"Agua del Sol " Tumi 185is the band début album

“Hijos De Agüeybaná “spreading bomba

CD Review: Taken from

Freegan Kolektiva


Genre: Bomba / Afro-latin / Roots / Puerto Rican folk
Region: Puerto Rico,
Artists’ Website: Hijos De Agueybana Facebook
Label: Tumi Music

Hijos De Agüeybaná spreading bomba
Agua Del Sol is the debut album of Hijos De Agüeybaná, however the band has been performing on stage and conducting workshops for more than a decade. Led by Otoqui Reyes, this 8-piece ensemble is committed to preserving their Afro-Caribbean heritage by researching their roots. Barril-Primo is played by Otoqui Reyes and his father and bomba guru Ángel Luis Reyes, subidor is played by Ramon Vazquez and Papo Aguilú while Naomi Vasquez, Minerva Rosa and Quique Hernández form the singing section of the group

The eternal vibration of African rhythms has enchanted the world. During the last years, more and more styles of music related to African percussions are coming to the fore – just think of kuduro, kizomba and afrobeat among others. Within this upsurge, Afro-latin music has been greatly exposed from Cuban and Afro-Peruvian artists to Colombian cumbia andlabels like Soundway, which specialize in tropical sounds. Now, it is the time of the Puerto Rican African community’s own music, Bomba, to reach all those world music lovers.
‘Agua Del Sol’ is loaded with percussions and group chanting, like in constant dialogue, a style of tribal origin. The multi-layered, recurring beats reinforce the message of the melodious voices and vice versa, delivering celebrated mantras to solidarity, community-life and local culture. Compared to its African counterparts, Bomba music is less rough, emphasising more the vocal harmonies and restricting tempo changes and rhythm shifts within a song.
Bomba – the language of freedom in times of slavery

Bomba, like it happened with other styles in other parts of the Americas, became the unique form of expression of the black slaves that were transported all the way from Africa to work in the sugar plantations of Puerto Rico. Working in slavery under dreadful conditions the ‘Bomba rituals’ (like during St. James festival) helped the people stay together and retain their African identity in the ‘new world’. Bomba’s drumming and dance became the common thread not only among all those different African peoples speaking different languages but also across generations to pass on the knowledge of rhythm and history to the youth.

This music thrived in communities like Ponce, Guayama and Loiza Aldea even after liberation and is still played with one large percussion, called buleador (or barril-primo) and a smaller one called subidor while it is accompanied by all sorts of rhythmic instruments like maracas and sticks thus three or more layers of percussions are woven together. However, buleador plays the main role of interacting with the dancers in a continuous ‘conversation’, where musicians and dancers challenge each other. Bomba is based on musical and lyrical improvisation, or ‘controversia’, which is the heart of much of Puerto Rican folk music. Songs often start with a ‘liana’, where the main singer is reinforced by the chorus in a call and response fashion before the drumming begins. Bomba groups are used to go from place to place performing in open air sessions on the beach, on the streets etc. in all night long rum-fueled sessions.

The Puerto Rican group “Hijos de Agüeybaná” La bomba trelaesing their first début album Tumi 185

Agua del Sol CD cover due to be released September 2012
Cover of the CD of “Hijos de Agüeybaná”, Agua del Sol

La Bomba is one of the main Puerto Rican musical genres with cultural influences from West Africa, Tainos, Spain as well as other Caribbean islands. Bomba is described as a dialogue between dancer and drummer and is a dance of extreme elegance and deliberate steps. ” Hijos de Agüeybaná” (Children of Agüeybaná) is the ambassador of this genre of Puerto Rican music today. Although they mix Bomba with other genres such as Salsa, and Jazz, they never lose sight of its indigenous African roots.


The image of the band Hijos de Agüeybaná from Puerto Rica
The group Hijos de Agueybana directed by Otoqui Reyes consists of eight artists, all committed to preserving their Afro-Caribbean roots. The group has over ten years experience both of performing and offering workshops and courses on the historical and cultural significance of the genre of bomba. They have presented their dance and music to both national and international audiences across the Americas. In the Caribbean the African drum is central to cultural identity creating harmony, solidarity and leadership in both the music itself and the musicians who perform it, helping maintain social structure in communities and villages all over the Island.

