Saturday, July 31, 2010

Photo: Septeto Gloria Habanera con Candido Camero 1932 - Cuba

Septeto Gloria Habanera 1932
With Candido Camero third from left.

Candido Camero playing tres - 1975

Candido Camero plays tres in every song on
Alfredo Valdés' "Pionero del Son" 1984 LP.


Video: Candido Camero con El Billy Taylor Trio

Friday, July 23, 2010

"Los que saben ... saber" - Jay Bereck and Matthew Smith


Jay Bereck and Matthew Smith are in my opinion, the only two Master drum makers that are currently making traditionally styled "Cuban" percussion instruments in the U.S.A. that literally have "Soul" in them.
The "Soul" of both Jay and Matt go into every "organic" wood drum they make.
Drums made of fiberglass and plastic are absolutely "soulless".


Their drums do not look like they belong in a circus,
nor do they look like: "novelty salt and pepper shakers"




These are photos of Jay Bereck and Matthew Smith.
The very definition of Master "Artists-Artisanos"
"Los que saben ... saber"

Jay Bereck - "Skin On Skin"®
Made in the U.S. not cheaply made
on an assembly line in Thailand.

1986 - Brooklyn, N.Y.
I took this photo of Jay Bereck in his workshop with his drums around him. The drum in the middle in front was made by Natalio "Junior" Tirado, it had been stained black by Junior, I had Jay refinish the drum to show the natural grain of the Mahogany.

1994 - Brooklyn, N.Y.
I took this photo of Jay Bereck in his workshop
with four of his Oak drums around him.
The small drum in the front was a 8½ inch
'Requinto' I asked him to make for me.

Oak 8½ inch 'Requinto'
with plain black oxidized bands.

1994 - Brooklyn, N.Y.
At Jays workshop, picking out skins to buy.
This was when the quality of skins were much better than the
"overly processed" skins that are currently available.
No two skins looked alike.

Jay Bereck's "Skin On Skin"® Oak tumbadoras.
With thin "clean looking" brushed steel bands.
Photo: Juan in California

Jay Bereck's "Skin On Skin"® Oak tumbadora.
With thin "clean looking" brushed steel bands.

Jay Bereck's "Skin On Skin"® Oak tumbadora.
With thin "clean looking" brushed steel bands.
Photo: James in California

Jay Bereck's clean looking "V"
Photo: James in California

Jay Bereck "Skin On Skin"® tumbadoras.
"Economy line" made of Cherry wood with
plain black oxidized hardware.

Jay Berecks "Skin On Skin"® Oak bongoes
Photo: Dario, Miami

Jay Berecks "Skin On Skin"® Walnut bongoes
Photo: Dario, Miami

Jay Berecks "Skin On Skin"® Batá drums


Matthew Smith - "Ritmo"®
Made in the U.S. not cheaply made
on an assembly line in Thailand.

Hecho de Walnut, Matt Smith - "Ritmo"®


Matt Smith - Tumbadoras de Oak

Matt Smith - Tumbadoras de Mahogany - "Ritmo"®

Marca "Ritmo"® por Matt Smith

Marca "Ritmo"® por Matt Smith

Marca "Ritmo"® por Matt Smith

Marca "Ritmo"® por Matt Smith

Matt Smith's "V"


Matt Smith's bongoes - "Ritmo"®
Tres variedades de madera.

Matt Smith's bongoes - "Ritmo"®

Matt Smith's Mahogany bongoes - "Ritmo"®
Photo: Dario, Miami

Matt Smith and Jay Bereck
both made of Oak, the one on the right is mine.
"Que viva la memoria del gran Gonzalo Vergara "
Y el gran Natalio Tirado Ruiz a.k.a. "Junior"

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Interview / article from Modern Drummer Magazine '92



This was a profile and interview with my Father
that was printed in Modern Drummer Magazine
in June, 1992, writen by Adam Budofsky.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tunable set of Bata in Cuba

Early tunable keyed set of Batá in Cuba

Monday, July 12, 2010

In memoriam: Olga Guillot dead at 86

Olga Guillot
Santiago, Cuba - Oct. 9, 1922
Miami Beach, Florida - July 12, 2010
R.I.P. / D.E.P.


Una leyenda.. una verdadera Diva.
Olguita recorded 14 gold LP's and 10 platinum LP's!
Acted in more than 20 movies!
(I will post one here soon)

A photo of me on tour with Olguita Guillot
in South America, 1975-'76, I was 23 years old.
From a newspaper my Mother has saved for years,

In memoriam: Gerardo Portillo Scull

Gerardo Portillo Scull
Matanzas, Cuba Sept. 24 1929
La Habana, Cuba June
15 2010
R.I.P. / D.E.P.


Sometimes I read comments and email sent to me a few weeks late.
Roberto Garcia in Miami sent me news of the death of Gerardo Portillo Scull who sang with Senén Suárez in the early 60's.
Also with Orq, Cubaney and here with Orq. Revé.

"Bocumba"
Gerardo Portillo Scull: vocal
(Senén Suárez: electric guitar y "scat" vocal)

"Guapachando"
Gerardo Portillo Scull: vocal

"Caramba, Que Nena"
Gerardo Portillo Scull: vocal

"No Huyas De Ti"
Gerardo Portillo Scull: vocal


You can read Roberto Garcia's very nice post about
Gerardo Portillo Scull
here:
http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.ListAll&friendId=394249998

And a nice article
here on Habanaradio.cu

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Juan Almeida Bosque - Cuba

Feb. 17, 1927 - La Habana, Cuba
Sept. 11, 2009 - La Habana, Cuba
Died of a heart attack at age 82

Raul Castro, Juan Almeida and Fidel Castro

Despite being despised by most residents of South Florida and Union City N.J., Juan Almeida Bosque having been the Commander of The Cuban Armed Forces was also a music composer/writer.
While not at all as "hip" as composers 'Gonzalo Asencio' ("Tio Tom"), Bienvenido Julián Gutiérrez, Arsenio Rodríguez, Ignacio Piñeiro, María Teresa Vera, Ñico Saquito or Faustino Oramas Osorío ("El Guayabero"), Juan Almeida Bosque is said to have composed more than 300 songs, many of them boleros.

5. "Este camino largo"
Comp: Juan Almeida
Grupo Clave y Guaguancó

"Dame Un Traguito"
Comp: Juan Almeida
Grupo Sierra Maestra

"Que Le Pasa A Esa Mujer"
Comp: Juan Almeida
Conjunto Rumbavana

"Te Canta Mi Tambó"
Comp: Juan Almeida
Los Papines



a>