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Traditionnal Percussion from Cuba

Manley "Pirí" López Herrera
is the youngest member of now famous family of tamboreros "Los Chinitos de la Corea", who invented guarapachangueo, bata drum players and makers of the "Abbilona" cd series (17 cds already available). He has been considered as one of Cuba's most gifted children-musicians.

Since he is very young Piri plays Rumba in professionnal groups, and Batá drums or "Cajones al Muerto" in ritual orchestras. His legend grew up when, aged 15, he has been "last-minute substitute" to accomplished musicians when recording the 45cds of the Abbilona project, though he never entered in a recording studio before.

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Glossary of used terms in this site

(Photo Credits: Daniel Chatelain)

Bata Drums:
Main instruments in rituals of Yoruba slaves in Cuba, coming from Nigeria. These drums, with songs, allow posession transe in initiated people's body, by gods ("Orichas" or "Santos") of afro-cuban religion named "Santería".

Wooden drums palyed in rituals named "Cajones al Muerto" or spiritist ceremonies, allowing posession of initiates by spirits of the dead. This religion mixes catholic, congo and yoruba cults.

(Photo credit: Official demo from Rumberos de Cuba)
Non-ritual popular music in which cajones are also used as original instruments, afterwards came congas.

Rumba style created in late 1970's by the López family, which then influenced rumba in all Cuba during the following decade. This name is also used for a cajón "with partitions" created by the López brothers too.

Curriculum Vitae

Specialist musician in afro-cuban percussion.
-Initiated musician from yoruba ritual drum ensemble "Añá Obba Tola", belonging to his family.
-Musician in rituals called "Cajones al Muerto" or spiritist ceremonies, also with his family.
-Member of international dance company "Raices Profundas" leaded by Juan de Dios Rámos "El Colo".
-Recorded 17 cds that can be bought in the whole World with Abbilona.

Born june 15th 1981, Manley the younger member of a drummer family named "Los Chinitos", from la Corea, barrio of the San Miguel del Padrón municipio, in Havana.
This family is composed by four López brothers: Reynaldo, Berto, Irián, and Pedro, and by Pedro's son Manley. This family has been nicknamed "los Chinitos" (little chinese) because they look, as Pedro López says, "achinados" (they've got some "chinese" - in their face).

(Mario "Aspirina" Jáuregui and his gransons
Photo Credits: Christine Ammour)

Professional Experience:

-In 1991: Manley begins playing in yoruba rituals, at the age of 10, knowing most of the music of the sacred rhythms on the second and third drums, he learned with his uncle Irián.
-Between years 1991 and 1997 he integrated several ritual bata groups such as "Tambor de Amador", "Tambor de Pedro Aspirina" and in 1997 completely integrated "Tambor de Lázaro Cuesta" called "Añá Obba Tola", that today is leaded by his father Pedro López. Manley is now the main musician of the group.

-In 1995, Manley enters the group "Aspirina Guaguancó" formed by young gifted musicians. The "Aspirinas" family from Guanabacoa is the most famous rumba family in Havana, since years 1940.

(Young Manley "Piri" aged 15 during recordings of "Abbilona" project)

-After 1997, the "Chinitos" began recording bata drums and yoruba singing records, within the "Abbilona", project containing 45 cds, recorded in 4 periods. Those records are known in the whole World as the most accomplished work ever made in afro-cuban music. They are the most complete work ever recorded in yoruba music from Cuba. Irián López has been the artistic leader, and conducted recording sessions. But famous guest drummers didn't do the work the way Irián would like to, so he decided to ask young Manley, aged 15, as a last-minute substitute. Manley wears for the very first time in his life a headphone, and, without fearing the studio situation, acts as a great professionnal musician, recording all drums parts to be recorded in one take.
He therefore took an important place in the "Abbilona" project. Cuban musicians or bata aficionados all over the world will hardly believe a 15 years old musician plays that great itótele in all those records. This drum is difficult to play, since attention must constantly be paid to what iyá plays, answering to questions it constantly brings. Piri played a fully mastered part, without failing, all along the 45 Abbilona cds.

