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Chachá's photo gallery

20 años de los primeros Tambores de Fundamento en Santiago de Cuba, 10/1/09

Interview on YouTube
: the former director of the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional, Juan Garcia, interviews Chachá in October, 2006. A big thanks to Kabiosile  for making this possible -- from their new DVD, El Lenguaje del Tambor

IBBAE, CHACHÁ, announcement from Los Muñequitos on the occasion of Chachá's passing, 7/19/07
Anuncio de los Muñequitos en ocasion del fallecimiento de Chachá, 19/7/07

Muere el tamborero más viejo de la isla, Diario de la Prensa, NY, 7/20

Muere Esteban Vega, el último de los fundadores de Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, 7/20/07

FALLECIÓ ESTEBAN VEGA, FUNDADOR DE LOS MUÑEQUITOS DE MATANZAS, Radio Reloj, 7/20/07

Esteban Vega Bacallao "chachá" 1925-2007, Sistema Sonoro Macaco Blog, 7/23/07 de J.Ernesto Díaz

Chachá Photos

Brief Video of Chachá interview, Esqina Rumbera, 11/29/06

New Orleans delegation visits for initiations

Chachá en Miami's Nuevo Herald

The Olokun drums

Interview while in Venezuela

On CBS - 5/16/99

Chacha in the Bronx
Chachá graffiti portrait in Brooklyn, NY

Esteban "Chachá" Vega Bacallao
1925-2007

Chachá is a legendary figure in Cuban percussion, having invented many rhythms that are still being played in Matanzas and Havana.  He was a driving force in the formative years of los Muñequitos de Matanzas.

Born August 3, 1925, Chachá started playing at age 13, in 1938. He was an omo ochun, with Nov 29th being his ocha birthday. According to Tina Gallagher:

His date of birth that he gave me in my interview with him was August 3, 1925--but many people here insist he was older than that. Evidently at the beginning of the century they weren't so great about recording births, particularly among the blacks, so when it came time after the revolution to issue identity cards they just approximated dates based on what the person told them. I don't know if that's true, but in any case he was my informant so I took the date he gave me. 

He played bata and rumba with the Conjunto Lirico Melodioso under Juan Mesa in the 40’s. There he participated in rumba’s transition from cajon (wooden boxes) to congas, which are the instruments mostly used today. As quintero, he dramatically expanded the range of rhythms played on the quinto, and other musicians followed suite.

In 1952, he joined the Guaguanco Matancero, later to be called Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, 6 months after its founding. He may not technically be a founding member, but is generally considered as such, especially given his contribution to the group. He was a mainstay of the old Muñequitos and left the group in 1964, when its character was changing.

He played batá, bembe, and other Yoruba and Congo percussion at religious ceremonies throughout the province, where he was held in the highest esteem and was very well known.

In 1994, he ventured out of the country for the first time with a Yoruba oriented group out of Santiago and went to Venezuela, where there is a very active santero community.

Around 1995, he completed work on a copy of 4 old Olokun drums which still exist in Matanzas and date back over 140 years.  Olokun is the orisha of the deep sea.   Chachá trained some of the Matanzas percussionists in the rhythms associated with these drums, rhythms he was probably the last person to know.  The drums are unique, in so far as we have been able to ascertain by consulting the chief priest of Olokun and others in Benin City, the city of Olokun in Nigeria.

Chachá, like many Matanceros with African roots, was a member of an Abakwa potencia, Efik Yumane.  This comes from the Efik nation of the Cross River delta in Nigeria.   Unlike Congo and Lukumi traditions, which tend to be more centered around the family, the Abakwa potencias are men's groups.

We last saw Chachá at 73, still vigorously playing at toques with his group, Los Tambores de Chachá, which includes Daniel Alfonso and Luis Cancino Morales.  His house was steeped in African traditions, a venerable shrine to those who knew him.

Chachá gave lessons in percussion to many folks. He was also a master drum maker and his drums are prized by percussionists everywhere.

-- AfroCubaWeb, 1997

20 años de los primeros Tambores de Fundamento en Santiago de Cuba, 10/1/09

Por: Víctor M. Sigué y Liuzmary Cumbá

El 17 de Septiembre de 1989, hace hoy 20 años, el maestro de la percusión Mililian Galí Riverí  [un ahijado de Chacha] introdujo los primeros tambores de fundamento en Santiago de Cuba, apadrinados y consagrados por el matancero Domingo de la Caridad Esteban Vega Bacallao [Chachá], líder religioso.

