AfroCuban master drummer Román Díaz & Midnight Rumba & his nine piece percussion ensemble New Year’s EVE @ ZINC BAR!
AfroCuban master drummer Román Díaz & his twelve piece percussion & vocal & dance ensemble perform the magic of the Afro-Caribbean experience.
Rumba is the celebratory drumming, dance and call-and-response singing that came to the Caribbean from West Africa. These rituals, handed down from generation to generation in secret societies in Cuba, are a living repository of the Yoruba, Congo and Abakuá cultures.
A leader in the Abakuá community of Cuba, Román Díaz came to fame as a member of the world-renown folkloric ensemble Yoruba Andabo – but the Rumba he brings to Zinc Bar is a departure from the rehearsed, choreographed presentations of official touring groups. His weekly Midnight Rumba – now in its third year of a residency at Zinc Bar – is the authentic, spontaneous Rumba performed in the back alleys and inner courtyards of dilapidated tenements of Havana, often played on handmade instruments and wooden boxes. This Rumba, rarely seen by outsiders, is the Rumba of ambiente: an atmosphere building toward ecstatic fervor at the threshold of possession.
That seductive, mysterious ambiente might explain the critical acclaim that Román Díaz & MidnightRumba received from their show at the NYC Winter Jazzfest in 2013. And why the Rumba attracts the creme de la creme of musicians from every genre, from famous percussionists (Francisco Mela, Nicky Marrero, Mark Quinones and Samuel Torres) to the hot young Cuban singers Melvis Santa and Jennifer Hernandez to jazz pianists (George Burton, Aruan Ortiz, David Virelles and Axel Laugart) and the celebrated New Orleans jazz saxophonist Donald Harrison, who sits in – and fits in – on almost every trip he makes to New York. Sometimes a superstar of Latin pop will show up – Ruben Blades came by recently – and there are frequent visits from a Hollywood movie star (going under the radar in baseball cap & sweats).
“Like the best Cuban percussionists and folkloric masters, and as with jazz’s greatest players, Díaz knows that tradition is never a static thing.” – Larry Blumenfeld
“His weekly Midnight Rumba – now in its third year of a residency at Zinc Bar – is the authentic, spontaneous Rumba performed in the back alleys and inner courtyards of dilapidated tenements of Havana, often played on handmade instruments and wooden boxes. This Rumba, rarely seen by outsiders, is the Rumba of ambiente: an atmosphere building toward ecstatic fervor at the threshold of possession.” –Jazz at the Crossroads
At first glance, the improvisation of the Rumba might seem to resemble a jam session – but Rumba is invocatory and ceremonial in a way that jazz no longer is. The Rumba’s improvisation occurs within a ritual of call and response between the performers and the community. It’s about giving and receiving – a communion that transforms the alleyway and the tenement courtyard into a sacred space. To see the Rumba performed is to look into the womb of Afro-Antillean music; Rumba is the source, where it all comes from: the jam session, and jazz itself.
THE ZINC BAR & JAZZ AT THE CROSSROADS
A NEW YEAR’S EVE CUBAN EXTRAVAGANZA
Román Díaz & Midnight Rumba
with special guests Mauricio Herrera, Emilio Valdés, Jennifer Hernandez + surprise guest performers
Thursday December 31 | sets @11 pm & 1am
first set: $40 @ tables, $20 @ bar
second set: $20 general admission
82 W 3rd Street, NYC 10012