Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
(Oba Ire - Camilo playing caja, Phot Credit: CEMGMusic)
(Tony Rosa and a younger Camilo, Photo Credit: Martin Cohen)
Camilo Ernesto Molina Gaetán is an accomplished percussionist of 18 years old and is a graduate of Heritage High School in El Barrio, New York. At the age of two, Camilo began studying with Los Pleneros de la 21 – a community based group dedicated to playing folkloric Puerto Rican music – in their children’s workshop. It was as a student in the workshops where Camilo had met his first teachers: Alberto “Tito” Cepeda and Juan Gutierrez – both considered master Latin percussionists - with whom he studied Afro-Puerto Rican Folkloric music (Bomba y Plena). Advancing in skill through the years, Camilo has progressed from being a student to graduating into a percussionist teacher for the community workshops offered by Los Pleneros de la 21.
Camilo has also studied at Boys Harbor Conservatory with renowned percussionists Johnny Almendra, and Louis Bauzo since the age of four. Under Mr. Almendra’s guidance, Camilo studied Salsa and Jazz percussion instruments (Congas, Timbales, Bongós and Drum-set). Under the tutelage of Mr. Bauzo, Camilo has had the opportunity to study Afro-Cuban folkloric rhythms and instruments including Rumba, Bata drums, Guiro/Bembe and Santería chants. Camilo is also a graduate from the Julliard School of Music (2003) under the MAP/PATH after initiating said programs in fall of 2000.
Through the years, Camilo has traveled to Cuba to participate in FolkCuba, the Annual Havana Jazz Festival in December 2000 with the group Insight as well as for a cultural exchange as a member of Los Pleneros de la 21 in the summer of 2003. In 2008 Camilo also traveled to Berlin, Germany as a member of Los Pleneros de la 21, to perform in the world famous House of World Cultures. In New York Camilo has participated in workshops with Los Hermanos Cepeda and Afro-Cuba de Matanzas in the Dos Alas program (1996 & 1998). In the fall of 2000, Camilo had the great honor to be selected as one of ten semifinalists to compete in the Thelonious Monk International Afro-Latin Hand Drum Competition (at the time he competed against Pedrito Martinez). He went on to become a finalist and was selected third place winner, who, at age ten was the youngest finalist in the 14-year history of the competition. Camilo also received a proclamation from the City Council of New York honoring him for his musical talents and achievements in the fall of 2000, as well as the Celia Cruz Scholarship (2004) which allowed Camilo to travel to Miami, Florida to perform in the Latin Billboard Music awards in a tribute to Celia Cruz. He has also received The Harbor Achievement Award (2001), which was awarded to him by music mogul Russel Simmons.
Camilo has played/plays with Ilu Aye, Los Pleneros de la 21, Yerbabuena, Oba Ire, Anya Ade, and various other groups in the city. Camilo is well known and respected within the Afro Caribbean drumming scene in NY and all over the states. It is obvious that his hard work and dedication has paid off so far, let's just hope this is just the tip of the iceberg for the young percussionist.
(Camilo playing traps with Yerbabuena, Video Credit: NYCityKids)
Thursday, May 28, 2009
(Yerbabuena, Photo Credit: Julian Gerena-Quinones)
I was seeing posts everywhere that the Thursday night Yerbabuena spot at Camaradas was coming to an end. Any of you who are in the NY City area know that the YB's have held court on Thursday nights at one of El Barrio's favorite watering holes for a couple of years now and so much to the point where the Yerbabuena and Camaradas name have become synonymous. When I heard the Thursday nights were coming to an end, I was scramblin' to find info as to whether they would be calling it quits at Camaradas completely or just moving to another night, fortunately the latter proved to hold true.
So that said, let me just pose a question? Yo Tato, when are we going to get another recording from the YB Camp?
Oh, and if you want to catch the Yerbabuena crew do what they do best, you will need to troop it out to Camaradas on their new night on every last Saturday of the month where you can see Tato, Flaco, Melissa, Julissa, Aubrey on vocals, Guillo on bass, Hector on cuatro, Bebo and Nick on barriles, and the crew of dancers whom without we could not call it bomba y plena.
