Masters of Rhythm:  the Afro-Peruvian Way

Masters of Rhythm: the Afro-Peruvian Way

"...a rare and delightful glimpse. The film...capture[s] the artistry, love, and philosophy...."
John Santos (seven times Grammy nominee; US Artists Fontanals Fellow)
"...an intimate portrait of the master practitioners of the rhythmic music central to Afro-Peruvian heritage. Highly recommended."
Video Librarian (C. Block)

This documentary, shot in Peru, features three fantastic and charismatic percussionists from the Afro-Peruvian community who jam, 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.

Masters of Rhythm:  the Afro-Peruvian Way

6 Videos

  • Lalo Izquierdo Explains Afro-Peruvian Talking Drums

    As we saw in the full documentary, the cajón was used as a means of communication in the days of slavery between the communities of escaped slaves and their brothers and sisters who had not been able to escape. This mirrors the "talking drums" found in many regions of Africa.

    Izquierdo expl...

  • More about zapateo

    LATER

  • Juan de Dios Soto cooks "carapulcra"

    "Carapulcra" is a signature Afro-Peruvian dish. In the countryside, in towns that are largely Afro-Peruvian, it is often eaten with "sopa seca," another typically Afro-Peruvian dish.

    The base is potatoes - dried potatoes if you are from Lima, regular potatoes if you are from the countryside. ...

  • la Valentina-dance filmed in Peru

    Filmed in Peru, this dance (called "la Valentina") is the subject of some confusion. Is it Afro-Peruvian or Afro-Caribbean? We give you just the dance here because it's so much fun to watch. To find out about it and resolve the confusion, watch the version with narration.

  • la Valentina-dance with narration

    For those of you interested in how a tradition can be confused, or for those of you who are interested in how world dance develops in the modern world, we offer you this dance with an explanation. The man who explained it to us, Lalo Izquierdo, is an Afro-Peruvian dancer, choreographer, percussi...

  • Masters of Rhythm: the Afro-Peruvian Way

    "...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. Me...