DVD, 90 minutes, all regions.
“Vamos al Tambor” is a live recording of presentations to the sacred bata drums of the Santeria religion.
The DVD includes two separate presentations, both of which were filmed live in Matanzas, Cuba.
“Three Changos” shows the presentation of three Iyawos (new initiates of the Santeria religion) to the sacred bata drums and the community.
In Matanzas, Iyawos are presented to the bata drums during the week of their initiation, usually on the third day following their ita (divination with the cowrie shells of their Orishas). They are dressed in the ritual satin outfit of their crowning Orisha. The Apón (lead singer, in this case Alfredo Calvo) sings a full cycle of songs to all the Orishas.
“Aña” shows the presentation of newly consecrated bata drums (Aña, pronounced an-yá) and drummers (Omo Aña) to the drums that gave them birth and to the community. The consecration of the bata drums is a long, complicated process involving many Santeros, drummers, and babalawos (priests of Ifa). It does not occur often, and there are only around 50 sets of consecrated drums in the world. Such a presentation is therefore a rare event.
The DVD complements Kabiosile's CD "Bata y Bembe de Matanzas" (which also includes a complete cycle of praise songs to the Orishas) because it gives the viewer the opportunity to experience actual presentations as they occur in Matanzas, Cuba.
Alfredo Calvo is a priest of Agayu with more than 60 years of Ocha. He is an (if not the) Elder of the Egwado branch of the Santeria religion, of which his godmother, Fermina Gomez (Ocha Bi), is considered the founder. Affectionately known as El Gallo (the Rooster) for his strong, distinctive singing voice, he is one of the most talented and knowledgeable apóns in Matanzas. He is the owner of the Aña Oba Tola bata drums heard on all Kabiosile’s recordings, and is an accomplished drummer in his own right. Alfredo is a highly sought-after Oriate (the high priest of the Santeria religion who is in charge of all rituals) and diviner with the dilogún (the cowry shells that serve as mouth for the Orishas).
“…[One] of the most invigorating illustrations of Orisha music and life to come out of Matanzas since Lydia Cabrera’s and Josefina Tarafa’s 1950s recordings recently released by the Smithsonian Institute.”
“Wonderful DVD…this is a very rare glimpse into the private religious practices of Santeria in Matanzas, and done with great respect. Excellent quality…Highly recommended.”
“…Beautifully captures two Matanzas Lucumi events never before documented….Spirits and emotions are high and the drumming is dramatic.”