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Matanzas Guaguanco

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There are 3 styles of the Rumba Guáguánco pattern: this one originates from the Cuban province of Matanzas (to the east of Havana).

“Rumba” is a Spanish term for a gathering of musicians, singers & dancers (what West Africans refer to as “Bembe”). Guáguánco is a Spanish term: Gua gua = “auto bus”: the palitos (“little sticks”) are said to drive this beat like a bus. Perhaps some things get lost in translation. In this example, the palitos are played on a wood block instead of the shell of my congas, to preserve the finish of the drums.

Rumba Guáguánco has complex rhythms, and the dance to it involves overtly flirtatious movements between a man and a woman in the roles of “Rooster” and “Hen”. The woman both entices and “protects herself” from the man, who tries to catch the woman off-guard with a vacunao—tagging her with the flip of a handkerchief or by throwing his arm, leg or pelvis in her direction in an act of symbolic sexual contact. To defend herself, she may cover with her hand, or use her skirt to protect her pelvis and whip the sexual energy away from her body.

4/4 160bpm

Latest Comments

Movement To Contact's avatar
Movement To Contact said

Really diggin this one again today. :)

kirklynch's avatar
kirklynch said

Very cool! Missed this one

Guest said

Holy mozez! this is really cool! nodding my chin is fun:)

Reefwalker's avatar
Reefwalker said

Great track norm. Tasty, and right on the money

Reefwalker's avatar
Reefwalker said

I’m certain I commented already but don’t see it.. Great track Norm, good to see a new post from you! Tasty and on the money.

Reefwalker's avatar
Reefwalker said

Great post Norm, good to hear one from you agian! Tastey and on the money.

Johnny Stone's avatar
Johnny Stone said

Great beats mate excellent.

Guest said

exciting music, love to listen to the “melodies” evolving in it

Guest said

Well, you can be in full view then!

Norm's avatar
Norm said

@Bee: Yes, these traditional patterns frequently have a melody of their own, and while it can be varied to some degree, an audience familiar with the pattern (and the dancers) expect to hear that melody. Otherwise the percussionist had better be playing behind some protective chicken-wire!

Guest said

Ha ha, I can hear a melody!! Oh this is great! Go on, make ’em sing Norm!

Movement To Contact's avatar
Movement To Contact said

@Tess-…I love the declaration “First” here on A.T….it always makes me laugh. @ Norm- love it. I like the panning as well, and also love the complex pattern build, especially toward the middle. First class A+ percussion.

thetworegs's avatar
thetworegs said

Now where have i put those Dancing shoes….i best polish them for this little beauty….arrr shiny shoes and Norms percussion you just cant beat it…….aaaaaaarumba…..aaaaaaaarumba………aaaaarumbaa…..1234……back 234…..

vaisvil's avatar
vaisvil said

enjoyed - I certainly do love the background you give to your work.

Djörk's avatar
Djörk said

very complex beats here, thank god for those little sticks… :)

Wildgeas Music's avatar
Wildgeas Music said

You ole’ rooster you….

Wildgeas Music's avatar
Wildgeas Music said

Dig the panning Norm. Nice mix. A-1 beats as usual. I’m so second.

Norm's avatar
Norm said

Wow! That WAS fast Tess!

Guest said

Very tasty. :)

Guest said

First!

Saved!