CongaDr+ Tony's Conga Adventures: Ritmo congas - Maestro Matthew Smith - my personal favorite - Matt Smith Congas

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

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Ritmo congas - Maestro Matthew Smith - my personal favorite - Matt Smith Congas

For me, Matt makes the best congas on the planet, and he is one very nice cat as well.

Junior Tirado and Jay Bereck are the only cats, who can/could hold a candle to Matt. His craftsmanship is spectacular.

His drums are some of the best ive ever played, well built and incredible sounding... well worth the money.

many more from Matt will be posted soon...

You can reach Matt at Ritmo Studios - 215-795-2267

And please do link his site to yours, for some help in google ranking. etc.

a test to check something; Matt Smith Conga, Matt Smith Congas, Matt Smith Drums, Matt Smith Bongos, Matthew Smith Conga, Matthew Smith Congas, Ritmo drums, Ritmo congas, Ritmo bongos, Ritmo percussion, matt smith percussion.

this is only a test.... beep..


  1. Younger conga players don't realize the quality and variety of drums available now. When I started to play back in the 1950's....the only drums available were those from Cuba, No LP's, no Smith, no Bauer etc..
    There was a bake shop at 116th and Lenox Avenue in NY...Sumon Jou;s where we would go to buy bongos ( about $7 to $10) and congas
    about $12 -$15). Simon had skins tacked on the wall and he would explain what part of the goat skin was the best for bongos etc. What an education. This was before the tuneable drums were available.
    You tacked he skins to the drums and had to lerarn the craft of doing it properly. I remember learning by doing....pulling the
    skins oo tight...the drum ringing like a bell...choosing the right thickness o match the drum and finally allowing the drum to tell you...what sound was it wanted to make.
    It was a great time....and I had the terrific experience of being in Charlie Palmieri's band, Randy Carlos and eventually jamming with Dizziy Gillespie. What a trip!
    Thought you'd like to know about "the old days."

    Steve Powers Dwork

  2. Yea man,

    soo cool to hear about those days.

    just another item to add to the list of modern spoils... we are blessed to have Matt and Jay around.


  3. Drumhammer here, I have been chasing those classic Conga sounds for over 35 years now. I now have 39 congas in my collection and I am pleased to say that I own 3 Ritmo drums. I communicated with Matt during the construction of my quinto and he was very accomodating. There is no doubt about the sound and quality of his work. I would hesitate to put one master drum maker above others. These craftsmen put their heart and soul into their drums and I am proud to own them...Drumhammer

  4. Drumhammer here. Just tuned up my Volcanos, One Monkeypod set and one Mango set. Not just eye candy. These beauties sound wonderful! I love my Ritmos as well, but these Volcanos "WOW"

  5. John Berdeguer
    I went to Matts house last year in December on a very cold day. I checked out his drums, very well made, looked very good however the way a drum looks or how it's made does not determine how it will sound.
    Well his drums sound awesome, the best sounding drum I've heard in a long time.
    He has a talent for matching a skin to a drum.
    His drums are top self, he is the the new "Junior or Jay" both great drums makers.
    I recommend them to any body.

  6. Hello out there. I have written before. Sammy Alvarez. I want to get Smiths but the number listed not working and no answer from his e mail. is he still in buissnes? help!!

  7. Yes Sammy, last I talked to Matt he is still making drums. If he did not answer your email, I would try again. He is regularly busy and back ordered. No wonder, as he makes such fine instruments.

    Best of luck,


  8. Thanks Tony, your the best. i loved the pics of SD and PR. You took us with you. I am now going to send pics of my 4 mahogony girl friends made by Junior.....cuidate bro. I got Mr. Smiths number from him himself. We havnt spoken yet but he knows i want some drums....

  9. Samswoodworks42aol.comFebruary 17, 2012 at 8:31 AM

    Hello there, this is Sammy, and If allowed, I would like to thank Mr. Steve Powers Dwork for your words of wisdom. Would you agree with me that not only does an Alma ring prevent egging but in my respectful opinion, they contribute to sound. I believe they enhance by acting as a resonator. This is probably why LP congas lack that sound we all are swimming for. God bless you......Tony would you know what type of congas did Ch' Areas of Santana play?

  10. Hi Tony. This is Sammy Alvarez. I hope your well. I had the honor of meeting Mathew Smith this week. He is all that everyone has said about him. Congueros!!! this guy is the real deal!!
    He is a true craftmen. Im a woodworker and I was looking for certain things that would indicate to me if he is as good as spoken of. He not only is, but hes has a certain inner energy that lets you know hes One with his craft. He is humble, curtious and a good listener. This guy just did not come on the scene. He has been honing his skills for over 20 plus years. He also has deep respect for his clients. he had a macho y hemrbra Cubana that he would not allow me to photograph. Its all i needed to see, LOYALTY!.. You will not go wrong with his instruments. His pailas are a work of art.......Tony please let us know when you get those Walnut honeys man! Chevere.....

  11. hello soy Hector de nicaragua[nicoya] como puedo ordenar ritmo congas

  12. I have being reading this blog and others on the great Conga.

    I am looking to buy a set of two....Reading above Mat Smith would be a certain choice please give me one or two other custom makers,I would be very much obliged

    Best wishes Steve

    p.s. it was with great sadness (for many people) that Tom Alexander of VOLCANO passed on.
    I only know of Tom through reading about him on Congaplace & Tony`s blog here e.t.c. but he seemed like a very good man and a great atrtisan

  13. Just thought after I posted,a few moments ago
    wish there were some of the many highly respected Conga/Timbales players giving there own views on percussion instruments

    Cheers Steve

  14. hello all. . . . I am trying to get in contact with Matt to buy some of his drums. I sent 2 emails 2 weeks ago and tried calling the number for him but it was disconnected. If anyone knows how to get in contact with Matt, please let me know. . . my email is . . . . thanks guys!

  15. This is for WOODWORKS in reference to Chepito Areas as far as i can remember at Woodstock his set was generic probably brought over from Nicaragua his pais... as the band shot to fame he was playing on Gon Bops then in 73 on the Japan tour he & Armando Peraza were playing on KING KONGAS on Armandos endorsement... in 74 it was back to Gon Bops for both players.... after that they both gave in to the ALMIGHTY LP endorsement lol.... much peace & love to all TIMBEROS from the TEXAS GULF COAST.... LUIS

  16. Would luv to own a Ritmo Conga 113/4.How can I get one?


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