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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:07 pm
by Congadelica
It sound s good to me Dave , your too humble, 8) just keep us informed of all events . Look forward to any recorings you may do Video or Sound .


Re: 2 days left in Humboldt

PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 4:27 pm
by davidpenalosa
windhorse wrote:I felt a little bad that I didn't get the essential pattern locked down in class, but sometimes I'm just a slow learner David.. And thanks for your kindness..
I am however thorough, and will definitely study this! Probably by next year's camp I'll have that particualar "pick-up" phrasing down.. Or maybe the next year.. :o

I saw you get it. I'm sure that you will be able to reconstruct the abakua rhythm, including bonko, with your homies. Thanks for the kind words concerning my book.

For anyone reading this who's interested, I'm hoping to get the shipment of the corrected books next week.


PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 5:51 am
by windhorse
Four of us played hookey from class today and went to some Redwood groves outside of Crescent City. I shot some video of it, and I'll probably take some stills from it.. It was gorgeous!

We came back just in time to gather up about 9 of us and we went off campus to eat at a mexican tacoria. We had salmon fish tacos doused in a really nice cilantro picante sauce served over soft corn tortillas! Oh yeah! Sure beats the dorm food that we've become used to over the week!

Then, just enough time to shower and go to the final staff performance at the theater. The show itself was short and sweet! They went through some of the main Orishas - Ellegua, Oya, and Ochun,, There were some bata tunes, a bembe, and a Guiro that really rocked, then a Yambu, and ending in a Comparsa.. Really nice!

Okay leaving tomorrow and heading north to Eugene, then Portland next day!



PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:26 pm
by CongaTick
Though not half as engaging as WH's fantastic experience, my last gig at local watering hole for an outside-on-deck Happy Hour couple of sets. No overhead tarp or cover but the gods were with us. Sound check and our lead singer touched mic. An ungrounded circuit shocked the crap out of him, knocking him back crashing into the drum set. An electrifying performance to be sure. After a terrific couple of sets, the skies darkened and lightning crackled sending us in the all to familiar frantic scurry to get everything unplugged and under cover. Fans and friends were there to help carry all my drums, stands, mics, mixer down to the parking lot. Whew. Again, not as exciting as Congas-In-The-Woods, but enuff to get this ol fart's heart pumping. :P

There's a new guy in town, and he's good!

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:59 pm
by windhorse
We just gained a new asset. A guy named Mike from Boston. He's trained under Raymundo Gonzales, and definitely has major choppage. 8)
He played in our last show the Saturday before last, and has made it to each of our weekend sessions these past three weeks.
Now, he and Thom are trading seats on Iya, and Itotele. That leaves Eric and myself trading on Okonkolo, and Ritz trading in on Itotele and Okonkolo.
We just played yesterday with the Denver boys, and they're as psyched as the Boulder bunch about our newfound conguero and band member.
Here's a clip of us playing a bata-rumba
I'm singing Akpon and playing clave -not very well.. sorry about my crappiness,, but the rest of the crew are hitting it so nice, that I thought it was worth sharing.

And here's one of Mike's own compositions just for grins. It's Obatala, but the bata are mixed with Brazilian drums.. I love it!
"please no reproductions other than for your own study" :!:


PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:22 pm
by alabubba
Not having a lot of conga gigs under my belt yet, labor day weekend was an awesome 3-gigger for me. The icing on the cake, was that Monday's gig had Chris Simmons on guitar - he is the guitar player in Leon Russell's band!

Concerning Tuning

PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 2:34 pm
by windhorse
I stand corrected, sort of, to the question of detuning after tuning.. This weekend was a fairly wet one, and we played 3 gigs this past week. One on Wed night, then Friday night, then yesterday afternoon. They were for a dance class taught by a Cuban guy named Ramòn, who was both humorous and infinitely knowledgeable. As an aside, I learned a bunch from just playing and watching his moves.. So, my friend Eric - the mad scientist tuner in our group always has to tinker with the drums and get them "sounding good", goes tapping away fanatically every time we play. So after three of Eric's tunings and taking my drums out of the bags, my outer rims were all bent in several angles. I realized that he just picks up my drums and tension tunes them with no regard of what is happening to the outer rim. Conversely, when I tune them I watch closely the distance between the bearing edge and the rim. There are always two sides on the drum whenever you tighten or loosen the head. Usually it works in threes, such that one lug if you tighten will tighten two across on the other side of the bearing edge. And vice versa. So, I stay aware of what I am doing to each side of the drum when I tune the drum. So, I'm always keeping the rim generally straight. Anyway, when I took the drums out of the bags last night, I was horrified to see my rims bent at all angles.. So I detuned every drum, and I'm slowly retuning them today,, my way..

