October 6, 2010

Sworn to the Drum: A Tribute to Francisco Aguabella

When you think of Latin percussion, think of Francisco Aguabella. Perhaps the finest Afro-Cuban master percussionist , who was while living synonymous with his instrument the conga - one of the highest compliments a musician can ever receive.
 He was a master of Bata (the sacred Santeria drumming tradition), Abaqua and Yeza, and secular Afro-Cuban jazz and salsa styles. Discover this enigmatic Cuban drummer, a virtual Rosetta stone of African culture, who has been highly influential in the growth of Latin jazz, pop and fusion in the U.S. 

Born in Matanzas, Cuba, Francisco Aguabella was a master of the Yoruba-derived bata drums and rumba as well as contemporary traditions including Cuban son, salsa, and Latin jazz. Though he has released only a half dozen albums, his work is best measured by his contribution to the Afro-Cuban sounds and the growth of Latin jazz. "He is one of the strongholds of our music and has always kept the commitment to our Cuban rhythm, that's very important, " says Cuban jazz player Israel "Cachao" Lopez.
Aguabella has received a National Heritage Award from the National Endowment for the Arts and is the subject of a documentary film by Les Blank, Sworn to the Drum.
Francisco Aguabella's passion and fire on the conga drums are absolutely contagious and not to be missed.

directed by Les Blank 1985
35 minutes

Sworn To the Drum

more Francisco Aguabella




  1. Ah! Thank U Nauma!

    just in time :)

    I wish it was 3&1/2 hrs not just 35 min...

    :) :) :)

    just added three more:


    yes, con (ga) tagious...


  2. This is so good I am speechless, thank you, it has everything.
    My hart is drumming thank you.