-In 2004 he enters folkloric company "Raíces Profundas" leaded by great singer Juan de Diós Ramós "El Colo". It is one of the most famous cuban folkloric ensembles. Raíces Profundas makes international tours since 15 years. Within the company, Piri improved the styles he didn't know well, learning the world of modern non-traditionnal choregraphy, using elements from folklore in a contemporary context.

Manley masters improvisation and accompanying dancing in most of all the 100 styles of afrocuban music.
He plays and teaches all following folkloric styles:

Rumba (Columbia, Guaguanco, Yambù, Guarapachanguero)
Comparsa (carnival music)
Yoruba (Bata drums, Guïro, Bembé, Iyesá)
Congo (Yuka, Makuta, Makutica, Palo)
Arará (Hebbioso, Afrekete, Asoyí, Asojanú, Mase, Tiñosa)
Tonada Trinitaria
• Folklore "de Oriente" (Gagá, Vodú, Merengue haitiano-cubain, Tumba francesa, Tajona, Yubá Cobrero, Yubá Macota, Masón, Frenté, Manganzila)

The "Chinitos" are also professionnal musicians in other ritual styles in afro-cuban music such as "Guïro", and "Cajón Espiritual" or "Cajón al Muerto". They often play at "Sábados de la Rumba", a weekly rumba series of concerts organized by the Conjunto Foklórico Nacional.
Manley plays in at least 15 afro-cuban musical manifestations every month, 10 of them at least are bata drum ceremonies.

Manley has the reputaion to play with great creativity, his own style is getting influence on common Havana style, as he is one of the most remarkable musicians of the time.

(Piri and Antoine in Italy)

Teaching Experience:

Transmission of afro-cuban musics has been made until now mainly using oral tradition. Manley learned this way since he was small with his uncles. In cuban Art Schools and Universities great musicians teach folkore since early 1960ies. But oral tradition still lives on, and remains the main teaching mode, for cubans and for foreign students.
Since early 80ies, the "Chinitos" teach afro-cuban music at their home, to students from the whole world. In 25 years, they have known a lot of foreign students, and Manley, since he was 10, accopanied lessons with the uncles. There he learned how to teach. To anyone interested in cuban folkloric music he often tells:
"Even if one day I am part of the best musicians, once I'll be dead: what will remain of me? Nothing. But if I teach people what I know I'll get a better chance for people to remember me one day as a master musician".
Manley teaches since year 2001 in Cuba. He's been a teacher in Italy, Belgium and France.

(text by Antoine Miniconi and Patrice Banchereau).

Antoine Miniconi C.V.

Aged 25 years, this drummer from Avignon, southern France has begun his fifth year studying folkloric percussion in Havana. He is "assessor" and responsible for Manley "Piri" López in France.

Born January the 9th 1982 in Carpentras, Antoine began music in the street. After one year in a small music school, he began studying afro-cuban percusiion in year 2000. In 2002 he makes his first trip to Havana, and becomes a student at CNSEA, international music school, learning both popular and folkloric music.
He very early focusses on bata drums, being a student of Alejandro Carvajal Jr. as soon as he enters the school. The more he stays in Cuba, the more he gets deep in afro-cuban world, the more he changes his vision of cuban music, getting more and more in touch with oral teaching methods.
He concentrates his studying on bata drums, mastering okónkolo and itótele (2nd and 3rd drums), beginning to play in rituals.

In the present day he is mayorcero-apprentice (iyá player) in the "tambor" Aña Oba Tola belonging to the López brothers, well-known as "Chinitos de la Corea". He is Manley "Piri" López Herrera's student, youngest professionnal musician in the family.
Antoine takas part to many popular and ritual music events.

