CongaDr+ Tony's Conga Adventures: Maestro Akbar Moghaddam - Valje congas, Sol congas, new Gon Bops congas

Friday, March 14, 2008

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Maestro Akbar Moghaddam - Valje congas, Sol congas, new Gon Bops congas

Akbar took a conga repairman gig at a small music store in SF and parlayed it into a serious career of making congas.

He, with the hlep of Octavio Ruiz and Tom Flores, is responsible for no less than the SF Valje line of drums, the LP Armando Parrazo cherry Valje models of the 90's, Sol drums, and the California Gon bops series, among other accomplishments. Id say thats a nice resume'... for a repair man...

I have yet to meet the man, but its a matter of time. Ill run into him at some point. I am a fan of his work, for sure.

Pics of his work to come....


Picture of the stock of completed Valje drums destroyed in the '86 fire:

.. and the saddest of after pictures:

.. on a side note.. in the history of Valje..

.. I was talking to John Santos this weekend, and we were bsing about the old days, and various cats we know that were sponsored by various drum manufacturers.. and he was telling me about a line of Valje 'John Santos' signature drums that was in development when the fire destroyed the SF shop.. up in smoke... but an interesting tidbit.

.. he also mentioned that the heavy folklorist Harold Muñiz was working with Akbar in the SF shop.. always interesting to find out more about the history of Valje...

If you live in the Central Valley, you have to check this cat out.. he and his wife Beatriz are like folkloric royalty in these parts.


  1. This is a great site to behold,Id like to see more instructional materials on notation of various rhythms to gain additonal knowledge about he music and its origins

  2. Tootyman,

    Thanks for the kind words about the blog.

    Check out Mike Spiro's site for instructional material:

    No way I can touch the level of knowledge this cat has.. he is an treasure..


  3. Samswoodworks42@aol.comFebruary 17, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    Tony I cant get enuff of this man! I owned a reproduction Valge that was a BOOMER! I would take that drum up to the Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn and in less then an hour have people hugging that drum... I can only Imagine what the real ones sounded like! As always your hard work in getting us educated is apreciado!i felt a deep sadness come over me when the pics of the fire came up...It reminded me of a poem i wrote about the conga. "Gracias".Sammy


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