Crystal Rivas 11.23.08
A Cuban Rumba: Description of A Musical Event that’s Important to me
It began with one tap of the drum. A challenge, a challenge for the other men to sit and try to out do him. They answered. They placed their instruments and themselves in a circle. The claves went up into the air and banged together, setting the tempo. Hands danced over the congas so that the beats seemed to spill from them effortlessly. The scattered sound of maracas could be heard and I moved my eyes in search of them. A cowbell began to ring as it found its own place within the jungle of sounds. The Afro-Cuban drums released a thunderous sound revealing its power; showing its impact on the music. I heard it then, a soft masculine voice floating out and above the roar of instruments. It was all so upbeat and full of energy. This musical event is extremely important to me. For the first time in my life I heard and saw my heritage come to life. It was alive, loud, and proud.
I sat there listening to the music pour out of each individual. I watched as women stood from their chairs unable to resist. Their hips swerved as they surrendered themselves to the call of the music. I felt the vibrations tremble right through the floor and into me.
It fascinated me to watch these men dressed in white effortlessly come together to form a melody that made the blood rush hot through ones veins. Raised in an Americanized Cuban home I was never exposed to such wondrous music made up of Afro-Cuban drums, Congas, Maracas, a Cowbell, a Guiro, and Claves. The vibrant Caribbean music continues to echo within my memory. This event truly left its mark on me, and ranks as one of my top ten important musical events.