Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fundacion Cultural Bayahonda, Vol. 1 (1997)

The great thing about groups like Ilu Aye, is that they offer the listener an opportunity to broaden their musical horizons. I am without a doubt a self professed rumba nut. I can listen to rumba, bata, guiro and other Afro Cuban musical forms all day long. I can also listen to bomba, plena, latin jazz, and some mambo. Up until recently Dominican Roots music was totally off my radar. For some reason I just slept on it big time. With help from friends, Danny Diaz, Ramon Ortiz, and groups like Ilu Aye, I have been trying to play a little catch up.

Ramon Ortiz passed along a recording by the name of "Bayahonda". I was so grateful since I had no congo, palo, salve, gaga in my collection. Upon first listen I was completely in awe of the energy and technical proficiency of the drummers and singers. This is some heavy music and you haven't been to an Ilu Aye performance, then you need to check them out because when they break out the balsie drums and panderetas, watch out!

Fundacion Cultural Bayahonda, is basically an agency dedicated to the preservation, study and cultural development of Afro Caribbean art forms, (in this case Dominican Roots and some fusion). Here is the groups' purpose (in Spanish).

La Fundación Cultural Bayahonda es una institución sin fines de lucro concebida como un espacio plural y democrático, basado en la diversidad cultural y en criterios de participación colectiva .
La misión principal de la Fundación Cultural Bayahonda es de aportar a la revalorización de nuestra identidad y a los procesos de transformación social mediante la articulación de diferentes propuestas artísticas y culturales.
Su objetivo superior es aportar a la reconstrucción de nuestra identidad cultural mediante la revalorización de las distintas manifestaciones populares, dadas a nivel comunitario, regional y nacional y contribuir a los procesos de transformación de nuestra incorporando a la vez una perspectiva de genero y una opción de desarrollo articulada a la cultura y generar mayores niveles de calidad en las propuestas artísticas y de gestión cultural alternativas dentro de una opción de desarrollo viable y sostenible.

(Click on the following link for some sound samples)

So if this music moves you as much as it does me, you can get your copy by clicking on the pic above.

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