In this, their first musical production, Otoqui Reyes, in collaboration with other great artists Cristi Mangual, Andy Montañez and Tony mapeyé creates a flavour unique to Puerto Rico. The drum or tambor Barril-Primo is played by Ángel Luis Reyes and Otoqui Reyes, revelling in its traditional rhythm whilst also integrating with other popular rhythms such as salsa and jazz, and electronic instrumentation such as indigenous-environmental “Lounge”. This creative collaboration is achieved by quality musicians such as: Luis Rosa, Tony Gonzalez and Ricky Torres, committed to creating art and music out of their rich culture. Complementary to the main drums come the second smaller ones which are played by Ramon Vazquez and Papo Aguilú together Jose Alicea, and Maraca. The harmony produced in several layers of drumming is accompanied by the joyful voices of Naomi Vasquez, Minerva Rosa and Quique Hernández.
Everything builds together in this production, like a big street party full of dance, culture and tradition – a great and tasty celebration of life!

Good bye Jan Fairley see you soon or later!

I was so saddened to hear of the death of Jan Fairley on Saturday 9th June.There I was in my home town of Kashan in the desert of Iran and received an email from UK saying my beloved friend was gone. I stood in the heat of the day and my tears disappearing in the desert sand…who knows coming next spring a flower may even come to life from the same spot, carrying her soul!
Though we all knew about her illness but you always think perhaps it won’t happen to her and she will be cured I have known Jan for more than 20 years, travelled together in Chile, Cuba and Spain and has been one of the closed family friends of ours. She has also worked with me as a writer on a number of Tumi releases sleeve notes and artist biographies over many years. Her fantastically knowledgeable and incisive writing has been a inspiration for music lovers, opening up the world of the artist to the reader. We will miss her huge and detailed experience of musical culture and her infectious enthusiasm and passion for the performers she loved.
Jan we already miss you and you have not been gone for long….!!!
My love to her family and friends.
Mo Fini
here is an extract from an article in Herald, Scotlant
Published on 12 June 2012

Mike Gonzalez

Writer, lecturer and broadcaster

Born: March 16, 1949; Died: June 9, 2012.

Jan Fairley, who has died aged 63 of colon cancer, was a writer, academic, broadcaster and former director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

In one of her last blogs, she reviewed her varied, adventurous, rich life with a phrase from the Chilean singer, Violeta Parra’s anthem “Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto” – my thanks to life that has given me so much.

But she gave back as much as she received – in enthusiasm, conviction and love. She always said that Chile changed her life. A student at Essex University she was living in Temuco when the government of Salvador Allende was brought down by a military coup on September 11, 1973. Allende had said “there can be no revolution without song”, and musicians had accompanied him through his campaign and the brief period of change he ushered in when he became president in late 1970. Her life was certainly shaped by that idea – that music has its key role to play in shaping the future. For music can create visions of a different world, inspire artists and listeners with the confidence to achieve it, and provide the emotion and the joy that that struggle can produce.

Returning to Britain, she threw herself into the solidarity campaign with the Chilean resistance. As always, she did this both by protesting against what had happened and by celebrating and communicating to others what had inspired her in the cultural revolution she had witnessed in that brief experience.

Everything she did thereafter set out to celebrate and communicate. Her masters thesis on the Chilean New Song Movement was followed by a doctorate on Karaxu!, one of the groups emerging out of the exile movement.

By the late 1970s, her future path was clearly marked. She described herself as an ethnomusicologist, but that probably underplayed the enormous scope of her knowledge of world music, her commitment to breaking boundaries, to bringing the music of Latin America and the Hispanic world in particular to new listeners and new readers.

And what she communicated was the sheer pleasure of hearing Silvio Rodriguez, Omara Portuondo, and the great Chilean group Inti-Illimani in the company of audiences for whom this music was their very own.

She travelled the world tirelessly to interview and share time with the singers and artists she loved, and with their audiences. It was significant that her doctoral thesis looked not only at the music of Karaxu!, but at their performance as theatre and communication.