2241 First Avenue
El Barrio, NYC 10029
(Yerbabuena in action, Bebo and Nick on barriles, Video Credit: maldonadojustin)
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
(We previously had a clip of the video embedded on the page, but opted to remove said clip out of respect to those in attendance at the ceremony).
If you still want to see the clip you can catch it here
Friday, May 22, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
(Los Papines, Video Credit: gdscks)
Friday, May 15, 2009
(Xiomara and Roman, Credit: Heddy Honigmann)
"Xiomara Rodriguez has been a teacher here since she arrived from Cuba in 1980. She has performed with Folklorico Nacional in Cuba, studying and traveled extensively with them. She has performed with every major folklore group in NY including Los Afortunados, Louie Bauzo's Patakin, Puntilla's Nueva Generacion and now her son, Mikel Sotolongo's group Iba." -- Felix Sanabria
Here she is dancing in an old clip posted by Barry on you tube:
Xiomara is a renowned performer of the sacred dances of the Orishas, the African deities that represent the divine forces of nature associated with the Santeria religion. Xiomara Rodriguez is equally skilled in the secular dances that developed later in Cuba with a greater Spanish influence. These include, but are not limited to, rumba: yambu, guaguanco and columbia. With a degree in dance from the National School of the Arts in Havana, Cuba, we are proud to add Ms. Rodriguez to our staff at Piel Canela Dance & Music School.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009 10:00 PM
Camaradas Bar & Restaurant
2241 1st Ave./ 115th Street
Bomba has always been a tool for revolution and the celebration of freedom, and a means to cleanse our spirits from the everyday wind and grind of ordinary life. Join Alma Moyo, New York's most exciting Afro Puerto Rican ensemble, and celebrate life, love and Spirit together within an all embracing community dedicated to the preservation of our African legacy in Puerto Rico.
"Realize that You are involved in a situation that is a lot greater than who you are!!!" Sononfu Somé, Dagara People West Africa. We as descendants of a cultural legacy that stems back about 500 years are involved in something greater than we as individuals. Our Afro Puerto Rican cultural tradition, la Bomba, will ignite Camaradas Bar & Restaurant this Saturday Night and the voices of our ancestors will penetrate our very souls. Bomba has always been a tool for revolution and the celebration of freedom, and a means to cleanse our spirits from the everyday wind and grind of ordinary life. Join Alma Moyo, New York's most exciting Afro Puerto Rican ensemble, and celebrate life, love and Spirit together within an all embracing community dedicated to the preservation of our African legacy in Puerto Rico. starts at 10pm $5 Cover
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
(Rumba en El Parque Central, Video Credit: Mark Sanders)
Saturday, May 9, 2009
(Los Afortunados at El Vacilon, Susan Sanabria - yemaya, Gene Golden- okonkolo, Felix Sanabria- iya, Brandon Rosser- itotele, Photo Credit: Susan Sanabria)
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Thursday, April 09, 2009
(Versión en español aquí.)
My very first post when I started this blog was a link to some recordings by Yoruba Andabo I call "Cajones Bullangueros." A friend gave me a cassette copy of the recordings a few years earlier and it quickly became one of my favorite rumba records.
I digitized the tape, put the tracks on a CD and designed a little cover, calling the whole thing "Cajones Bullangueros," which I thought was an apt title, considering the instrumentation used and the inclusion of a standout track by that name. (Most of the other songs were later released (in different versions) on their classic "El callejón de los rumberos.")
(you want to read the rest, click here)
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
(Photo Credit: Susan Richardson-Sanabria)
Uh oh, I don't think I can name everyone in this picture. Los Afortunados and guest artists performed in Great Barrington, MA. Kneeling - Abe (Rodriguez), Pupi (Insua) and producer/ standing - Evelyn (Smart), Gina (Iyaleo), Felix (Sanabria), Carlos, Anita, Rita, Eddie, Xiomara, Susan (Sanabria)/ back row - Michael (Sotolongo), Victor (Jaraslov), musician, Orlando, trumpet, musician, Manuel. I tried with the names.