Palo y Mano
The Afro-Uruguayan rhythm Candombe has played a significant role in Uruguayan culture for over 200 years. The rhythm is created by the use of three drums (tambores); tambor piano, tambor chico and tambor repique. The piano is the largest in size and the lowest in pitch of the three tambores. The rhythmic base of Candombe, it's function similar to that of the upright or electric bass. The chico (small) is the smallest in size and highest in pitch of the three tambores, serving as the rhythmic pendulum. The tambor repique (ricochet) embellishes Candombe's rhythm with improvised phrases. Each of the three tambores is played with an open hand (mano) and a stick (palo) in the other. At a minimum, one of each of the three tambores must be present. The purest form of Candombe takes place each Sunday night on the streets of Montevideo, where many drummers assemble, playing their drums under the moon lit sky. Isla de Flores is the main street that joins Cuareim and Ansina, Candombe's two main social groups. For over a century spontaneous cuerdas have paraded on this street, and continue to do so today (Isle de Flores is also known by it's second name, Carlos Gardel). As the cuerda slowly makes it's way through the narrow streets of Montevideo, this contagious rhythm takes with it all in it's path, surrounded on all sides by the neighborhood people moving their bodies to the rhythm of Candombe. At intervals the cuerda will pause, and by setting a fire, will heat their drums' skins for tuning purposes. These Candombe rituals preserve this strong Uruguayan tradition, and serves as the breeding ground for the next generation of young Candombe drummers, as it has for their fathers, and their fathers before them. Informal, yet formidable in nature. Candombe has evolved, and continues to do so. Throughout the years there have been many composers that have written wonderful melodies and lyrics over the rhythm. One such individual who stands at the forefront of such a movement is Hugo Fattoruso, and now Rey Tambor. Hugo Fattoruso, a composer and arranger, a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, has had a profound effect on music that has touched upon shores far and wide. Endeavors such as Los Shakers, Opa, Grupo Del Cuareim, Los Pusilanimes, Trio Fattoruso, and his solo works, are endeared by those fortunate to know of his talent. Born and raised in Montevideo, Uruguay, the son of a musically rich father, Antonio, Hugo began learning the language of music at the same time he was learning to walk and talk. Growing in Uruguay, and neighbored by Argentina and Brazil, exposed him to a diverse array of musical colors and rhythms. Afro-Uruguayan Candombe rhythm is somethng that is always burning in Hugo's heart and mind, naturally, and exemplified by this, his latest endeavor, Rey Tambor. Here Hugo, on electric keyboard and vocals, joins forces with his three young Candombe compadres, the energetic Nicolás, Fernando and Diego, together navigating Candombe to new and exciting frontiers.