The different teachers he had since he first came to Cuba:
- Raúl "Lalí" González Brito (ex-member of Conjunto de Clave y Guaguancó, oldest rumba group in Cuba).
- "Palillo", ex-member of Pedro Izquierdo's group, well-known as "Pello el Afrokán".
- "Dahomey", teacher in Escuela Nacional de Arte in Havana.
- Nawito, official dance accompanist in Escuela Nacional de Arte in Havana.
- Yoendris, grandson of Gregorio "El Goyo" Hernández.
- Alejandro Carvajal Jr, teacher in CNSEA, accompanist in ENA, member of the "tambor de Papo Angarica", and artist in famous cabaret "Tropicana".
- "Freddy", tumbador in famous rumba group "Grupo Yoruba Andabó", member of the "tambor de Papo Angarica".
- Manley "Piri" López, member of the Chinitos family and of the "Raices Profundas" dance company, whose director is Juan de Dios "El Colo".

The Music of the López Family

Musicians of tambor Aña Oba Tola: X, Eliade, Piri, Fredy (singer), Reynaldo, Berto, Osniel, X

Pedro López's father and uncle (Pedro is Manley's father), used to lead in the 1940ies a conjunto de Son (popular music), that played on catholic feasts. At the end of every concert, people used to play Rumba, hybrid music between afro-cuban and popular music. The rumba "peñas" (popular feasts) of the López family became famous in whole Havana, soon attracting famous musicians such as "Los Aspirina" (most famous rumberos family in Havana), from neighbour-municipio Guanabacoa, or Juan De Dios Rámos "El Colo" or Maximino Duquesne Francis.

(Pablo Roche "Akilakuá" in the 1950ies, Photo credits: John Mason)

The "Aspirina" family was well-known for being close to famous Pablo Roche Cañal "Akilakuá", the greatest bata drum player from Cuba ever. Mario Aspirina Jáuregui is one of the few ancient students of Pablo Roche still alive. Despite evolution of bata drums playing style, Pedro and Mario Aspirina are known as the keepers of Pablo Roche's original style.
They were those who, helping the López brothers, taught them how to play the sacred drums of yoruba cults from Cuba, or: "tambores batá".
They allowed the Chinitos to be part of their rumba group: Aspirina Guaguancó.
So, being considered as the most inventive family in whole Cuba in the world of afro-cuban music, for last twenty years, the López family took part to yoruba rituals with the most authentic and conservative bata drummers in Havana.

Manley's father and uncles:

Pedro López is Manley's father. He worked as a carpenter with a man who - says him - has been the very first to create a "pyramidal" cajón in Cuba: Ifraín Kofa Frioles. Pedro has been recently contacted to be part of a rumba project similar to "Buena Vista Social Club".

"Bertico" López is a drummer, too, and integrated famous rumba group "Grupo Yoruba Andabó", that before that was named (since 1961) "Guaguancó Maritimo Portuario". He brought guarapachangueo within the group, and influenced famous Pancho Quinto Mora, one of the greatest drummers in Cuba, who died last year.

Irián López, Manley's uncle, was a member of the great Conjunto Foklórico Nacional de Cuba, gathering folklore specialists of the whole island, in the 1980ies. He appears with the CFN in the film "El País de los Orichas".

Reynaldo is the fourth brother of the family. He is a drummer and a singer. His rumba repertoire is endless.

During the 1970ies, the Chinitos invented a rumba style named "Guarapachangueo"
(or, like themselves say, "Guarapachanguero") that afterwards created a revolution in the worl of rumba. The "modern" styles of groups like:
"Conjunto de Clave y Guaguancó" or
"Grupo Yoruba Andabó" are born from elements caught from Chinitos.
Rumba is a non-ritual feast, where anybody can express his state of mind by singing. The rumba musical system contains a strong relationship between lead singers ans chorus.
The instruments of this music are percussions, using very syncopated rhythms and phrases. It is all about accompanying the singer. Lead singing is the main element until comes the refrain or "estribillo", from which main element becomes dancing.

