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Giving the note Cover of LP Conga by Barrios, by Pello el Afrokán (EGREM, 1988)

Conga by neighborhoods

And Pello spoke to me:

"People came walking. They were crammed against each other. Everyone laughed in their own way and nothing mattered except for the weight of their own bodies: they looked to one side as well as to the front. And they did not stop moving. And to speak, sometimes, shouting, happy. And the children came with these people, they were moving too. It seemed like a deafening crowd, but it was not. They were happy, moved by laughter and wiggled. Some without shoes, clean clothes. (The best clothes of each one!). And there was a Chinese, two charlatans, one hundred and two blacks, four mulattos, many poor whites among the people and three or four mulattos in the background with a black man who waved or directed them because each raising of his baton, that small group palmed with joy, of contentment. And the earth vibrated so much that many in their homes-those not attending that crowd-felt their steps and that they got the songs-congas, percussioned bells and the bustling colors of the different and fancy costumes of the crowd: full of heat human and desire to do each one the best it seemed. When they passed, they left behind a great silence. A lack of something necessary and loose laticas that had been hit; useless for the sound anymore. Seeing a solitary dog walk through the land that those people had rumbled so loud and gentle, one asked: Did the comparsa go, dad? Mom, did he leave? And it ran and ran until it reached and be with laughter of the people and the crowd, one. And there it swirled around the whole. "

And I, Berroa, replied:

Now I see that they move slowly. Gratian, the carpenter, comes among them. Aniceto also, a man who always uses jet. They move slowly. They are men and women of the town who have left their things to come and wiggle. And some dance and drink at the same time. They are a wave, a compact mass. They think that what they do is well done. And he is. They celebrate, without a doubt. Some do not advance anymore, they get drunk on the sidewalks, talking about their ancestral euphoria. And it is a very old custom to belong to this crowd, each from a neighborhood, that moves. They wear elegant suits alluding to pirates, men; women are countesses, queens or bowlers who smile constantly. And the people who see them pass applaud. Delirium of enthusiasm.

Now all the crowd is entering a narrow street. They squeeze. They do not fight, they enjoy. And they go. They get lost down the hill. They go to another neighborhood, no doubt. But they are exhausted and have to go to work, dawn. The mist comes when the last of them has vanished behind the corner of yellowish bricks. The Comparsa was gone. "

And so, unintentionally, but wishing it from a long time ago, "El Pello" and I were "building" this record that could well have endless subtitles, such as The Congas that we remember; Tribute to the best of the past that still vibrates in every July of the present; Marisela: the girl who was congue and others that we do not aim. And the ones that you-the future and the future listener-receive in your conscience when you hear this particular vision of two Cubans from an area of popular sap: La Conga: Cuban music and dance.

LP CONGAS BY BARRIOS. Pello Afrokán (EGREM, 1988)
Group of Pello the Afrokán. Address: Pedro Izquierdo (Pello Afrokán)


  1. How does the conga begin? (A duet with Jorge Berroa) - 5'28
    Conga - Pedro Izquierdo and Jorge Berroa
  2. The planters (neighborhood: Jesús María) - 2'15
    Conga - Folklore
  3. The Dandy (neighborhood: Belén) - 2'43
    Conga - Folklore
  4. Los Marqueses (neighborhood: Atarés) - 2'21
    Conga - Folklore
  5. The Dandy (neighborhood: Belén) - 2'20
    Conga - Folklore
  6. The scorpion (neighborhood: El Cerro) 3'19
    Conga - Santos Ramírez (father)


  1. I am drum 2'55
    Conga - Pedro Izquierdo
  2. The guaracheras (neighborhood: Pueblo Nuevo) 2'24
    Los Componedores (neighborhood: Key West)
    Conga - Folklore
  3. The bolleras (neighborhood: The Sites) 2'37
    The jardineras (neighborhood: Jesús María)
    Conga - Folklore
  4. Touch the conga (method) 3'54
    Conga - Pedro Izquierdo
  5. Mamita, La jardinera (neighborhood: Jesús María) 1'52
    The sultana (neighborhood: Colón)
    Conga - Folklore
  6. As it begins, it ends (A duo with Jorge Berroa) 2,24
    Conga - Pedro Izquierdo and Jorge Berroa

Production: Jorge Berroa - Pedro Izquierdo
Recording: René Oliva - Rafael Padrón
Recording Studios, EGREM
City of Havana, Cuba, Nov.'87

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