CongaDr+ Tony's Conga Adventures: Groupo Folklorico AfroCuba de Matanzas - from myspace

Monday, June 2, 2008

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Groupo Folklorico AfroCuba de Matanzas - from myspace

Grupo AFROCUBA de Matanzas AFROCUBA de Matanzas AFROCUBA, one of Cuba's most acclaimed folklore groups, performs the traditional dances, percussion and songs which still flourish as an integral part of the island's living legacy. The nineteen member company was founded in 1957 in the city of Matanzas, known as one of the cradles of Afro-Cuban folklore. There, many of the centuries-old African based traditions have been maintained in their purest form, some existing presently only in Matanzas. AFROCUBA is widely recognized in Cuba and worldwide for their mastery of the full spectrum of Afro-Cuban folklore, including presentation of certain genres performed only by them. The group members are not only top-notch professional artists, but also practitioners of the religions whose music and dance they perform.

Their instruments have been painstakingly hand crafted using centuries-old methods and original materials, making for an incomparable richness and authenticity of sound. "The group's repertoire contains a wide and complete panorama of the traditions brought to Cuba by the African slaves, and the results of their evolution and integration into modern Cuban society", says director Francisco Zamorra Chirino.

Their shows include music and dance of Lucumí (Yoruba), Arará (Dahomey), Bantú (Congo), Calabarí, and other African origins, as well as the more Spanish and Caribbean influenced traditions. Our goal is to keep the legacy of our ancestors alive, while enriching our creative interpretation".

They have several recordings, most recently "Rituales Afrocubanos" (1993 EGREM, Cuba), and "Oyelos de Nuevo" (1994 QbaDisc, recorded in 1968 under the group name "Folklore Matancero"). In February 1996 AFROCUBA recorded six pieces with Steve Coleman at the Havana Jazz Festival. These pieces which mix odd-metered jazz and hip hop vocals with polyrhythmic Afro-Cuban rhythms appear on a Steve Coleman recording on the BMG label.

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