CongaDr+ Tony's Conga Adventures: La Pena Rumba - Tito Gonzales' birthday rumba

Monday, March 17, 2008

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La Pena Rumba - Tito Gonzales' birthday rumba


I mean... Wow...

La Pena's rumba was too much fun. Played a lot of cata, as Im mostly on quinto up in Napa and i need to keep my stick chops up. At one point I was playing next to Yagbe Onilu, one of the most strict of masters - he hardly fucked with me... which is unusual for him ;) I must be playing better these days, as Im getting less and less flack.

Im still working out my quinto chops, had a short stint, didnt play that well, then redeemed myself with some quinto cajon work that felt ripping.

John Santos was there watching with his young family. He has a new boy, someone we all will know and follow long into the future: The blue eyed soon to be master musician Marcel Santos... say hello to the world little buddy!

Then, after the rumba.. we waited to see what developed... and then were invited to Tito Gonzalez's birthday party... incredible.. with Rick and I as the only European cats in the house, with all the old Cubans.. it looked like we stepped into Matanzas Cuba for a time last night. Toto's bass player Levan Hernandez, and his piano player Coto Pincheira were there. I know them well from working with Sandy and the two of them to produce the folkloric shows last year... they are some great cats, and way off the charts as professional musicians... these guys are fat!

Levan is working on a new project.. all originals.. he took me out to his car to listen to his new material, unmixed, but Super Fat!!! oh my Orishas, this cat is keeping the tradition of early Son alive!! The instrumentation of this project... Bass, Tres, one Trumpet, congas or bongo, singers etc. - no piano. Man the sound was fat, ripping. i just love the sound! It was like son with a timba edge, Retro and modern at the same time! can hardly wait to buy it when it comes out.

Damian, the chosen one, was kind enough to invite me to Tito's party, we played some rumba, a bembe and i got to play and sing in front of these old cuban musicians, who really enjoyed the playing. Wow.. Im so stoked to be in this spot, right now, right here.. Im one fortunate cat...


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