Los tambores de fundamento se componen de un juego de tres tambores Batá consagrados a la deidad Añá (Deidad consagrada a la música ritual de la santería o Regla de Ocha) y los mismos mantienen las reglas de los toques y ritos que se hacen en torno a dicha deidad en cuanto a la fiesta del wuemilere y del Eggun.

Los tambores Batá intervienen en las ceremonias que se realizan en las Casas-Templo de los santeros de la Regla de Ocha y los tocadores son igualmente personas consagradas a Añá y se les conoce como Omó Añá. Actualmente se han consagrado 10 tambores de fundamento en Santiago de Cuba.

El maestro Mililián Galí, destacado profesor santiaguero de la percusión, es asesor de la compañía folclórica Kokoyé, lo hizo también con el Folclórico de Oriente y el Grupo Cutumba, la conga alemana Takatún y con jóvenes talento de Pernambuco, en Brasil, y da clases a extranjeros interesados en los ritmos cubanos durante los Festivales del Caribe.

-- www.casadelcaribe.cult.cu/default.aspx?page=notice.aspx&id=357

[See also Interview while in Venezuela, where Chachá went with Milian Gali, his ahijado or godson.]


IBBAE, CHACHÁ
, announcement from Los Muñequitos on the occasion of Chachá's passing, 7/19/07

At this moment, when we are far from Cuba, we have received word of the death of the last surviving founder of Los Muñequitos de Matanzas: Esteban Vega Bacallao "Chachá”, stevedore, quinto master, possessor of one of the oldest sets of consecrated drums in Cuba, comparsero, maker of folkloric instruments, one of the first maestros of the Conjunto Folklórico Nacional de Cuba, admired by Cubans and people from other lands, respected by everyone as one of the great figures of Matanzas culture.

This October 9 will mark the 55th anniversary of the first public performance by Los Muñequitos. The group was initially named Guaguancó Matancero, but with the love and esteem of the public, changed its name to become a transcendent symbol of Cuban folkloric music. Chachá was one of the initiators of this work. He was born without thinking of fame, and he became who he was without any other idea than that of expressing an impulse that derives from life in the poor barrios.

Stevedore in the port, from a very humble background, he went to parties, streetcorners, and bars, looking for the opportunity to play the drum, sharing with friends and brothers in religion, drinking beer and rum in the heat of the street, in the jams of “beodos” (drinking companions), enjoying the moment as if all of life depended on it.  That was the formation of Los Muñequitos.

Chachá lived more than 80 years, but we still didn’t know him as well as we should have. As with all rumberos, time passed differently for him, or rather, time didn’t count, it sang, which is why we throw great rumbas for our dead, because only in that way can they leave the world as they lived, made as they are of music and drum.

Today we cannot be at your side, Chachá, but we will sing for you as if we were in La Marina and your drums were our flag, so that your life can be, like the lives of all those that created this group over more than half a century, the energy that makes us move forward, so that time can go on singing, so that our fire can go on burning and the life of our people can always have the sabor of our land.

IBBAE BAYE TONU.
 
LOS MUÑEQUITOS DE MATANZAS
VICTORIA, CANADA
19 DE JULIO 2007  

[Los Munñequitos are on tour in Canada]

**********************************************************************************

IBBAE, CHA CHA

EN ESTOS MOMENTOS, MUY LEJOS DE CUBA, ACABAMOS DE RECIBIR LA NOTICIA DEL FALLECIMIENTO DEL ULTIMO FUNDADOR DE LOS MUÑEQUITOS DE MATANZAS: ESTEBAN VEGA BACALLAO "CHA CHA", ESTIBADOR, QUINTERO, POSEEDOR DE UNO DE LOS JUEGOS DE TAMBORES AÑA MAS ANTIGUOS DE CUBA, COMPARSERO, FABRICANTE DE INSTRUMENTOS FOLKLORICOS, UNO DE LOS PRIMEROS MAESTROS DEL CONJUNTO FOLKLORICO NACIONAL DE CUBA, ADMIRADO POR CUBANOS Y GENTE DE OTRAS TIERRAS, RESPETADO POR TODOS COMO UNO DE LOS MAYORES DE LA CULTURA MATANCERA.

