Rumba! (Yellow House Salon #10)

Today’s recording is a video of Rumba dancers and musicians taken at El Gran Palenque. (Havana, Cuba)

 

Rumba! Locals are packed in at El Gran Palenque in the Vedado district of Havana, Cuba.  It’s a rumba fiesta and all generations are represented in this lively party under the hot Havana sun.

Rumba is a Cuban dance accompanied by a live band. The musicians (rumberos), include a lead  singer and percussion. There are three sizes of drums (trumbadoras) and smaller percussion instruments including claves (two hollow sticks struck together),  a  catá (a small hollow trunk mounted on a stand and struck with two sticks), and sometimes a type of gourd shaker (a gourd covered with a netting of beads).

There are different styles of Rumba including  the guaguancó, the columbia, and the yambú.  The guanguancó is danced by couples and has a courting element where the man pretends to kick the woman between the legs and the woman quickly covers herself to avoid  his advances. The  Columbia is a solo dance for males while the  yambú is for older people, often accompanied by a cajón, or box drum.

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