LEVEL: INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED
Recording artist and educator Hector Morales has contributed a rich and concise new look at an under-covered topic. A valuable addition to the library of world percussion, The Afro-Peruvian Percussion Ensemble provides us with a cultural overview as well as instrumental specifics. Especially helpful is the emphasis on the accent placements within phrases that give the music its distinct flavor in the pantheon of African-rooted rhythmic genres.
Following a historical overview of the music itself, the book guides us through the history, basic techniques, and rhythms of traditional native percussion instruments, including the cajon, cajita, and quijada. The more familiar “extended family” of congas, bongos, and cowbell gets similar treatment. Characteristic Afro-Peruvian popular styles and rhythms are outlined, including festejo, landó, zamacueca, and panalivio. Bringing the genre up to the present are drumset applications for the rhythms.
For the DVD, a superb group of authoritative musicians (including Morales) demonstrates key rhythms and styles. Each instrument is played alone and in an ensemble. It’s in these delightful group segments—where everyone’s obviously having a ball—that the special sound and breadth of Afro-Peruvian music truly shines through. Illuminating and joyful. (Sher Music Co.)