EL PROXIMO 9 DE OCTUBRE SE CUMPLIRAN 55 AÑOS DE LA PRIMERA PRESENTACION PUBLICA DE LOS MUÑEUIQOTS, AGRUPACION LLAMADA INICIALMENTE GUAGUANCO MATANCERO Y QUE POR AMOR Y APRECIO POPULAR, CAMBIO SU NOMBRE PARA TRASCENDER COMO SIMBOLO DE LA MUSICA FOLKLORICA CUBANA. CHA CHA FUE UNO DE LOS INICIADORES DE ESTA OBRA, QUE NACIO SIN PENSAR EN LA FAMA, SE FORMO SIN OTRA IDEA QUE LA DE DAR RIENDAS AL IMPULSO QUE SALE DE LA VIDA EN LOS BARRIOS POBRES.

ESTIBADOR DEL PUERTO Y DE PROCEDENCIA MUY HUMILDE, ANDABA LAS FIESTAS, LAS CALLES Y LOS BARES, BUSCANDO EN ELLOS LA OPORTUNIDAD DE SONAR EL TAMBOR, COMPARTIENDO CON OTROS AMIGOS Y HERMANOS DE RELIGION, SABOREANDO LA CERVEZA Y EL CALOR DEL RON CALLEJERO, DE LAS DESCARGAS DE "BEODOS", DISFRUTANDO DEL INSTANTE COMO SI LA VIDA TODA DEPENDIERA DE ESE MOMENTO, ASI SE FORMARON  LOS MUÑEQUITOS.

CHA CHA VIVIO MAS DE OCHENTA AÑOS, PERO AUN ASI NOS FALTO PARA CONOCERLO. PARA EL COMO PARA TODOS LOS RUMBEROS, EL TIEMPO CUENTA DE OTRA MANERA, O MEJOR DICHO, EL TIEMPO NO CUENTA, EL TIEMPO CANTA, POR ESO HACEMOS GRANDES RUMBAS PARA NUESTROS MUERTOS, PORQUE SOLO ASI SALDRAN DE ESTE MUNDO COMO SIEMPRE HAN VIVIDO, HECHO MUSICA Y TAMBOR.

HOY NO PODREMOS ESTAR A TU LADO, CHA CHA, PERO CANTAREMOS PARA TI COMO SI ESTUVIERAMOS EN LA MARINA Y TUS TAMBORES SERAN NUESTRA BANDERA, PARA QUE TU VIDA SEA, COMO LA DE TODOS LOS QUE CREARON HACE MAS DE MEDIO SIGLO ESTE GRUPO, LA ENERGIA QUE NOS HAGA SEGUIR, PARA QUE EL TIEMPO SIGA CANTANDO, PARA QUE NUESTRO FUEGO NO SE APAGUE Y LA VIDA DE NUESTRA GENTE TENGA SIEMPRE EL SABOR DE NUESTRA TIERRA.

IBBAE BAYE TONU.

LOS MUÑEQUITOS DE MATANZAS
VICTORIA, CANADA
19 DE JULIO 2007  

[Los Muñequitos estan de gira en Canada]

up.gif (925 bytes) Muere el tamborero más viejo de la isla, Diario de la Prensa, NY, 7/20

La Habana/EFE — El músico cubano Esteban Vega, conocido popularmente como “Chachá”, considerado el tamborero más viejo de Cuba y uno de los fundadores de la legendaria agrupación “Muñequitos de Matanzas”, falleció ayer a los 82 años, según medios locales.

Vega sufría una enfermedad circulatoria que obligó a la amputación de una de sus piernas a principios de año, según la agencia estatal Prensa Latina.

Con la muerte de “Chachá” Vega desaparece el último de los ocho fundadores de los “Muñequitos de Matanzas”, una agrupación creada en octubre de 1952 en la barriada matancera de La Marina que llegó a convertirse en uno de los más emblemáticos grupos de la música afrocubana.

Chachá Vega, que comenzó a tocar los tambores a los 13 años, abandonó los “Muñequitos” en 1964, cuando el grupo comenzó a cambiar de estilo y a explorar nuevos géneros dentro de la música afrocubana.

Desde entonces se volcó en enseñar a jóvenes músicos y en tocar tambores Yoruba con su grupo “Los tambores de Chachá” en ceremonias religiosas en Matanzas, donde estaba considerado como uno de los más importantes músicos cubanos.

En agosto del pasado año falleció Alberto Romero, cantante de Los Muñequitos, que puso voz al disco “La rumba soy yo”, uno de los más importantes de la agrupación y con el que ganaron en el 2001 un Grammy Latino.