If the word had not lost much of its meaning, she could be described above all as a communicator. Her talks were conversations with colleagues; her wonderful radio programmes on Radio 4, Earthbeat, which ran for four years, were unpredictable, slightly chaotic, but invariably journeys of discovery through hidden, unfamiliar corners of world music – you were as likely to hear cumbia from Colombia or rancheras from Mexico as women’s choirs from Bulgaria.

Her beautiful Edinburgh home was a meeting point, an exhibition space, and a theatre where all sorts of remarkable encounters could and did take place, conducted with skill and warmth by Jan herself. They invariably ended up with music, and more than once you would leave feeling that the most memorable event had just taken place in her ample sitting room.

She was also a performer; she sang from an early age, and had once considered turning professional. Although she decided against it in the end, she went on singing for the rest of her life; characteristically, she performed Gilbert and Sullivan, Victor Jara and Bach with the same aplomb. Her work with the Forth Valley Chorus, a women’s barbershop group, was a source of enormous pride and pleasure. It is remarkable to think that she continued her restless search for new avenues even after contracting breast cancer in 2004.

As director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival from 1995 to 1997, she interviewed numerous authors, including Isabel Allende and Doris Lessing. But she would want to be remembered for her writing, her championing of world music through the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, of which she was a stalwart, her work with the Journal of Popular Music, her DJ-ing across Edinburgh, her poetry reading on Anthony Gormley’s Plinth, and her pride in her three lovely children. In other words, as her Facebook page put it, for the many hats she wore with such success. But her friends would also wish to remember her as a woman of courage and conviction, who brought music and vitality to everything she did.

She is survived by her three children, two grandchildren, sister and brother

Happy new year with David Alvarez

Tumi Music

Wishing all the lovers of Latin American Music, Tumi fans a very happy and beautiful year to come and what better to start the year with our 2012 first release of Tumi music “Clandestino” by David Alvarez: And these are the words translated;
Come misfortune not cry
For no one to keep you
Or who you speak of love.

Come with your breeze wind
To refresh my joy
Come kiss me laugh.

As the moon to the sea
Craving to kiss in your mouth
If I want to love
I’ll rock stone.

Come mourn misfortune
That I was born crying shame
That prompts my soul
To begin to sing.

Who told me of this
And not buried in the mud
Who showed me the touch
Who thus deceived me
Who did not speak of pain, ouch!
It would be asleep or awake.

Who told me of love,
Oh! If he was right.

“Mujer” from Tumi CD 182 “Clan Destino” David Alvarez solo album due to be released February 2012

Mujer (Woman) with its opening, “I’m going to love you woman although not forever” is written for the mother of Alvarez’ eldest daughter, a “fabulous woman and excellent friend”.

David Alvarez and his New Trova dream

After ten years of playing with his band “Juego de Manos”, David now realizes the dream of his life and records his solo “Trova” album called “Clan Destino” Tumi 182. His compositions go back some ten years ego when I “Mo Fini” was sitting in Malecon in Havana and during the conversation I begged him to do a solo album of his Trova. Though he accepted there and then , then it took some ten years to realize his dream. Sadly just when we were half way through recording his one year old daughter fell ill with cancer of eye. After a suffering two years and the daughter losing the eye we went back to the studio to finish the album. We are all grateful for his work and prey for the quick recovery of his daughter.

David is well known international artist and many of you have seen him during his tours in UK and Europe particularly in Spain.
When we released his last album ,it quickly got to the top of the Songlines Music Magazine when Sue Steward reviewed the album “son Demasiado” Tumi 114.
His new album is delight to the ears and a cocktail of love and poems. Almost half finished I sent the album for review to one of my close friends and together with Sue one of the greatest Latin Critic of all times in the UK World Music Scene and Jan wrote
“David Álvarez offers a cache of the bold, confessional songs of a modern troubadour For this “dream finally realised” he brings together songs composed trova style in homage to his birthplace of Manzanillo, the region of Cuba with the strongest trova tradition, his tierra where his roots go deep. Versed in poetry these uncensored stories of the joys and trammels of love add laúd and Cuban tres guitar, to place their Caribbean core within a serenading Mediterranean sensibility, creating a modern renaissance ambience. Romance and love do not come easy, yet life remains joyful – was it not ever so…!”

I have known and recorded David now almost 20 years and yet to meet a singer/song writer with lyrics as sweet as his.

