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Fotos Del Día [hide]
Tom Ehrlich - 7/18/2008 La Pena
YOSVANY TERRY AND YE-DÉ-GBÉ AND THE AFRO-CARIBBEAN LEGACY
VISITS THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA JULY, 2008
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY TOM EHRLICH ©2008
Ye-dé-gbé and the Afro-Caribbean Legacy
Ye-dé-gbé and the Afro-Caribbean Legacy, Yosvany Terry's latest project, blessed the San Francisco Bay Area with a series of concerts with music that was stunningly beautiful, rhymically uplifting and culturally and historically significant. Ye-dé-gbé means "with the approval of the spirits" in the West African language Fon - from the kingdom of Dahomey (today Benin). The music of this group is based on the Arará musical tradition, originating in Dahomey and it traveled with slaves throughout the Caribbean. This tradition has been kept alive in Matanzas, Cuba by associations formed by slaves hundreds of years ago (cabildos) to preserve and express their cultural heritage. There has been very little recording of this muscial tradition and this music has been virtually unknown outside of Africa and Cuba. This project is therefore is extremely important to teach the Arará musical tradition to others, to continue it and to further develop it. Yosvany hopes to raise the funds so he can bring this project to both Cuba and Africa to perform and to interact with the masters of this great cultural tradition.
From left to right - Pedro Martínez, Yosvany Terry, Román Díaz and Tony Escapa
on Arará drums made in Matanzas, Cuba by master drum maker, Gilberto Morales
Yosvany Terry on chékere and Yunior Terry on bass
Funded by the New York State Music Fund and the Stanford Jazz Workshop, Yosvany Terry - Cuba born and raised, based in New York City since 1999 - world class saxophonist, chékere master, composer and band leader, studied the Arará music tradition for one year by traveling to Matanzas, Cuba - studying with Mario Rodríguez Pedroso "Mano", one of the last living drummers initiated in the tradition and studying in the United States with others. Yosvany also commissioned a set of Arará drums, specifically crafted for the music he was to compose. After this year of study, Yosvany set out to compose music which fused the obscure rhythms and traditional songs of the Arará with jazz to create a unique and moving blend.
Yosvany on sax and Yunior Terry on bass
Yosvany has put out a CD of the project's music, but he considers it a work in progress and will record a more comprehensive version of the project soon. I intend to write a more complete article about this project and will post it when completed as well as trying to convince a magazine to carry it.
Ye-dé-gbé and the Afro-Caribbean Legacy's first concert in the Bay Area was at La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley, California on July 18, 2008. The first set of the concert was the Ye-dé-gbé and the Afro-Caribbean Legacy project and the second set was a descarga with the project and local heavy weights John Santos, Jesús Díaz and Michael Spiro.
Ye-dé-gbé and the Afro-Caribbean Legacy is
Yosvany Terry - leader, sax, chékere, percussion and vocals
Yunior Terry - bass, vocals
Osmany Paredes - piano, vocals
Pedro Martínez - percussion, lead vocals
Román Díaz - percussion, vocals
Sandy Pérez - percussion, vocals
Tony Escapa - drum set
Félix "Pupi" Insua - dancer
This band is a group of master musicians who have extensive experience as leaders and members of many other bands. What follows are photos of their first Bay Area concert.
"Pupi" Insua dancer, Yosvany percussion, vocal
Román Díaz and Pedro Martínez (rear)
Félix "Pupi" Insua
Osmany Peredes piano, Yunior Terry bass
Osmany and Yosvany
Román Díaz and Pedro Martínez
Román, Pedro and Sandy Pérez
Pedro, Tony and Román
Yunior, Yosvany, Pedro
Yosvany and Pupi
Yosvany, Yunior, Tony
SERIES OF PHOTOS OF FÉLIX "PUPI" INSUA
Yosvany and Yunior
Pedro and Román
Pedro, Román and Tony
Yosvany on chékere, Yunior on bass
PHOTOS OF THE DESCARGA SET
John Santos, Román Díaz, Michael Spiro, Pedro Martínez, Jesús Díaz
Jesús Díaz, Sandy Pérez and Michael Spiro
Michael Spiro and Román Díaz
Yosvany, Osmany and John Sanots
John Santos, Román Díaz and Pedro Martínez
John Santos, Román Díaz and Michael Spiro
John Santos, Yosvany Terry and Pupi Insua
Pupi, Yosvany, Osmany, John Santos, Yunior
Carlos Aldama legendary Cuban Rumbero and folkloric percussionist
Pedro Martínez, Pupi on conga, Michael Spiro on batá
Sandy Pérez with Alisa Froman
Sandy Pérez dance, Román Díaz conga
Ye-dé-gbé and the Afro-Caribbean Legacy
I will post photos of some of the other Bay Area concerts of Ye-dé-gbé and the Afro-Caribbean Legacy as they are completed.