Uncategorized — January 28, 2012 at 11:51 am

Ye-de-gbe – The Musicians – Illustration by Bobby Carcassés

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The Musicians of Ye-de-gbe are well versed in different styles of music, but they also understand the Arará tradition from the perspective of the practitioner of Afro-Cuban religion, so they’re able to place the music on the correct spiritual plane.

My brother Yunior Terry provides the fat beats that inspire dancers. He acts as a bridge between the long line of Cuban bassists and the jazz bass tradition of the US. We share all our family tradition as well as the knowledge of the Sabalú cabildo of Matanzas. I have worked with Osmany Paredes for many years. His rhythmic sensibility is equal to that of any great drummer. He is one of the few players of his generation who carries within him the deep legacy of the school of Cuban piano. Pedro Martínez, besides being one of the most in-demand percussionists today, has a voice that connects you with the vodun. He’s a studious musician who carries a lot of tradition under his belt. Román Díaz is the first person I call in New York to consult on anything regarding our foklore. A master drummer who learned from many of the greatest tamboreros of Havana, he and Pedro have a unique chemistry playing together that is manifest in this recording. I have always considered him the spiritual leader of the band. Sandy Pérez put me on the right path to meet Maño in order to start the full journey that culminated with this recording. A resident of California, he comes from one of the most important traditional families of Matanzas — the Villamil family, a founding family of both Los Muñequitos de Matanzas and Afro Cuba de Matanzas. He grew up inside cabildo Sabalú as well as other tierras and cabildos in Matanzas. Justin Brown was born and raised in the funky city of Oakland. He brings the flexibility of a modern jazz drummer, but he comes out of the church. Dominick Kanza is Congolese, but he was open to learning the Arará tradition. His guitar sound and knowledge were essential to the recording. It wouldn’t be Cuban without the Congo thing.

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