A man and an acoustic guitar. A Cuban man from the beautiful city of Manzanillo. A man offering a set of bold, confessional songs, versed in poetry, uncensored stories of the joys and trammels of love. It can only mean one thing: songs of a trovador, the modern equivalent of the early medieval troubadour. David Alvarez is known for his swinging dance music yet above all he holds fast to the task of the trovador to serenade love and life in all its vicissitudes. Even his custom of wearing a scarf tied gypsy style around his head evokes this iconoclastic spirit.
Most of the material here was composed trova style by David over quite a long period, between 1989 and the present. To bring all these songs together in one album is for David, “a dream finally realised”. As a musician born in Manzanillo (in 1972), the region of Cuba with the strongest trova tradition and where trova still flourishes, it has always been David’s intention to create a disc in homage to his tierra, his birthplace, where his roots go deep in the earth. Manzanillo is also a stronghold of Cuban son, a genre of music David responds to instinctively, underlined by his studying music in its heartland in Santiago de Cuba where he attended the Conservatoire before graduating and moving to Havana.
By 1989 David was working with iconoclast Pedro Luís Ferrer, involved at the periphery of the Nueva Trova movement while forging his own pathway. His son-canción Jugando de Manos (Conjuring) remains the leit-motif of his work. Its’ message – to keep faith with the exhilaration of the play of life, until death comes, sums up Alvarez’ core philosophy. Written in 1993 its’ shortened title, Juego de Manos, gave its name to the group he founded then, an inspiration in a period when Cuba literally went through dark times as the country re-invented itself following the end of dependence on the Soviet Union. David was part of this re-imagining, his song calling for a defence of core values as life continues to turn, for living life to the full is the way to discover ‘paradise on earth’.
Juego de Manos immediately set a new benchmark: buzzing with vitality they opened up Cuban Trova, Son, Guaracha and Guajira traditions by infusing them with influences from the neighbouring Caribbean islands and Central America. They gave Cuban music new impetus by adding in references to música tropical embracing Bachata, Merengue, Cumbia. In their own distinctive way they offered tribute to Dominican Republic’s Juan Luís Guerra and Colombia’s Carlos Vives with their own thrilling new sound. Following their first disc Rimasones (Rhyming Sones), Alvarez with Juego de Manos signed to Mo Fini’s Tumi Music to release first Mundo Loco (Crazy World) and then Son Demasiado (Too Much Son), which won the special critics prize at Cuba’s prestigious annual Adolfo Guzmán competition.
With this new disc Alvarez locates that Caribbean feel within a broader Mediterranean sensibility, focusing on a string sound adding laúd and Cuban tres guitar to acoustic guitars. This gives the dazzling selection of songs composed over a long period an Italianate, at times almost renaissance string ensemble feel. This gives deep dimension to songs that map emotional life from the perspective of someone grooved into romantic love yet at times finding neither love nor those involved constant.