(Foto: ©Rebecca Bodenheimer)
Three main rhythms are used, corresponding to three different styles of singing and dancing:
Yambú, Columbia and very popular Guaguancó.
Rumba was born in both harbours (La Havane, Matanzas and Cárdenas) and countryside (Sabanilla, provincia de Matanzas, where Columbia was born).
Rumba is nowadays played in whole Cuba, in cities and in the country, it is a great part of cuban identity.
The original rumba drums were cajones (wooden boxes), then congas. The "Chinitos" invented their own "cajón" style, created by Pedro, and adapted to "Rumba Guarapachanguero" style.

(Manley, his uncles, and the musicians of their yoruba rituals group with the banner of their "tambor de fundamento" Aña Oba Tola)

The four López brothers began to play bata drums in the 1980ies and now have their own ritual drums (or "tambor de fundamento"), named "Aña Obba Tola", now recognized - though recent - as one of the greatest tambor in Havana.
Manley is born within this boiling nucleus, and always showed big interest in music. He studied since very young with his uncle Irián. He now is the soloist of the family, and is told in Havana to be part of the "gifted youth" of afro-cuban folkloric world.

Pedro Lopez Interview

Pedro López, in this interview conducted by Antoine Miniconi, recounts the history of the Chinitos family, of their rumba style, how they learned to play bata drums, and how from the bottom of their barrio San Miguel del Padrón, far from Havana center, they have been thrown up to Havana's afrocuban forescene.

Antoine: "First tell me about yourselves, Los Chinitos, the uncles…"
Pedro: "Well, we have a family tradition: my father and my uncle, they had a sexteto. I hadn't been born yet. My name is Pedro López Rodríguez. Los Chinitos — there aren’t so many of us — they've called us Los Chinitos since we founded this area of la Corea (“Korea”).
So traditionally they got together, on Mother’s Day, New Year’s Eve, Easter, and had parties there, with their son music, but then they used to finish with a rumba, they would play on the cabinet or on the sideboard, or on a little box...and that created among us something that we internalized.
And since then we maintained that every year, with no idea that it would be so valuable in the future, you know? Later, besides that, as time passed we were creating, in the 1970s and 1980s - it was from ‘75, ‘76, more or less that time – we created like a type of polyrhythm.
A friend — who was one of the greatest rumberos in Cuba, they called him "El Llanero," I believe that his last name is Martínez, [Manuel Martínez, b. Havana Jan 01, 1936] he's now living in the United States — pejoratively called what we created "guarapachangueo.”

(Pedro and his son Piri)

It was something we started spontaneously for a song, it wasn’t like we made it with the idea that it was going to become so valuable. And so along comes one guy playing on the wall, "tikitin" and the other "tukutum"... And we began with a cajón that goes...a small nightstand, it was my grandmother Mamaíta’s. That small box, we turned it into a quinto, and my uncle had a cajón, that he himself created, of plywood, it had a motor with a helix to pump air, it was a type of ventilator, and so we started with tumbao, sitting on the drawer of the ventilator, and then we changed positions alot, "I’ll go here, you go over there."
We began to do these rumbas, and when everybody got together those days...we played; It was just any old day, and then everybody, “Hey, hey!" my family, everybody, my brother José, and then out of all that came what they call "guarapachangueo.” El Llanero called it that pejoratively, "Look at that, that guarapachangueo they are playing." And from that we created our own style of cajones, which is the true guarapachangueo.
And later, the first conical (inverted pyramid) shaped cajón that was made in Cuba was by a friend, Ifraín Kofá Frioles, who told me: "I am going to make you a cajón that is conical so that it doesn’t slip." He was the first one to make a cajón like that. Thinking of that, I worked on the carpentry with him, and that gave me the skills to later create this."

Later, with time, the kids came along. And Piri grew up here with us. And from very small he played already, from four years old already playing anything, he was inclined to that. He was created, from the belly of his mother, he came listening to music: rumba and everything."