So, yesterday we really shined! We had Thom, Mike, Scott, Ritz, and Eric playing some really tight and grooving bembe and Yambu while I sang and played bell and shaker.
They love us there, so whenever something Afro-Cuban is called for, they will be calling us.. Nice to know we have a place to play where we are appreciated.

I hope everyone has a great summer!
Good posts here of you guys playing in your bands! Keep posting!


PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 3:31 pm
by congamyk
I did a gig with a local Mexican band "Elegancia".
They are a fun group, Leo and Hector on guitar and Zeus on congas/bongo.
I play maracas, afuche, bell, guiro, clave, sax and sing.

I enjoy playing with them because they play on-stage and go from table to table.
I make more money with these guys than playing swank jazz lounges in hotels.
It also helps me to practice Spanish.
They asked me to join up permanently - I'm down~


PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 4:44 pm
by windhorse
Congrats Mike! Sounds like a Win-Win situation!


PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:21 am
I got to perform with Shiela E last night!!! 8) Pics & vids to come..... :D :D :D


PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:58 pm
by CongaTick
ABAKUA.... I hate you!!! :mrgreen:

Re: Re:

PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:42 pm
by bongosnotbombs
ABAKUA wrote:I got to perform with Shiela E last night!!! 8) Pics & vids to come..... :D :D :D

Fantastic-Conratulations man!


PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:44 am
Los Van Van in da house again!!!! 8) Last time they were here was 4 years ago, for that tour Manolo used my congas, & I got to watch the gigs from side of stage next to Manolo & Samuel. We hung out, partied on and jammed til the early hours of the morning.
Last night they performed at the Sydney Opera House and brought the house down! Juan Formell (now 68 yrs old) who rarely tours with the band outside of Cuba these days was also on board for this tour and was a real pleasure to see again. He occassionally played a song or two on bass, but mostly was on stage doing backing vocals and helping Samuel direct on stage. Samuel is an absolute machine. For a very long time now, along with Roicel of Manolito Y Su Trabuco, Samuel has been in my opinion at the very top of the current modern Cuban timbal/drumkit game.

The "after party" gig was at a local club, my bro Tonio was doin the gig on drum/timbal. Samuel completely freaked out at his playing level, at one point Van Van took over the stage, left Tonio on kit and he more than handled himself at the controls while performing several of their songs! 8) To the point where Samuel invited him to perform with Van Van when we go to Cuba later in the year. Open jam later on in the night, they were so happy to see everyones playing going hard since the last time we hung out 4 years ago, at the end of the night we exchanged contact details and then both Tonio & I received a personal private invitation to visit Juan & Samuel Formell's private studio in Cuba as well as joining them at gigs etc.

Oh man..... This is gonna be nuts.

Re: Re:

PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:03 am
by windhorse
ABAKUA wrote:Oh man..... This is gonna be nuts.

That's awesome Marcelo! Especially the part about your group getting good enough to impress those guys! Good on ya!

Back in the Groove!

PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:03 pm
by windhorse
Dear Congaplace Diary,,
I'm psyched to go to another practice today on the hill with Big Daddy Dave - our teacher and friends.. I'm picking up Scott at the Canyon entrance.. Rapa's in town, so he'll be there,, but Eric is on his way to Massachusetts to visit his family.
It's been lean lately because Ritz has done some work on Saturdays, Eric's mother was diagnosed with Cancer, and Thom was sick or had gigs to play. I'm in the thick of teaching with another year's crop of estudiantes de la Sceincia.. :wink:
So, with Parent-Teacher conferences these past two weeks and missing the Tuesday night practices,, I really feel out of practice!
But, finally last night we had a nice session at Eric's place - a sort of send-off since he's leaving this morning.
At one point I was playing a Bembe lead, and Whoof!!! Don't know what got into me, but OHHH YEAHHH, I started digging in with big stick action! I was channeling some of Francesco Aguebella! My favorite thing that I learned from him is just after you roar a really big crescendo into the one, you pull completely out with the downbeat, or a tresillo tapping on the side of the drum with the stick for a while to release a huge amount of tension, then come back in with a few big hits, rather than a constant barrage that can get to be too much. It sure was fun to get back into the groove!