Los “Muñequitos de Matanzas” han acogido a músicos de tres generaciones y cuentan con una amplia discografía en la que destacan títulos como “El guaguancó de Matanzas”, “Los muñequitos de Matanzas”, “Rumba caliente”, “Oyelos de nuevo”, “Real rumba”, “Vacunao” y “Po Iban Eshu”.

Muere Esteban Vega, el último de los fundadores de Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, Cuba Encuentro, 7/20/07

Agencias 

viernes 20 de julio de 2007 12:55:00

El músico Esteban Vega, uno de los fundadores de Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, murió este jueves a los 82 años en Matanzas, informó EFE.

Conocido popularmente como Chachá, el músico padecía una enfermedad circulatoria que obligó a la amputación de una de sus piernas a principios de 2007, según la agencia oficialista Prensa Latina.

Chachá, que comenzó a tocar los tambores a los 13 años, era el último de los ocho fundadores de los Muñequitos de Matanzas. La agrupación se creó en octubre de 1952 en la barriada La Marina, en Matanzas, y llegó a convertirse en una de las más emblemáticas de la música afrocubana.

Chachá Vega abandonó el grupo en 1964, cuando Los Muñequitos comenzaron a cambiar de estilo y explorar nuevos géneros. A partir de ese momento comenzó a enseñar a jóvenes músicos y a tocar tambores yoruba con su grupo Los tambores de Chachá en ceremonias religiosas en Matanzas.

En agosto del pasado año falleció Alberto Romero, cantante de los Muñequitos, que puso voz al disco La rumba soy yo, uno de los más importantes de la agrupación y con el que recibieron un Grammy Latino en 2001.

Títulos como El guaguancó de Matanzas, Los muñequitos de Matanzas, Rumba caliente, Óyelos de nuevo, Real rumba, Vacunao y Po Iban Eshu, son algunos de los más importantes temas del grupo.

El cuerpo del músico ha sido sepultado en el cementerio San Carlos de Matanzas.

FALLECIÓ ESTEBAN VEGA, FUNDADOR DE LOS MUÑEQUITOS DE MATANZAS, Radio Reloj, 7/20/07

El último de los fundadores de los emblemáticos Muñequitos de Matanzas, Esteban "Chachá" Vega falleció este JUEVES a los ochenta y dos años, cerrando el capítulo de los ocho músicos que formaron la popular agrupación rumbera.

Galardonados con un Premio Grammy Latino, los Muñequitos de Matanzas surgieron cincuenta y cinco años atrás en la humilde barriada de La Marina en la capital matancera, llevando los ritmos afrocubanos por todo el mundo.

Con el fallecimiento de Esteban "Chachá" Vega, la cultura cubana pierde a uno de sus mejores tamboreros, quien con su destreza y virtuosismo aportó elementos a la forma de interpretar los ritmos afrocubanos, en particular el complejo sonoro de la rumba.

Seguidores de la tradición de sus fundadores, los actuales músicos de los Muñequitos de Matanzas mantienen a la agrupación en la cúspide de los ritmos afrocubanos(.Reportó:Noel Martínez))

New Orleans delegation visits Chachá for initiations            up.gif (925 bytes)

"We’ve Linked the African Chain"
Cuban Master Initiates New Orleans Drummers Into Religious Fraternity
By Sallie Hughes And Ted Henken

African roots bind Cuba and New Orleans, and now five New Orleans musicians have become the first African American group to join a privileged Yoruban fraternity of ceremonial drummers and own a "family" of sacred drums.

"We’ve linked the African chain from Africa to Cuba to the United States," said well-known New Orleans drummer Bill Summers. "To me, as an African American, that is a big deal." The drums were created and consecrated in ceremonies over a period of two years by Cuban Esteban "Cha Chá" Vega, who Summers said is "revered as the man, the high priest of drummers on the island."  Cha Chá also officiated at the initiation of the New Orleans musicians into the Yoruba fraternity while Cuban master drummer Pancho Quinto, who visited New Orleans last year, participated in the ceremony.

Summers was on his fourth visit to the island, furthering a musical and spiritual relationship spanning 35 years. The innovative drummer of the local Latin jazz group "Los Hombres Calientes" participated in the Havana events of the January cultural trip, but said the trip to the Afro Cuban heartland of Matanzas was his primary motivation in traveling to the island.

