Mozambique (9 Videos)

Although Eddie Palmieri and his New York band of the 1960s, “La Perfecta” (featuring percussionists Manny Oquendo and Tommy Lopez) played a rhythm they called “El Mozambique”, the original Mozambique was created by a Cuban musician named Pello “El Afrokan”. He invented this rhythm in the early 1960s primarily as an addition to the music of Carnaval in La Habana, and literally took it to the streets. It is the only Cuban rhythm I know of where the parts are duplicated by more than one player, and his group consisted of a large number of percussionists where many people played the same part. This is very different than a “conga de comparsa” for example, where there is one player per part, and much more like a Brazilian bateria playing samba batucada, where all the parts are duplicated. Pello eventually added bass and keyboard to the percussion, brass and vocals, and the Mozambique became synonomous with his name in Cuba.