beginning conga recommendations

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Postby Kevin » Mon Nov 11, 2002 8:21 pm

I want to start playing congas. I'm currently looking for a good teacher in my area (New Orleans). Can anybody recommend a good conga for me to start on? Should I get a conga and tumba or what? Any good book/video recommendations?


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Postby Simon B » Mon Nov 11, 2002 11:13 pm

If you intend to stick with conga playing then spend as much money as you reasonably can on a conga or a pair of congas. If you buy a budget model you will only have to replace it further down the line, and you will never warm to the sound. I've been there. At a minimum - LP Matador or Meinl Marathon. In terms of what size - people tend to advise getting a quinto and a tumba.

Simon B
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Postby David » Wed Nov 13, 2002 5:23 pm

Hey Kevin

I too Live in N.O.LA and have been avidly playing on my tumbadoras now for several years. As you might well know we have many excellent players here in the Big easy.

By far the most amicable and willing to provide instruction is Hector Gallardo (Cubano). He is well renowned for his accomplishments and is truly one of the finer players in our city.

I too would be willing to help you get started, as I am always looking for someone to play along with. If you would like, please get in touch with me and I can give you more information.

Saludos Broder :D

David Loayza

Postby JohnnyConga » Thu Nov 14, 2002 3:00 am

Vaya...Hector is a personal friend of mine. I got to sit in and play with him in N. Orleans during Super Bowl week. He could help you a lot. also GOTO and see if there are any other Teachers in N. Orleans. I also know that Bill Summers is now living there so you might want to check him out at the University. Say hello to Hector for me will ya, and tell him I moved to Seattle.. Gracias.....At your Service.. JC JOHNNY CONGA....
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Postby DaBid_Son » Thu Nov 14, 2002 4:21 pm

Hola JC

Please Note: I am the David who amswered Kevin in the above reply, I decided to register. This forum is well worth it.

RE: Hector Gallardo. He is truly amazing to listen to and see, and with a technique all his own. I will most certainly see him within the week and will glady let him know of your where abouts. As always he has his hands in a little bit of everything going on down here. Most notably on a 1998 release by Concojones Records entitled Mas Mamones/Aguacero Y Parranda. This is an incredible CD that gives you a great idea of where N.O. stands with regard to latin music and talent. Most recently he has been colaborating with another group that goes by the name of Los Vecinos. Hector of course is on the Tumbadoras with Michael Skinkus playing Bongos and minor percussion. Yet another demo of the great talent we have here in N.O.

As for Bill Summers yes he does Live here now, and what an incredible player. I have heard that he does give lessons, unfortunately I have not been able to meet him YET. He has a new CD out Los Hombres Calientes; Vol 3, New Congo Square(on Basin Street Records label). He is accompanied by one of our great trumpet players Irvin Mayfield and a barrage of other great guest including Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez. As for the tracks on the CD you get a gambit of musical styles, son, samba, african, and a good 'ol New Orleans second line to name a few. The previous two CDs were also quite noteable.
Please advise if you come back down this way. I wouldn't want to miss hearing you and meetting you.


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Postby 120decibels » Thu Nov 14, 2002 8:24 pm

This is a bit off the topic, but I just discovered Los Hombres Calientes. All three of thier albums are fantastic!

Check them out! You won't be sorry.

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Postby JohnnyConga » Fri Nov 15, 2002 1:24 am

Hi David....great!....i tried to get together with Michael Skinkus but he blew me off when I was there. So I jammed with Hector at the Negril restaurant. We had a great time and i got to play 5 congas and he played timbales. Bill is a Master Batalero as far as Teaching goes I'm not sure of how he is, he from what I have heard, is a bit hard on his students, but I could be wrong. I don't know when I will pass thru that way again, maybe one day. If I do we will get together that is for sure.....Give my best to Hector please...Thank you...JC JOHNNY CONGA...
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