Iyesa (15 Videos)

This is one of the most swinging and important styles of folkloric music in Cuba, and is found exclusively in the province of Matanzas. Many of its knowledgeable elders have passed on in recent years, and so learning as much as possible about it has become an important goal of mine, as the Matanceros themselves continue to maintain and preserve this tradition.
 
There are two basic patterns in the Iyesa cabildo. The one in 4/4 is referred to as “Ochun”, and the one in 6/8 is called “Ogun”. There are differences in tempos within the playing of these two rhythms for different orichas, but there remain only two styles to learn. It is worth noting that both styles have two cowbell players, and the swing of the Iyesa rhythms is due in no small part to the interlock of these two iron players.
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