(José Luis Quintana "Changuito")

"We didn't practice anything religious: our thing was rumba, rumba, rumba. Now, later, yes. Already, we were so inclined, when they started Raizes Profunas, to begin the Afrocuban thing, in the 1980s. And then the thing started picking up that energy. I had the luck and the privilege to find one of the first great musicians of Cuba, Changuito (Jose Luis Quintana). It was not an interview, but rather we had a dialogue with him with respect to this new rhythm that had been created. And we would play him something, and then later he told me that he had included it in his drums. Changuito liked it a lot. The guarapachangueo started getting stronger, pickup up steam."

(Pancho Quinto)

"Nowadays, there are many groups that make many things with the guarapachangueo, because it’s a matrix. The guarapachangueo is a matrix. But they have done polyrhythms over that. Like Pancho Quinto, who was first. Pancho Quinto, Maximino [Duquesne]..."

(Maximino Duquesne)

"After the guarapachangueo they made their own creations, their “evolutions," as they say, with respect to this matrix. But we were lucky in that we also shared it with Yoruba Andabo. We participated in parties with them, in rumbas with them. So they always approved. And they gave us the virtue, to support this, for them also to do their things."

(Juan de Dios Rámos "El Colo")

"But all that was born of the matrix of the guarapachangueo, created by Los Chinitos, that’s ours, with their blessing. And of all the great rumberos: Juan de Dios [Rámos], [Ricardo Gómez] Santa Cruz, Alhambre [Antonio Rivas?], one of the great rumberos here too. We had the luck to find it even in Matanzas, with Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, and even they are using it, they have changed much of its pattern, and they have one of their songs — that I don't remember now — where they do the "tukutum," for the guarapachangueo. [Pedro is possibly referring here to "Vale Todo" from Vacunao (Qbadisc 1995) — Ed.]"

(Los Muñequitos de Matanzas)

"And so from that point Piri, since he was very little, already played okónkolo in the fundamento, we were with Amador, in the tambor of Pancho Quinto, we were with Roman [Diaz], and later entered the essence of Pedro Aspirina, and Pablo Addé, because Pedro Pablo was the founder of the tambor with Pablo Roche. He began as a boy with Pablo Roche. And then, we were lucky that they assimilated us, by our character, our form, our corrections. Pedro was man of respect, a very serious man. We were lucky to begin with him, and there we learned many golpes, there was the essence of the batá drum, like Angarica, like Jesus Pérez, who he [Pedro?] was a drummer with Jesus Pérez, and Jesus Pérez was a student of Pablo Roche."

(Jesús Pérez, Photo credits: John Amira)

"Then I have to say that we, and Piri, were lucky when we fell "in the Mafia," with them, I can say that, in the great part of the music of Añá, of the drum. And there’s where it began, it was on fire already.
And then everybody, by hearing... for example Mario Aspirina, Mario Jáuregui, of the same Aspirinas, all of them are from the same family, whom we admired very much, and everything came from, "I’m going this way, look at this, come over here…” I mean to help us, and Piri came burning already, he already played segundo, he knew all the golpes. He was a prodigy, they admired him a lot, and we were lucky.
Everything comes traditionally from us, but nothing of yoruba, our thing was rumba. I have a thesis which says that of all the popular musics that are in Cuba, the most perfect one is rumba.
"They say that the popular one is son. Sure, son is the first along with yambú, and with changüí. I believe the yambú was first."

"But that was so far back, I can’t say... but it began with the "tukutum-kutum," and adding to that the marímbula, and later the son, with the septetos and all that, but all that comes from that beginning, that is, first there was rumba and then everything came after that. From the popular one to the folkloric one. I don’t know, there are scientists who study that. But for my thesis, myself, I believe that the most popular music but that there is in Cuba is rumba.
Look, you go to a party, any party. And when the party’s over everybody stays seated and grabs a can, a stick, and they start to play. After the party when the music’s over they start another music, and it ends in rumba. It’s a thesis of mine (...)
So that’s how it started, it’s a family tradition. Later we had luck with Irián, the youngest, and he learned a lot. And after Irián grew up, Piri was always by his side, and he taught him more, Irián taught him so much, they both had fresh minds, without problems, they had everything they needed (to be good musicians). And they were able to apply their skill to that, to Añá. They have always played as a duo."

