"...an intimate portrait of the master practitioners of the rhythmic music central to Afro-Peruvian heritage. Highly recommended."
Video Librarian (C. Block)
"...the energy is palpable.... [W]ill leave viewers wanting to see, hear, and know more.... A fine choice."
EMRO (Edu. Media Online) (Barbara J. Waters, Longmont Pub. Lib.)
--closed captions = YES--
This documentary, shot in Peru, features three fantastic and charismatic percussionists from the Afro-Peruvian community who perform, shoot the breeze, and inform us about their music and how they learned it. Short interviews, and shots of Afro-Peruvian towns, add to our understanding of the culture. It is a fascinating part of the African Diaspora!
The three percussionists are Lalo Izquierdo, Cotito (Juan Medrano Cotito), and Huevito (Freddy Huevito Lobatón). All three tour internationally and are very well known in Peru. They are ably accompanied in three of the performance sequences by the equally well-known guitarist, Coco Linares. In addition, singer Leticia Coray Merino adds her fine voice to two of the performances.
The documentary includes an addendum that gives us a glimpse of a rehearsal of the "hatajos de negritos," part of the traditional Afro-Peruvian celebration of Christmas. The extras that are included here provide information about other aspects of the culture: the cuisine, the Afro-Peruvian talking drums, more about zapateo fancy footwork, and a dance whose origin is a mystery to most Afro-Peruvians but which we explain as a means of showing how traditional cultures can be inadvertently modified.
Afro-Peruvians are a little-known but important part of the African Diaspora and this community of African descendants has created a lively and appealing music. It has also contributed several instruments to the word of music, most notably the Peruvian cajón (also called a cajón drum) which has now entered Latin jazz and even Spanish flamenco.
Our documentary focuses on three of the best-known and finest Afro-Peruvian percussionists as they play the cajón, sing, and shoot the breeze: Lalo Izquierdo, Cotito (Juan Medrano Cotito) and Huevito (Freddy Huevito Lobatón), three extremely charismatic musicians. We enjoy their performance and learn from them how they learned their art as well as some of the fascinating aspects of their culture.
The documentary is accompanied by several interesting Extras which add more depth to the educational viewing experience. Together, they provide an hour of video.
And for those interested in statistics: estimates of the size of the Afro-Peruvian community itself range from 50,000 to 2 million. The reason for the lack of precision is because for many decades, there was no category on the national census that allowed them to identify themselves. The 2017 census, however, has attempted to remedy this but it will take some time for the tally to be complete.
THIS VIDEO HAS CLOSED CAPTIONS (ENGLISH).