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Cha Cha Mozambique History And Development Drummers Guide

Cha Cha is either danced to authentic Latin music, or more contemporary Latin Pop or Latin Rock. The music for the ballroom Cha Cha is energetic and with a steady beat. Cha Cha rhythm and style was developed by musicians and dancers desiring a slowed down (half time) version of a Mambo, taking it back to its roots in Danzon. Enrique Jorrin is credited with inventing and naming the Cha Cha in 1951. Its popularity reached a peak during that decade in dance clubs throughout Cuba and the United States. One of the most widely recognized Cha Chas in Latin and American pop music is "Oye Como Va" ("Listen How It Goes," written by Tito Puente, further popularized by Carlos Santana).

As in other Afro Cuban rhythm styles, the drum set player takes on the roles of several percussionists at once. The defining sound of the style is the repetitive quarter notes on the Cha Cha bell (sometimes referred to as the "Cha bell" usually played by the ride hand). In addition, a conga pattern (played between the snare and the high tom), and the bass drum pattern complimenting the bass player, help distinguish this rhythm style. Cha Cha is generally played at a medium tempo starting around quarter note = one hundred and ten bits per minute. Mozambique, one of the more modern styles in Afro Cuban music, can be attributed to a single individual, Pedro lzquierdo ("Pello el Afroka'n"). Following the Cuban revolution of 1959, lzquierdo sought to create a musical style combining many Afro Cuban and African rhythms: Abakwa, Yoruba, Congo, Carabali, and Jiribilla.

The original style employed a large percussion ensemble. According to lzquierdo, "The Mozambique is played with 12 conga drums, played by five conga drummers, two bass drums, three bells, a frying pan, four trumpets, and three trombones." The Mozambique immediately achieved overwhelming popularity after its Cuban television debut in July 1963. Pianist Eddie Palmieri is credited as being the first to develop it in North America. After hearing a Cuban Mozambique played on the radio, Palmieri and drummer Manny Oquendo created what has become the North American (specifically, New York City) version of the rhythm and style.

Other musicians and other artists to explore the Mozambique include Issac (sic) Delgado, Carlos Santana, and finally Paul Simon with the song "Late in the Evening" (1980), played by the innovative drummer Steve Gadd. The Mozambique for drum set is as follows: The ride hand plays a bell pattern (slightly different from the Cascara rhythm) known as the "Mozambique bell pattern." The snare hand replicates the conga pattern, while the hi hat foot and bass drum typically play simple rhythms. The "'Steve Gadd" variation (variation 1), which is a fusion of an Afro Cuban style and contemporary pop music, follows the main example. The original Cuban Mozambique is shown in variation 2. It differs to a notable degree from the Mozambique that emerged in North American music.

All three Mozambique patterns are based on a 2-3 rumba clave rhythms, and, for more advanced playing, can also employ the hi hat foot rumba clave simultaneously. The groove is a two measure, up tempo pattern usually starting around quarter note = two hundred bits per minute.

By Eric Starg. Eric is using Pro Mark drum sticks on Electronic Drums, and favors Roland V Drums and Tama Drum Throne. Eric is an active member of Drum Solo Artist where he is answering drum related questions, and helping drummers with tips and advices.



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