"In Abbilona, others came to play batá, and Irián said, "No, no. Piri, you play, so that it’s well done." And so Piri played segundo. He put the headphones on and recorded everything in one take.
 The first one that came out was made for Pancho Quinto. It was made by Ifraín Kofa Frioles, who left the country. He lived here, and then he went to the US to live, and they killed him there. He was one of the greatest galleros (of cockfighting) in Cuba. He played the roosters in the Club Habana, to get in there and be under 16 years old it was difficult, but he did. Because he was one of the best espueladores and made spurs for the fighting cocks here in Cuba. And he was also a carpenter. He said, "I’m going to you to make a conical cajón that doesn’t slip.” And that cajón is now here in a museum in Cuba, Irián left it after an performance there. So he and no one else here in Cuba started making the conical cajón. (...)"

"Nevertheless Yoruba Andabo keeps going, with my brother Bertico, the oldest, who started to work with them, and was a founder of Yoruba Andabó with Pancho Quinto (in 1981?). And who brought the "kinpakin-pakin-patokotón" was Bertico. Chori, and Julio “El Gordo” still do that. So it was Berto who kept that tradition of the guarapachangueo cajón, with Pancho Quinto and his invention with the spoon and the three batá, a very particular style. That was Pancho Quinto, that’s lost already, the guarapachangueo format, that was Pancho Quinto’s thing. But you see, the guarapachangueo comes from here, from la Corea."

Antoine: "They say they had rumbas here every weekend, in that block…?".
Pedro: "Yes, every Sunday...we were in a time, in the decade of the 70s, until 1980 when “the dregs” (la escoria) they say: "the dregs," the people that left the country."

(Chavalonga, El Goyo and Juan de Dios)

We had a rumba here every Sunday until 1980. But we also had them traditionally on Mother’s Day and New Year’s Day, those are the perfect days... We were lucky that many rumberos came here, from Guanabacoa, from Marianao, from everywhere. Because this is a peña, then Juan de Dios Rámos, the director of Raíces Profundas, who was the one who got us into the artistic thing.
He came to look for us, because we happened to be at a rumba in Santos Suárez... He came by and said "Come here, you guys!," and we started to rumba and Juan de Dios came with all the rumberos. It was traditionally every Sunday here. They used to not allow rumbas here - because the problem is that in rumba there are problems of resentments, intrigues, things like that... because rumba is of the low world. Now today with the Revolution things have changed, now everything is a cultural problem, people are educated, rumba is not piñazo(?)... rumba is
something else. Thanks to our process that we have here. From this perspective you have to admire it because there was a lot support for all these traditional things... Earlier, rumba was a galleta(?), a shot... always a problem. But nowadays with the process that we have there’s no problem...everything’s changed.

("Los Tíos": Reynaldo, Irián, Berto López)

