Drums & Dreams
I just put up a new art show with my friend Charlie Rosario last week in the Bronx at the Bronx Music Heritage Center Lab (1303 Luis Niñé Boulevard). We hung our work side by side, and collaborated on a shrine to the great conga players, percussionists, and rumberos of Cuban and Puerto Rican origin called "Para Los Rumberos" - check an early shot of it below. Better yet, come to the Bronx and see it in person! Many thanks to BMHC's artistic directors Bobby Sanabria and Elena Martinez, as well as Jennifer Rajotte, Development and Marketing Officer (Arts and Community) for WHEDco and BMHC. Opening is May 2, 2015. DJ Andujar will be there playing vintage vinyl representing the rumba and Latin percussion genres; and Charlie Rosario will perform his spoken word poetry over rumba beats with bass and congas, featuring Los Rumberos Callejeros.
Drums and Dreams Artists’ Statement
I invite all rumberos to come on down, to the best visual rumba show in town. It will be a colorful bembé if you know what I mean. From collage to painting, it’s about drums and dreams.
My art is inspired by music, storytelling, Afro-Caribbean and Mesoamerican cultures, and is influenced by dreams and the surreal. Through my exploration of the subconscious, rhythm, faith, and family history, I explore identity, sacredness, states of possession and ecstasy. Totemic objects, metaphorical imagery, ritualistic practice and special color-coding all play a part in forming my aesthetic and vision.
Recognizing a kindred spirit in his friend Charlie Rosario, Pablo Yglesias suggested that the two artists put on a duo show of their work. Both are inspired by many of the same sources, utilize similar mediums of artistic expression and have collaborated on creative projects in the past. Yet their art is different enough that the end result of their being shown side by side leads to complementary and synergistic results. Having a showcase that allows the two artists to share an overview of their art in the same space is a long overdue opportunity that will produce a polyrhythmic visual interplay greater than the sum of its parts. In many ways, Drums and Dreams is the logical outcome of their previous collaborations, affinities and long-standing friendship. You might say this show is “the perfect combination” (la combinación perfecta), to quote an often used phrase in Latin jazz.
Congueros/rumberos muertos honrados en Para Los Rumberos:
Ricardo “Papín” Abreu
Federico Arístides Soto Alejo aka “Tata Güines”
Justiniano “Justi” Barreto Blanco
Carlos Vidal Bolado
Julio “Julito” Collazo
Miguel “Angá” Díaz
Frank “Machito” Grillo
Luciano Pozo González (“Chano” Pozo)
Félix “Pupi” Insua
Pedro Izquierdo (“Pello El Afrokan”)
Jesús Alfonso Miró
Francisco “Chino” Pozo
Israel “Kiki” Rodríguez
Ramón “Mongo” Santamaría
Carlos “Patato” Valdés
Pancho Quinto (o “Kinto”)
Alberto Zayas “El Vive Bien”
Francisco “Kako” Bastar
Gilberto Miguel “Sonny” Calderón (“Joe Cuba”)
Luis “Sabú” Martinez
David “La Mole” Ortiz
Victor “El Negrito” Pantoja
Johnny Rodríguez, Sr.
Rumberos Callejeros recording session with Cholo Pérez, Yogui Rosario, and Louie Montañez drumming for backing track on Charlie Rosario's spoken word piece "Drums & Dreams". Recording took place with Jacob Plasse and Quinn McCarthy at The Creamery in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, 3/24/15.
Charlie Rosario gets ready to record his spoken word piece "Drums & Dreams" while Quinn adjusts the mic.
Chico Alvarez leads recording session for "Drums and Dream" featuring the bass of Jason Youvert.