CongaDr+ '''Tony's Conga Adventures: Vintage Bongo restoration, Candido Requena in Cedar

Thursday, April 4, 2013

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Vintage Bongo restoration, Candido Requena in Cedar


Candid Requena bongo restored by Tony Stearn - on the rumba blog tony's conga adventures

This was a fun project, although the money got kind of funny at the end...



There is this family in what we call 'south city', or Daily City/Colma area, who has a Patriarch bongocero who brought this set direct from Cuba back in the day. It was made by the legendary drum maker Candido Requena.



It was purchased at the legendary music shop Solis, in Havana Cuba back in the late 50's. Ive seen this label on several different instruments...  

The set originally cost $11 US, no doubt, so this must have been before the embargo, I think.

cuban bongo on the rumba blog tony's conga adventures

Working on a set made by Candid Requena is an honor, even if it is a set that was meant for the tourist trade and not really built for the professional player.

bongo from cuba on the rumba blog tony's conga adventures
Cedro, great sound, soft wood
 The goat skin wasnt functional, even back then, the hardware and shell are not built to last, or to be heavily used by a gigging professional. You actually see a few of these a year, for sale on the internet.Candido made other, very fine and high end instruments for the top professionals of the day, as seen below. Here is other examples of his work: Candido Requena congas on Tony's conga adventures


Perez Prado on a Candid Requena Conga back in the day

But with the Cedar shell and the masterful maker.. we try to get this set to perform, and not just be a good looking trinket of days gone by. And in this case, it was an 80th birthday gift for a well bongocero from south city.

Cuban bongo restoration - CongaDr - conga skins and repair on the rumba blog tony's conga adventures