So we maintained this tradition of Mother’s Day and New Year’s Day. Of course there are times when things get complicated because of problems of drums, to go to a toque, a religious ceremony, that they booked us for a tambor for X santo, or X deity. And sometimes they come on January 1st, like last year, Mario "Chavalonga" Dreke, who is also a man of respect in the Cuban rumba... came all "jodido," 80-some years old... "Chinitos, I’ve come to rumba with you for awhile here." So we had to please him, we had a commitment, we were exhausted, and we had a tremendous rumba!
But this area (la Corea), you know it's isolated, and was very difficult to get here. If we were
more in the center... Los Chinitos would have been the first that all Cuba heard about. And today, look, they are going to make like a "Buenavista Social Club," they are going to do this in January now, and they came to get me here, and want me to play guarapachangueo. (Argeliers) Leó(n) came and it said to me, "Look, Pedro, you are he the one who has to go, because they want to get all the creators together... Some guys came from some country, of the culture and all that... they want to do just like they did with Buenavista Social Club, reunite to all the great soneros, all the great ones...I hope so! If I can’t go, I’ll send Piri.
And so, well, there are many things to tell... but I don’t have much... The truth is that the guarapachangueo is from here, Piri was born here, and I always taught him everything as if he were my son, he was born with me and I always taught to him to be very modest, everybody knows him here...
Then Piri was with "Aspirinas in Guaguancó", a group of aficionados over there, of the Aspirinas. The group was strong, it started well but, I don’t know what the problem was, I don’t know happened, the group broke up. They went to France and everything, then later I don’t know what happened.
So, later Juan de Dios sent for Piri to join Raices Profundas. He didn’t go to the audition, Juan de Dios said, "I need Piri here", and Piri joined the group, and now he's a a key member in Raices Profundas with Eduardo (?), Cusito (Jesus Lorenzo Peñalver), with all great ones they have. But Piri has a lot of potential, and I hope he’s going to be great too. Because he plays many things: not only batá, he is a rumbero, he plays Palo, he plays a ton of popular things, and he still has many fields to seed. The rest is time and being modest, you have to be very modest in this. Look, I do this from the heart and I show you who I am with my hands, but what I have here inside is what I am going to show you. That is what goes to the spectator, to the public, you know? It’s better."

(Originally posted by Antoine Miniconi and par Patrice Banchereau - english translation Barry Cox)


The "Abbilona" project is something ambicious that changed a lot the way to present recorded yoruba music from Cuba to public outside Cuba. Before that, tracks had to fit a standard commercial size: only 5mns tracks were recorded, corresponding to a "classical" length in record industry. This size has nothing to do with real length of yoruba music from Cuba, where, to get "the Saint come down", you have to sing and play for 30 minutes for one particular Oricha, the music always beginning from "slow and calm" to "fast and intense".
In any "Abbilona" record, the Chinitos recorded tracks that last from 5 to 20 minutes, that fit better to what really happens in rituals.
The Abbilona project also includes many singers from young generation, such as:
Jesús "Cusito" Lorenzo Peñalver, with his harsh voice,
Javier Pina, with his very modern melodic style,
Jesús "El Corto" Zayas,
Alain Fernández,
Naivi Angarica, etc…
All these new generation ritual singers would maybe never have got opportunity to record without the creation of this project. The music of Abbilona is the mirror of current cuban yoruba music under logical evolution, since early XXth century.
"Abbilona" series have been made to put all cuban yoruba cult music down on cd. After listening to Eleguá vol. 3 & 4 (not yet available), we could come to conclusion that every song and "toque" belonging to that Oricha had been recorded in the four records. One can tell that it has been only in present time style, but this kind of testimony remains unique, not only on the cultural side, but it indeed contains a scientific interest.
This project also provoked "reaction" of "official" number one singer, Lázaro Ros, who imitated Abbilona by publishing a 13 cds series, leaving his own testimony before diying in 2004.
Out of the 45 cds that will complete the whole Abbilona series, only 16 are available.

Abbilona "Eleguá-Ogún-Ochosi" 1

Abbilona "Oricha Oko y otros" 1

Abbilona "Agayú" 1

Abbilona "Changó" 1

Abbilona "Obatalá" 1

Abbilona "Oyá" 1

Abbilona "Ochún" 1

Abbilona "Yemayá" 1

Abbilona "Eleguá-Ogún-Ochosi" 2

Abbilona "Oricha Oko y otros" 2

Abbilona "Agayú" 2

Abbilona "Changó" 2

Abbilona "Obatalá" 2

Abbilona "Oyá" 2

Abbilona "Ochún" 2

Abbilona "Yemayá" 2