Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bobby Sanabria "La Clave - The Key"

Percussionist Bobby Sanabria is an incredible player and a real historian when it comes to Afro-Cuban music and the musical/rhythmic traditions that extend from the African diaspora. Check out his albums as leader as well that feature his New York big band. I'm always impressed by his playing, his teachings and the various articles he's written.

A few years ago a friend of mine gave me a bootleg recording of a masterclass that Bobby Sanabria gave at a PASIC convention. He talked at length about the history of Afro-Cuban music from it's roots in Africa to it's present form. He talked not only about the rhythms and the music but about the social conditions and the aspects of slavery that created the music as well. He was very articulate and, of course, played his ass off (sometimes singing too!) but what really blew me away is how during the entire clinic, even while he was talking and lecturing, he kept the clave rhythm going on a cowbell or woodblock with his feet the entire time FOR OVER AN HOUR !!! Now that's creative independence folks!

Fortunately we can get a taste of that in this video here:

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