The sequence of songs works as a narrative of troubled times for lovers. The title track Como la Mariposa (Like a Butterfly), with its glorious serenading melody played over gentle percussion, sees David’s voice soar out from a choral weave to liken the history of love to something exquisite yet fragile, “so happy, beautiful, innocent like a butterfly fluttering from one place to another, yet giving the impression that in one moment you might suddenly disappear from sight.”
Despertar (Awaken) composed in the difficult 1990s, with its fluent flute lead, marries melancholy with hope and yearning, telling about life at, “one of those moments when the world around you seems to lose meaning, when the economic crisis of the Special Period, a crisis that impacted on ethics and aesthetics, meant hard times for dreamers”.
The intimate guitar opening to Desquite (Repayment) sets the scene for a plea to be understood when all about love seems in flux. Its’ arrangement sets sweet chorus and then clarinet as partners to the metal of Alvarez’ voice as he tells a story of the struggle to share pleasure and pain, to find something to hold onto when one has taken the wrong path.
Desventura (Misadventure) has tantalising guitar references evoking Andean Charango sounds reminiscent of the Peruvian highlands fused with the Mediterranean. It sets the scene for a song mapping times when, “who told me about love? Ay, If I was only certain”, when solitude and nostalgia seem preferable to love itself. Then the cool piano of Distancia (Distance), with its flashes of trumpet serenades the “woman of honey” separated by emotional and physical distance.
With its dramatic filmic opening El Alma (The Soul) a song of trespassing love, tells of fears of losing the soul – “tomorrow I don’t know if I will know how to sing you this song if I am missing those feelings”: just hear that flamenco style plea at the suspenseful end, a brooding cry to ‘return me my soul’.
Ella es Así (She’s Like That) captures the image of a ‘dangerous’ woman who, “deserves a song – in homage and complaint”.
The jaunty Espejismo (Mirrors) with its beautiful flute lines, was composed by Alvarez for his wife Yilene. He uses his trademark nightingale tremelo to tell of finally leaving illusions aside. Its’ glorious chorus seals, “magic inside my songs again”,
The plucked guitar and Italianate serenading laúd accompaniment for La Tarde (The Evening) evokes the wistfulness of twilight, a magical time, sacred for when the composing muse appears.
Lluvia (Rain), a setting of a poem by Omar Estrada, patterns a Mediterranean feel for when elusive dreams manifest themselves in disquieting emotions conjured up by the falling rain. Mujer (Woman) with its opening, “I’m going to love you woman although not forever” is written for the mother of Alvarez’ eldest daughter, a “fabulous woman and excellent friend”. Musa del Río (River Muse), a title with Afro-Cuban orisha deity echoes, diverts us into a childlike world of fantasy and fable, searching for music’s wellspring. Trovador (Troubadour) tells a deceptively simple tale, about not being judged by appearances. It marks a moment in 1995 when Alvarez found himself singing in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, with his accompanying musicians where they were almost denied their place to perform. Sanity prevailed as this song bears witness! Finally Y no sé qué pasa (I Don’t Know What Happened) is David’s shout to life itself: for the times one can feel alone when one considers that one has given everything one has to offer yet not received what one hoped.
Recorded in half a dozen studios including that of Manolito Simonet as well as his own home-studio, we have 15 songs that map emotions, hopes and dreams. It’s a bold narrative of having almost lost love through mis-adventure, and then the blessing of having it restored. Ay mi amor!
His new CD “Clan Destino” due to be released internationally in February 2012.

Susana Baca minister of Culture ,Peru

Afro- Peruvian singer Susana Baca

Susana Baca on the Jazz stage during his 2008 Glastonbury Festival, UK

Our congratulation goes to Susan for her appointment as minister of culture, a long over due post for Peruvian cultural heritage. I do hope she pays attention to the indigenous people with their ever vanishing music, culture and their language. Only yesterday I had a call from one of my god children “Carlos LLamoca” in Cusco saying “padrino”, which is me “could you email Susana before she comes to Cusco next week and ask her to address our problems and try to promote our handicrafts particularly our Inca design jewellery and wear. I did email Susana and I hope she will respond to my friend’s request and other artisans which are similar to Carlos.

Susana Baca became popular and better known after Tumi Music secured a Grammy with our release of her album Lamento Negro (tumi CD 104-2001). Following her Grammy achievement Susana returned to Lima airport with the previous president putting red carpet upon her arrival. She went on to sell thousands of CD through National papers in Lima and most probably made her first fortune. Ironically she never thanked Tumi Music for all that but that is another story..
and when I met up with her in her dressing room in South Bank she apologised for her rather odd reaction towards her |Grammy.
Now read more about Susan’s life here and if you have not heard Lamento Negro then you can listen to it by going to

“Born in Chorrillos, a black coastal barrio of Lima, Baca grew up surrounded by Afro-Peruvian music in its various forms, including the percussion-driven festejo; the melancholy, more melodic landó; and the “mother of them all,” as Baca tells me, the golpe tierra. At that time Afro-Peruvian music, with its history in slave culture, went unrecorded and neglected by mainstream culture. “Before, the record companies wouldn’t pay attention [to us], at least in my case they wouldn’t play us on the radio, much less on television.”

