras made by Gonzalo Vergara - Cuba

Tumbadoras (Congas) made during the 1950's and 1960's by the Cuban master drum maker Gonzalo Vergara are the "gold standard" which the two best American drum makers; the late 'Nataly "Junior" Tirado Ruiz' and 'Jay Bereck' of "Skin On Skin" based their drums on in both style and shape.

(The major difference between "Skin On Skin" and "Junior" Tirado's drums is that Jay Bereck "steams" the wood into shape, and Nataly "Junior" Tirado Ruiz used horizontal "cuts" to bend the wood into shape, which is what Gonzalo Vergara did.
The third American drum maker currently making drums with "root retention" going back to Gonzalo Vergara is Matthew Smith of "Ritmo".
(though his drums are more an "excellent hybrid" of both "Skin On Skin" and "Juniors")

Two Drummers playing three tunable tumbadoras made by
 Gonzalo Vergara. Photo in the Panart recording studios
in Havana with José Fajardo on flute,1950's.

"Jabuco" de Conjunto Roberto Faz,
playing a
10½ inch Vergara.

Fajardos drummer playing a 10½ inch Vergara.
 Oscar Valdés Sr. playing a 10½ inch Vergara.
(Father of Oscar Valdés Jr. ex Irakere singer)

Rogelio "Yeyito" Iglesias
Posing with a
10½ inch Vergara 1950's.

The late Luis Abreu
with a 10½ inch Vergara 1963.

A young Beny Moré playing
a 10½ inch Vergara Mid 1950's.

Beny Moré with two Vergara's in the car.
The original RCA LP cover 1960-'61.

A Vergara on a Celina y Rutillio LP cover.

A 10½ inch Vergara on the cover of Sensacion's LP.

Enrique Lazaga from 'Ritmo Oriental'
posing with a Vergara 1959 or '60.

Juan Claro Bravo from 'Ritmo Oriental' playing 
a Vergara (and wearing "The Eyeglasses")
 Ramon 'Mongo' Santamaria playing 
his Vergara's 1950's with Tito Puente's band.

Ramon 'Mongo' Santamaria playing 
his Vergara's with his band 70's.

Ramon 'Mongo' Santamaria in his house,

his two Vergara's behind him on the right.

Ramon 'Mongo' Santamaria with Tjaders quintet
'59-'60 with his two Vergara's.

Mongo with his two Vergara's
  Mongo with his two Vergara's, the red
one he had covered in fiberglass in the U.S.

Cuban drummer Marcelino Valdés
playing two Vergara's, early 60's.

Ernesto Tito Puente,
posing with a
10½ inch Vergara.

Ray Baretto
With his two "old beat up" drums made by Gonzalo Vergara.
They were given to him by Mongo Santamaria
(Info via 'Dario' "El Rey de las tumbadoras Cubanas" en Miami)

Ray Baretto
(con "Los Espejuelos" de verdad)

An Oak wood Vergara, restored by
master drum maker, Matthew Smith
Photo: Matthew Smith, Ritmo Drums.


CongaDR said...

You are the real deal.

A seemingly endless supply of info, photos, and tracks.

Thanks you so very much.


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