Latin Percussionist All-Stars
by Judy Cantor-Navas | May 30, 2013
The drums are the heartbeat of Afro-Latin music. From Cuba to Peru to Colombia to Puerto Rico to the Latino diaspora, from Tito Puente's show-stopping timbale solos to Los Muñequitos de Matanzas' conga spirituals to the Afro-Cuban gods, the call of the drums is impossible to ignore, moving through your bloodstream to your head, hips and feet. The great congueros — Chano Pozo, Mongo Santamaria, Giovanni Hidalgo, Ray Barretto and others blessed with hard hands -- transformed the beats of coded messages that once brought power to slaves to create Latin jazz, laying the groundwork for some of the hottest party music possible. The tradition is being carried on now by the boldness of players like Pedrito Martinez and Horacio El Negro Hernandez. Here are two hours of music that will deliver you straight to the core of Latin soul.