As a student, Baca became interested in researching the roots of her musical heritage, using her work as source material for her career as a professional singer. Eventually, she won grants from Peru’s Institute of Modern Art and the National Institute of Peruvian Culture. More recently, she and her husband, Richard Pereira, founded the Center for Black Continuum, dedicated to promoting black music and dance.
“I’ve gone all over Peru,” she explains, “recording in rural areas, gathering material from old singers, composers.” On her debut album, several of the songs, generally the more African-sounding, percussive numbers, have centuries-old roots, including “Énciéndete Canela,” “Zamba Malató,” and the aforementioned “Molino Molero,” which is based on a scrap of music originally discovered by an American ethnomusicologist.

“He didn’t even record it,” she recalls. “It was just a transcription. An elderly man sang it; he remembered hearing it sung by a woman who had been a slave. He just remembered this small piece, and from that we built the entire song.” Baca smiles, and she sings a bit of it. “You note the cultural mix (mestizaje) in the song,” she points out. “It has some Andean chords in it.” Such musical archaelogy can also be painful, though, bringing fresh realization at how much has been lost, at how few of the old musicians are still alive. Sometimes, too, the ones who are still living prefer not to be reminded of the past, and refuse to be interviewed. “We’ve lost so much of these roots, because the old don’t want to remember; they’d prefer to forget. ‘No,’ they say, ‘that was from slave times.’ ”

Despite her emphasis on roots, Baca wants to make clear that she is not producing the equivalent of a folk music museum. She rescues, but she also reinterprets and contemporizes. “There are traditional things that we do, but our interpretation is different. There are more risks in what we do.” Her album includes a number of contemporary compositions, and one can identify elements of jazz and even rap.

She has also worked with a number of contemporary poets on lyrics, of which she is justifiably proud. One example is “Heces,” a spare guitar-and-vocals track on her album whose words are from a poem by celebrated Peruvian poet Cesar Vallejo. “It’s about a man who is from the Andes,” says Baca, “where there is always sun. He comes to Lima to live, where there is a permanent mist over the city.” Vallejo’s first lines are ones that this Seattle resident highly appreciates: “This afternoon it’s raining like never before/And I no longer feel like living, my love.”

Live, Baca gives a performance that is as much visual as aural. Her voice, actually, is a bit disappointing, as rich and expressive as you’d expect from her recordings, but less powerful live. But the sum total is still stunning. She dances, usually barefoot, as well as sings, gliding across the stage with utter self-confidence. She is backed by David Pinto on bass, Rafael Muñoz on guitar, Juan “Cotito” Medrano on the all-important cajón, and a small, fast-moving man named Hugo Bravo who does time on all the other traditional percussion instruments needed to crank out the peculiarly intriguing rhythm of Afro-Peruvian music, kin to the Afro-Cuban son’s three beats against two, but usually played in 6/8 or 12/8 time.”

Domingo Candelario début album”Soho” due for release November first 2011

Singer/song writer Domingo Candelario was born in the heart of La Havana, Cuba. As a child he was greatly influenced and inspired by the Brazilian music that his parents listened to. He went on to develop his own unique style within the “Nueva Trova” movement which began in the late ‘60s and has its roots in traditional Cuban folk music, incorporating progressive and often politicized lyrics.

He toured Cuba and much of Europe over a period of 3 years as guitarist and singer with Yusa, another Cuban singer/song writer from a similar background. They performed as a duo, creating waves among the small corner bars and neighbourhood clubs where they performed.

In 1997 Domingo took part in the Cuban experience paleis des sports Paris Porte de Versailles, alongside other notable artists such as Mister Acorde guitarist, Vocal group Catharsis, The Eduardo Ribero dance company, The Narciso medina dance company and singer songwriter Yusimil Lopez.

In 1998 as singer/songwriter and theatre director he participated in a major celebration of Cuban culture in Portugal alongside Amaury Perez Vidal, singer/songwriter; Octavio Cortazar, filmmaker; Migel Barnez, writer and investigator and director of the association, Fernando Ortiz.

In 1999 he composed music for the film Cuban love by the American director Joshua Bee Alafia.

Together with the Thabani band he toured the UK and collaborated with many diverse musicians including Yusa, Mister Acorde, Jose luis Estrada and Naomi Thabani director of Thabani band.
Having finished a media and arts degree from the University of London in 2010 he continues to play in London in venues such as Ronnie Scotts, Jazz Cafe and Momo amongst others.