Summers said he has fought a long time to preserve the strong cultural, musical, and African heritage connections that unite Cuba and the Crescent City, and rejected the notion that communication and cultural ties between the two places suffered after the Cuban Revolution. Many African Americans from New Orleans have defied political obstacles and traveled to the island through third countries, he said. New Orleans’ black residents "refuse to let political issues deter them from discovering their heritage," Summers said. "It is important to me that what we did is understood."

Cuba was the second-largest port of call of the colonial slave trade, after Brazil. African influences percolate through Cuban culture, from rhythm to religion, and Afro-Cubans are known for maintaining their African cultural traditions. That’s why Summers took students Kito Johnson, 12, his brother Rashidi Johnson, 15, Southern University law school graduate Gino Thomas, and his brother, UNO student Mashona Thomas, to be initiated into the African Aña fraternity of drummers by the master of Cuban master drummers, Cha chá.

The Aña fraternity is an African tradition of the Yoruba people, a privileged caste of musicians who are the only ones able to play the sacred family of Bata drums -- the Iya drum, meaning mother in Yoruba; the middle range drum, the Itotele, representing the father; and the Okonkolo, meaning "little one, which plays a basic pattern which holds the family together," Summers explained.

To be initiated, the men had to commit to memory 22 suites of music, featuring about 600 different rhythmic patterns. Two more of Summers’ students, Marcus Guillory and Michawn McKnighten, will travel to Cuba to be initiated in April. The men traveled under the auspices of the Summers Multi-Ethnic Institute of Arts, run by Bill Summers and his musician wife, Yvette Summers.

New Orleans master drummers are scheduled to perform publicly for the first time at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival this spring, opening for Carlos Santana at Lake Front Arena during the first weekend of the festival and performing a Summers composition at the fair grounds with master African drummers from Senegal, Brazil and Cuba.

"We’ve been training people to participate in traditional African ceremonies, things taken away during slavery," Summers said. "Most of the African spiritual practices carried negative connotations that were promoted by those who enslaved Africans. We must evaluate these things ourselves and among our own people. This is really the purpose of my doing this with them."

- reprinted by permission of the author, originally published in the February issue of La Prensa (e-mail: laprensa@nopg.com).

up.gif (925 bytes)
Chachá in el Nuevo Herald de Miami (Miami Herald, Spanish Edition)

Publicado el domingo, 21 de febrero de 1999 en El Nuevo Herald, Miami

Hacen resonar los lazos yorubas entre Cuba y Nueva Orleans

PAULA GONZALEZ / EFE
NUEVA ORLEANS

Cuatro músicos de Nueva Orleans viajarán a Cuba la próxima semana para incorporarse a la privilegiada fraternidad de Yoruba, formada por percusionistas que mantienen la tradición africana de tipo ceremonial.

Los cuatro músicos que ya se iniciaron en la tradición de Yoruba, Thomas y Jeno Mishona, y Kito y Rashidi Johnson, debieron memorizar diversos "ritmos de los profundos bosques", relacionados a la tradición.

"La tradición se apoya en el respeto del orden natural del universo y a cada elemento de la naturaleza le corresponde un ritmo", explicó Bill Summers, quien ha estado en La Habana en repetidas ocasiones para preservar los lazos musicales y la herencia africana que unen a Cuba y Nueva Orleans.

Summers formó el Instituto Multiétnico de las Artes "para preservar nuestra tradición", aunque advierte que "el principal objetivo del instituto es colaborar por el afianzamiento de una armonía mundial".

Cuba fue uno de los más importantes puertos de escala en los tiempos del comercio de esclavos. Y en el ámbito musical y religioso, las influencias africanas son palpables en la cultura cubana.

"Hemos estado preparando a gente para que participe en ceremonias africanas tradicionales que fueron prohibidas durante la época de la esclavitud", comentó Summers, conocido percusionista del grupo de jazz latino "Los Hombres Calientes" de Nueva Orleans.

"Los afroamericanos, en los tiempos de esclavitud perdieron sus raíces, sus nombres, lengua, música y tradición pero en Cuba todos esos elementos quedaron intactos", agregó.

El viaje de los cuatro músicos coincide con el "mes de la historia negra," que en Estados Unidos se celebra todos los años en febrero y en el cual se conmemora, con diversas actividades, la cultura de los descendientes de los africanos. El maestro cubano Esteban "Cha Chá" Vega, uno de los miembros más antiguos de la tradición en la isla, se encargó de dirigir los rituales sagrados para la iniciación de los cuatro músicos en la fraternidad Yoruba.

