Edited by Azizi Powell
This post provides information about Cuban Rumba music and dance and showcases five video examples of that music and dance. Information abut guaguancó, cajon, and claves is also included in this post along with selected comments from the video given as Example #1 are also included in this post.
The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.
All copyrights remain with their owners.
Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to all those who are featured in the videos that are embedded in this post. Thanks also to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.
INFORMATION ABOUT CUBAN RUMBA
"Rumba is a secular genre of Cuban music involving dance, percussion, and song. It originated in the northern regions of Cuba, mainly in urban Havana and Matanzas, during the late 19th century. It is based on African music and dance traditions, namely Abakuá and yuka, as well as the Spanish-based coros de clave. According to Argeliers León, rumba is one of the major "genre complexes" of Cuban music, and the term rumba complex is now commonly used by musicologists. This complex encompasses the three traditional forms of rumba (yambú, guaguancó and columbia), as well as their contemporary derivatives and other minor styles.
Traditionally performed by poor workers of African descent in streets and solares (courtyards), rumba remains one of Cuba's most characteristic forms of music and dance. Vocal improvisation, elaborate dancing and polyrhythmic drumming are the key components of all rumba styles. Cajones (wooden boxes) were used as drums until the early 20th century, when they were replaced by tumbadoras (conga drums). During the genre's recorded history, which began in the 1940s, there have been numerous successful rumba bands such as Los Papines, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, Clave y Guaguancó, AfroCuba de Matanzas and Yoruba Andabo.
Since its early days, the genre's popularity has been largely confined to Cuba, although its legacy has reached well beyond the island. In the United States it gave its name to the so-called "ballroom rumba" or rhumba, and in Africa soukous is commonly referred to as "Congolese rumba" (despite being actually based on son cubano). Its influence in Spain is testified by rumba flamenca and derivatives such as Catalan rumba.
The origin of the term rumba remains unknown and no etymological information is provided by the Diccionario de la lengua española. According to Pascual and Coromines, the word derives from "rumbo", meaning "uproar" (and previously "pomp") and also "the course of a ship", which itself may derive from the word "rombo" ("rhombus"), a symbol used in compasses. However, in Cuba the term might have originated from a West African or Bantu language, due to its similarity to other Afro-Caribbean words such as tumba, macumba, mambo and tambó. During the 19th century in Cuba, specifically in urban Havana and Matanzas, people of African descent originally used the word rumba as a synonym for party. According to Olavo Alén, in these areas "[over time] rumba ceased to be simply another word for party and took on the meaning both of a defined Cuban musical genre and also of a very specific form of dance." The terms rumbón and rumbantela are frequently used to denote rumba performances in the streets. Many other terms have been used in Cuba to refer to parties, such as changüí (in Oriente), guateque (in rural regions), tumba (by Afro-Cubans), bembé (associated with Santería), macumba and mambo.
Rumba instrumentation has varied historically depending on the style and the availability of the instruments. The core instruments of any rumba ensemble are the claves, two sticks that are struck against each other, and the conga drums: quinto (lead drum, highest-pitched), tres dos (middle), and tumba or salidor (lowest-pitched). Other common instruments include the catá or guagua, a wooden cylinder; the palitos, sticks to struck the catá; shakers such as the chekeré and the maracas; scrapers such as the güiro; bells, and cajones, wooden boxes that preceded the congas. During the 1940s, the genre experienced a mutual influence with son cubano, especially by Ignacio Piñeiro's Septeto Nacional and Arsenio Rodríguez's conjunto, which lead to the incorporation of instruments such as the tres, the double bass, the trumpet and the piano, and the removal of idiophones. At the same time, Cuban big bands in collaboration with artists such as Chano Pozo began to include authentic rumbas among their dance numbers. The group AfroCuba de Matanzas, founded in 1957, added batá drums to the traditional rumba ensemble in their style known as batá-rumba. More recently, a cappella rumba has been performed by the Cuban ensemble Vocal Sampling, as heard in their song "Conga Yambumba"."...
