Location: Zinc Bar, West 3rd Street, New York, NY, United States (Google Maps)
Time: 11:59 pm to 2:00 am
The essence of AfroCuban music is expressed in the Rumba: intoxicating polyrhythmic percussion, played on multiple drums, accompanied by call and response singing. Master percussionist Roman Diaz, the leader of the Abakuá society brought to Cuba from Calabar, West Africa, is regarded as a “living repository” of Cuba's folkoric music. As a member of the seminal Cuban rumba ensemble Yoruba Andabo, he continued the work of the legendary percussionist Pancho Quinto in creating a new definition of traditional Cuban rumba.
Román Díaz left Cuba in 1999 to come to New York City. Since then he has been featured alongside Orlando “Puntilla” Rios in the critically acclaimed documentary Calle 54, and in ‘Dame La Mano’ the film that documents the life and times of Union City’s Esquina Habanera, the Grammy-nominated rumba ensemble Raíces Habanera and their followers.
His mastery of the batá drum is present on countless recordings along with his rock solid groove on congas. He has always been sought after for his artistic sensibility, charisma and signature sound. As a producer, he has brought together some of the finest interpreters of Rumba from the island as documented on the CD, Wemilere. In the U.S., Diaz has collaborated with many musicians including the New Orleans jazz great Donald Harrison, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Paquito D’Rivera, Juan-Carlos Formell, Oriando “Puntilla” Rios and AfroHORN.