CongaDr+ Tony's Conga Adventures: Maestro Yaya Maldonado - Chekeres for serious players

Thursday, July 17, 2008

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Maestro Yaya Maldonado - Chekeres for serious players

The master rumba singer Yaya Maldonado also makes some of the sweetest Chekeres, or Shekere's around. These are musician's instruments, very balanced, the right weight, just the right type and size of beads etc. They sound just right for folkloric playing, and will cut through any louder setting as well. Pic is of him and Fito Reinoso with Armando Peraza at Yerba Buena Gardens.

It's hard to find the real deal, here in the States.. ebay is not an option... bunch of armatures, or, a few Cuban jems about once a year show up and go high. I know the Banda brothers, super fat rhythm section for Pancho Sanchez, make some very fine instruments as well. Im not sure if they are still making them, but they were very nice. The ones i saw were more for Salsa, with large plastic beads, but they make folkloric ones as well, im not sure.

Yaya has the folkloric angle covered. He has the ear for that street rumba sound, that produceds an instrument that has you dreaming of the islands.

He is also a priest of Ifa', and can make the traditional sets for playing a Guiro. Serious stuff, fine work.

These two have just been completed and are up for sale. He can also make you one to spec, with wood beads, shells, whatever. They are not cheap, but few people in the states can make the real deal.

If you would like to contact Yaya about his instruments, send me an email at and I'll be happy to put you in touch.

cuban shekere, cuban chekere,


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