INFORMATION ABOUT GUAGUANCO
"Guaguancó (Spanish pronunciation: [ɡwaɣwaŋˈko]) is a subgenre of Cuban rumba, combining percussion, voices, and dance. There are two main styles: Havana and Matanzas...
battery of three conga drummers: the tumba (lowest), tres dos (middle, playing a counter-clave), and quinto (highest, and lead drum). These parts may also be played on cajones, wooden boxes.
claves usually played by a singer
guagua (hollowed piece of bamboo)
maraca and/or a chekeré playing the main beats
Other instruments may be used on occasion, for example spoons, palitos (wooden sticks striking the side of the drum), and tables and walls played like drums."...
INFORMATION ABOUT CAJONS
"A cajón (Spanish pronunciation: [kaˈxon] ka-HON, "box", "crate" or "drawer") is nominally a box-shaped percussion instrument originally from Peru, played by slapping the front or rear faces (generally thin plywood) with the hands, fingers, or sometimes various implements such as brushes, mallets, or sticks.
Cajones are primarily played in Afro-Peruvian music, as well as contemporary styles of flamenco and jazz among other genres. The term cajón is also applied to other unrelated box drums used in Latin American music such as the cajón de rumba used in Cuban rumba and the cajón de tapeo used in Mexican folk music…
Origins and evolution
The cajón is the most widely used Afro-Peruvian musical instrument since the late 18th century. Slaves of west and central African origin in the Americas are considered to be the source of the cajón drum. Currently, the instrument is common in musical performance throughout some of the Americas, the Philippines and Spain.
The cajón was developed during the periods of slavery in coastal Peru. The instrument reached a peak in popularity by 1850, and by the end of the 19th century cajón players were experimenting with the design of the instrument by bending some of the planks in the cajón's body to alter the instrument's patterns of sound vibration. After slavery the cajón was spread to a much larger audience including Criollos.
Given that the cajón comes from slave musicians in the Spanish colonial Americas, there are two complementary origin theories for the instrument. It is possible that the drum is a direct descendant of a number of boxlike musical instruments from west and central Africa, especially Angola, and the Antilles. These instruments were adapted by slaves from the Spanish shipping crates at their disposal. In port cities like Matanzas, Cuba, codfish shipping crates and small dresser drawers became similar instruments.
Another theory states that slaves simply used boxes as musical instruments to subvert Spanish colonial bans on music in predominantly African areas; In this way, cajones could easily be disguised as seats or stools, thus avoiding identification as musical instruments. In all likelihood it is a combination of these factors - African origins and Spanish suppression of slave music - that led to the cajón's creation."...
INFORMATION ABOUT CLAVES
"Claves (Spanish pronunciation: ['klaβes], Anglicized pronunciation: CLA(H)-vays) are a percussion instrument (idiophone), consisting of a pair of short (about 20–30 cm (7.9–11.8 in), thick dowels. Traditionally they are made of wood, typically rosewood, ebony or grenadilla. In modern times they are also made of fibreglass or plastics.
When struck they produce a bright clicking noise. Claves are sometimes hollow and carved in the middle to amplify the sound.
Claves are very important in Cuban music, such as the son and guaguancó. They are often used to play a repeating rhythmic figure throughout a piece, known as clave, a key pattern (or guide-pattern, timeline patter, phrasing referent, bell pattern) that is also found in African music and Brazilian music"...
These videos are presented in chronological order based on their publishing date on YouTube with the oldest published video presented first.
Example #1: Rumba en casa de Amado con Inés Carbonell
guarachon63, Uploaded on Oct 6, 2009
Rumba de cajón con Amado de Jesús Dedeu Hernández, Inés Carbonell, Dainy Grisel Cárdenas, Miguel Chappottín, Lázaro Rizo, Guillermo Triana, Juan de Dios, Raúl Gonzáles Brito "Laly", Amado de Jesús Dedeu García "Amadito"
Selected comments from this video's discussion thread (with Google translate added for comments in Spanish)
"¡Bendita Isla Cubana! Bendita su música, bendita su gente, nadie como ellos para Gozar... llevo años anhelando pisar algún día esa bendita tierra... ojalá el Sr. me ayude a cumplir algún día este viejo sueño... ¡Un saludo y un fuerte abrazo desde México a mis hermanos cubanos!"