"Vega es considerado en Matanzas (Cuba) como el sacerdote de los instrumentos de percusión'', dijo Summers. ``El maestro posee uno de los grupos de tambores Bata más antiguos de la isla".

La intensa disciplina de estos tambores, que carece de improvisaciones, requiere que los músicos memoricen cada ritmo y aprendan las complejas técnicas de mantenimiento de los instrumentos.

"Las ceremonias de iniciación son muy intensas y muchos de los rituales son guardados en secreto debido al aspecto religioso. La gente implicada en nuestra tradición tiene un alto sentido protector", advirtió Summers.

"Muchos afroamericanos desconocen sus orígenes. Tenemos que aprender sobre nuestro pasado, sea bueno o malo", comenta Summers.

La mayoría de las prácticas espirituales africanas "fueron consideradas como negativas por aquellos que esclavizaron a los africanos", pero ahora "está en manos de nuestra propia gente la evaluación de estos asuntos", añadió.

Chachá in Venezuelaup.gif (925 bytes)

In August, 1993, Chachá accompanied a group put together by his godson, Milian Gali Rivero, and composed of people from Santiago who specialize in Yoruba material. The following interview is taken from an unknown newspaper, possibly in Venezuela but perhaps in Cuba. The interviewer apparently is directing his questions to the godson, Gali, not understanding the importance of his godfather, the legendary Chachá:

"We brought with us the first sacred batá with fundamento in Santiago, which was made in Matanzas. We have to note that there is a difference, there are other sacred batás with fundamento which were born in Havana," comented Gali Rivero, who came accompanied by a small delegacion.

"This batá," chimes in Chachá, represents a fundamento which is a saint [orisha]. Only we men can work with these drums. Women cannot touch them. But women can dance to it. [Today, women in Cuba are playing these drums, but without the fundamento -- they are playing drums for shows, not for ceremonies.]

What is the religious significance of this drum with fundamento?

"It is a god who is in the drum. We are dealing with the orishas, that is the saints. The santeros are those who ask that they be played in a fiesta, a celebration," remarks Gali.

"The santeros," adds Chachá, pay for the right to have us play the drum and set up the place where this will take place. One can play at an act around a death, to say good by to the dead. You only have to pay the price we ask and offer the animals or food that Ifá [the oracle] marks out.

This African heritage has undergone a certain transformation over the years?

"There has been a certain transculturation," replies Galli, "and one can talk about the syncretization between christianity and the yoruba religion. But in the ideas and the practices, it has remained pretty pure."

What is the significance of dance in Afrocuban cults?

Dance represents different elements according to the saint involved. The rhythms are there to follow the religion," comments Chachá.

"The dance is based on the drum and its distinct rhythms, which correspond to each orisha," puts in Buenaventura Morales. "The orisha can one or more different rhythms, which the dancer will adopt. The dance is learned to the rhythm of the drum and the chants in turn are based on the drum and the dance. The dancer adjusts to the variacions in chants, which are inherited from Africa and were brought over to Cuba.

"The important thing is," adds Chachá, "Santeria has been understood on a world level. Before it was only blacks, now there are more whites than blacks."

Don’t you think this religion has been a bit commercialized? Does not the interest you have awakened appeal more to money interest than to convictions?

Morales answers "It’s possible, but in Cuba we have a system. But we don’t know how this is being carried into other countries and we are here to see how our religion is being developed. Our objective is to see that everything is maintained within our religious heritage and so arrive at a universal language."

Chachá on CBS - 5/16/99up.gif (925 bytes)

Los Muñequitos de Matanzas were featured in an 8-minute segment on the May 16 broadcast of CBS Sunday Morning, as a cultural segment of an entire program about Cuba.  The Director, Diosdado Ramos Cruz, was interviewed and also shown performing his role as babalawo or priest in the Yoruba religion.  The Musical Director, Jesus Alfonso, was also interviewed, as was Ned Sublette, a producer and founder of Qbadisc, which has brought so much of the Muñequitos' music to the US.  One of los Muñequitos' founders, "Chachá" Esteban Vega, a formidable legend, described the origins. Matanzas was highlighted as the great center of African culture that it is.

Check out the full story at: http://www.cbs.com/prd1/now/template.display?p_story=150320

Thanks to Alison Stewart at CBS for linking to AfroCubaWeb.

Chachá's house:up.gif (925 bytes)

Vellardes 18
Entre Jovellanos y Matanzas
Matanzas, Cuba

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