Kabiosile: afro cuban music from the source


Afro Cuban Folkloric Music Featuring Bata Drums, Bembe Macagua, and Güiro

La Fuerza del Tambor: Bata, Bembe y Güiro en Matanzas, Cuba

DVD, 90 minutes, all regions

The Power of the Drum offers Santeria practitioners and newcomers alike a look inside the Santeria religion as it is practiced in Matanzas, Cuba.  Matanzas is considered by many to be the region where the African roots of the religion are strongest and best preserved.

The DVD features eight segments from authentic, live Santeria drumming celebrations for the Orishas.

Five of the segments showcase the sacred bata drums, called Aña, which are the most fundamental form of communication with the African deities knows as Orishas.

Two other segments feature the Lucumi Bembe Macagua drums never before seen outside Matanzas.

Another, highly unusual segment contains almost 10 minutes of rarely seen or heard Palo songs accompanied by the sacred bata drums.

Each segment or group of segments is introduced by an interview with Alfredo Calvo, one of the most respected Santeros in Matanzas, and members of his ile (Ocha house) talking about some aspect of what the viewer is about to see.

There are also several drumming demonstrations:

  • Palo rhythms played on bata
  • Bembe Macagua rhythms and songs
  • Two styles of Arara drumming

Subtitled lyrics are included for all the Lucumi and Palo songs. The interviews are in Spanish with English subtitles.

Contents

The Power of the Drum An interview about the power of the drums to communicate with the Orishas
Rhythm for Yemaya One of the young bata drummers goes all out for Yemaya
Songs for Agayu A full cycle of songs for the Orisha of the volcano
Presenting Iyawos An interview about how new initiates are presented to the sacred drums in Matanzas
Presentation of Two Yemayas Alfredo Calvo prays to Yemaya through song to bring her down on her two newest initiates
Chango, the King of Dance A priest possessed by Chango dances in front of the sacred bata drums
Palo and Aña An interview about the relationship of the various African religions to each other
"Now, the strong stick has been broken" An unusual sequence of Palo Mayombe songs accompanied by the Lucumi bata drums
Mixing the Drums An interview about the power of mixing several types of African drums together in one celebration
Güiro for Ogun The conga drums and shekeres join the bata drums to play for Ogun
Bembe Macagua An interview about the history of the Bembe Macagua drums, followed by an extensive demonstration of these unusual drums
Bembe Macagua for Ogun A live tambor featuring the Bembe Macagua drums and some great dancing for Ogun
Bembe Macagua for Ochun Ochun joins the party to dance in front of the Bembe drums being played in her honor

La Fuerza del Tambor Cover

$29.95

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"It serves as an excellent document of the enduring tradition of the drum, and its integral position in the folk dance, song and belief from West Africa throughout the Diaspora. The honesty of this humble production adds to the value of its authenticity. The interviews were a bonus."

Baba Alade Olamina Los Angeles, CA

"La Fuerza del Tambor" is a priceless collection of live footage, lecture-demonstrations, and interviews from Matanzas. It includes landmark footage of Makawa drums, as well as fascinating, in-depth conversations with Alfredo Calvo and his drummers. This DVD is a must for all Santeros and students of Cuban folklore.

Chris Walker Oakland, CA

"It is highly informative, especially on the subject of Matanzas traditions. The footage is great; made me feel like being there again. I am sure I will watch your film over and over again, and study the drumming, too."

 Thomas Altman Hamburg, Germany

"It is very special to have such an intimate view into the world of the Orisha, Santeros, Bata drumming, and traditional bembes."

Shannon Northcutt Denver, CO

"The interviews are inspiring... And the words to the songs! Yeah, baby. That ain't been done before."

Vanessa Lindberg Eureka, CA

"It isn't often that you see drumming so revered by a community that is itself so focused around the drum. And it is rare indeed to cross the line from social to sacred: from drumming for fun to drumming for the gods. La Fuerza straps you into the front seat on a trip to Matanzas, Cuba, into the Lucumi spiritual tradition where the non-initiated rarely go, and where cameras are rarely welcome."

Brad Boynton Rhythm Traders