Blessed Isla Cubana! Blessed his music, blessed his people, no one like them ... Enjoy spent years longing tread that blessed land someday ... hopefully Mr. help me meet sometime this old dream ... a greeting and a strong Mexico hug from my Cuban brothers!
"longing tread" = longing to journey to [walk through]
Ed King. 2016
"+javyenergy Gracias, lagrimas salen oyendo El Guaguanco y pensando en mi Cuba"
+ Javi energy Thanks, tears out listening guaguancó and thinking about my Cuba
"tears out" = I cry
Dinastía Mixteca", 2016
"+Ed King Tu tierra es hermosa, he visto en vídeos sus calles y sus alrededores, no hay tierra tan linda como la heroica isla cubana, soy un admirador de toda su música, especialmente del son y del tres cubano, mi viejo sueño de estar ahí no se ha cumplido aún, pero sé que algún día respiraré su aire y veré la puesta de sol en esa bendecida tierra."
Your land is beautiful, I have seen in videos streets and surroundings, no earth as pretty as the heroic Cuban island, I'm a fan of all your music, especially the son and the Cuban tres, my old dream of being there not he has fulfilled yet, but I know someday breathe its air and see the sunset in this blessed land.
Ed King, 2016
"+Dinastía Mixteca, Gracias, yo espero regresar algun dia, mi familia tenia temas desagradable con el gobierno de Castro pero yo pienso que eso ahora esta en el pasado. Un dia viajare con mi esposa y mi hijo que nunca han visto a la isla. Gracias otra vez por su gentileza"
Thanks, I hope to return one day, my family had unpleasant with the Castro government issues but I think that now in the past. One day I will travel with my wife and son who have never seen the island. Thank you again for your kindness
Why You Asking, 2016
"hello , can someone please tell me what is this song ? is it folk song ? does it have name ? where can i get lyrics and translation thank you"
"+Why You Asking lyrics can be found here: http://cancionerorumbero.blogspot.com/2009/08/guaguanco-estamos-cantando-aqui.html
Why You Asking, 2016
Ed King, 2016
"+Why You Asking This is a Cuban genre called Guaguancó, most of the time is improvised and about having a good time. This genre is considered very spiritual from its roots and many go into a trans when it is done for religious purposes.
They sing about African gods, (orishas), saints & spirits from Africa who were later given Catholic names so slaves would not be caught worshiping their African religion. Many slaves became Catholic later on and from that combination Santeria emerged. Saint Barbara my father's patron Saint was Changó, I was given Yemayá as my Patron Saint."
Why You Asking, 2016
Example #2: AQUI ESTAN LOS MUÑEQUITOS-LOS MUÑEQUITOS DE MATANZAS 1ra parte
Ramon Mirbon, Uploaded on Sep 26, 2010
GUAGUANCO,DOCUMENTAL PARA LA TV,CONLA PARTICIPACION DE RUBEN BLADES 1RA PARTE
Example #3: Rumba Guaguanco Dance Demo - Domingo Pau & Dayana Torres
BOOGALU PRODUCTIONS Published on Jun 26, 2013
Cuban music-dance DVDs / Personalized Cuba Travel / Film-Music Videos in Cuba
Example #4: Lisbet Tellefsen Tapes - Rumba in San Isidro 24 Nov 1985
guarachon63, Published on Mar 31, 2014
Clave y Guaguancó with singers Juan Campos Cárdenas "Chan", Julio Embale (Half-brother of Carlos Embale), Miguel Chappottín, Gloria Mora, Changrilón. On Cajones: Quinto: Víctor Quesada "Tatín"; Caja: Alfredo Gomes Paula "El niño"; Cajita: Gustavo Martines "Cucharas". Dancer: Peky Pekín.
2:40 - Saludo/Respectable Público
7:49 - Que alegría me da (canta Changrilón)
9:49 - Avísale
19:08 - No me culpas a mi (canta Julio Embale)
Example #5: Los munequitos de matanzas Un congo 2014
ULISES C M Published on Apr 6, 2014
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