Los Rumberos de la Bahia| Rumba | Cuba
Rumba can be played anywhere—at the kitchen table, on some buckets in the patio, on a desktop—whenever and wherever rumberos decide to start playing clave and want to sing about what’s going on their lives.
That’s the way it’s long been in Cuba, and that approach was transplanted fairly seamlessly to the United States as Cubans came to places like New York, Miami, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Los Rumberos de la Bahia are the result of what happens when you pay respect to your elders. Latin jazz percussionist Michael Spiro and Cuban native Jose Luis Gomez bonded over rumba in San Francisco in the early 1980s. They played together for years, and later came to “share” a Cuban elder who instructed and inspired them, Regino Jimenez Saez, one of the few Cubans who was able to obtain a visa to come to the United States to perform and teach. When he passed in 2005, Michael and Jose Luis vowed they would record an album to honor him. But, as it happens, life got in the way.
A decade later, along with producer/percussionist/vocalist Jesus Diaz (who has played with everyone from Carlos Santana to Sheila E) the trio are Los Rumberos de la Bahia and pay tribute to “los mayores” (the elders) who sustained and guided them. Their album, Mabagwe (“Remembrance” in Yoruba), will be released on Friday, the 23rd of March.
Check out “Lo Que Me Dijo Chango” below, and follow percussionist Michael Spiro’s live shows here.