Order 3 or more physical items and get 1¢ shipping
Alfredo Calvo | Bata y Bembe de Matanzas: la presentación de un Iyawo de Chango

Go To Artist Page

Recommended if You Like
Afro Cuba de Matanzas Lazaro Ros

Album Links
Kabiosile Nexhit PassAlong QtrNote Tradebit Chondo MusicIsHere PayPlay Apple iTunes Emusic GreatIndieMusic GroupieTunes

More Artists From

Other Genres You Will Love
Latin: Afro-Cuban World: Caribbean Moods: Featuring Drums
There are no items in your wishlist.

Bata y Bembe de Matanzas: la presentación de un Iyawo de Chango

by Alfredo Calvo

Sacred drumming and praise songs for the Orishas (deities), from the Yoruba tradition, recorded in the Cuban Santeria style in Matanzas, Cuba
Genre: Latin: Afro-Cuban
Release Date: 

We'll ship when it's back in stock

Order now and we'll ship when it's back in stock, or enter your email below to be notified when it's back in stock.
Sign up for the CD Baby Newsletter
Your email address will not be sold for any reason.
Continue Shopping
just a few left.
order now!
Share to Google +1

To listen to tracks you will need to update your browser to a recent version.

  Song Share Time Download
1. Echu
Alfredo Calvo y su Bata Oba Tola
1:28 $0.99
2. Elegua
Alfredo Calvo y su Bata Oba Tola
1:44 $0.99
3. Elegua (presentation of the Iyawo)
Alfredo Calvo y su Bata Oba Tola
0:38 $0.99
4. Ogun (presentation of the Iyawo)
Alfredo Calvo y su Bata Oba Tola
1:08 $0.99
5. Ochosi
Alfredo Calvo y su Bata Oba Tola
1:31 $0.99
6. Inle
Alfredo Calvo y su Bata Oba Tola
0:23 $0.99
7. Babaluaye
Alfredo Calvo y su Bata Oba Tola
1:20 $0.99
8. Korinkoto
Alfredo Calvo y su Bata Oba Tola
1:00 $0.99
9. Orishaoko
Alfredo Calvo y su Bata Oba Tola
0:36 $0.99
10. Dada
Alfredo Calvo y su Bata Oba Tola
0:13 $0.99
11. Agayu
Alfredo Calvo y su Bata Oba Tola
6:56 $0.99
12. Obatala
Alfredo Calvo y su Bata Oba Tola
3:52 $0.99
13. Yewa
Alfredo Calvo y su Bata Oba Tola
1:03 $0.99
14. Obba
Alfredo Calvo y su Bata Oba Tola
3:35 $0.99
15. Oya
Alfredo Calvo y su Bata Oba Tola
8:01 $0.99
16. Yemaya
Alfredo Calvo y su Bata Oba Tola
3:28 $0.99
17. Oshun
Alfredo Calvo y su Bata Oba Tola
4:37 $0.99
18. Orula
Alfredo Calvo y su Bata Oba Tola
2:27 $0.99
19. Chango (Aña)
Alfredo Calvo y su Bata Oba Tola
10:05 $1.99
20. Chango (Bembe)
Alberto Punales y su Bembe Makagua
12:58 $1.99
21. Close
Alfredo Calvo y su Bata Oba Tola
0:12 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
This CD offers you a look inside the Santeria traditions as practiced in the home of one of the oldest and most respected Santeros in Matanzas, Cuba: Alfredo Calvo.

The CD includes a full cycle of praise songs to the Orishas, played on the sacred bata drums and sung by Alfredo Calvo. The CD also presents, for the first time, the sacred Lucumi Bembe Macagua, a unique set of drums only heard in Matanzas.

Alfredo Calvo is a priest of Agayu with more than 60 years of Ocha. He is an (if not the) Elder of the Egwado branch of the Santeria religion, of which his godmother, Fermina Gomez (Ocha Bi), is considered the founder. Affectionately known as El Gallo (the Rooster) for his strong, distinctive singing voice, he is one of the most talented and knowledgeable apóns or lead singers in Matanzas.

The CD is structured around the presentation of a newly initiated priest (Iyawo) of Chango, the warrior Orisha of thunder and lightening. In Havana and the United States, such a presentation is a rather cursory affair, but in Matanzas it is the way in which the new priest is presented to the community as well as the drums, and it is an elaborate event.

The priest is dressed in the full satin regalia of his or her Orisha, ceremoniously brought out from his throne to be paraded before the community and then presented to the drums. The community joins in, singing and dancing as the apon (lead singer) and the bata drummers play praise songs to each of the main Orishas.

To see a presentation like this first-hand, please see Kabiosile's DVD "Vamos al Tambor: Presentations in Matanzas, Cuba.”

In addition to the traditional bata drumming and praise songs, this CD also includes a track of never-before-recorded Lucumi Bembe Macagua drums. These drums were originally made as Arara drums, at a sugar mill in Matanzas province called Macagua. Later, a fourth drum was added and the drums were presented to a leading Santero in Matanzas known as Cheo Chango. They became Lucumi drums. But because they were born from Arara drums, they look different from traditional Lucumi bembe drums, and they are played with sticks.

At some drumming celebrations at Alfredo Calvo’s home, he combines the two types of drums (bata and bembe) to increase the power of the drums’ transmission to the Orishas. This innovation is based on what happened when the Cuban slaves were liberated—no matter what African land they came from, they all began playing their drums at the same time to thank God for their liberation.

The CD presents this innovation the way it would sound at an actual drumming celebration. The bata drums are playing and, at a specific point directed by the lead singer, the bembe drums join in. They play together, then switch back and forth, and the CD ends with a 15 minute track of just the bembe drums.


“Fifty years from now this will be considered one of the most important recordings to come out of Matanzas.”
Michael Spiro
Master Drummer

“This amazing new recording is performed by powerful musicians and recorded beautifully…[Alfredo Calvo’s]…mastery of Lucumi praise poetry and raw power shine, and the chorus shines with him. The drumming is phenomenal, embodying the beauty and power of Matanzas bata….If you haven’t experienced this music in person in Matanzas, you have to hear this CD to believe it.”
Mark Corrales

“Beautifully recorded and wonderfully sung by Alfredo Calvo Cano and Alberto Puñales Cabrera, this may be the best recorded document of Bembe as it is performed in Matanzas. Rare material. Highly recommended.”
Bruce Polin

“…[One] of the most invigorating illustrations of Orisha music…to come out of Matanzas since Lydia Cabrera’s and Josefina Tarafa’s 1950s recordings recently released by the Smithsonian Institute.”
Willie Ramos



to write a review


Very Nice
I really like this cd...get the dvd as well. The cd is a collector's item. Orisa worshippers, where ya at? Get the CD!

hakan kaya

It is an amazing recording fom Matanzas.For the first.Ihave discovered some great recordings of the sacred Lucumi Bembe Macaga drums.This will be a great addition ton my Afro-Cuban music collection.Thank you Cdbaby Hakan


Very interesting display of living history.
Kabiosile bata y bembe de matanzas is very interesting to see how the Africans in Cuba were able to keep a very large and important part of the culture intact. The performance was very ritmo Africano. You should also view the dvd of the same name to see it! Remarkable!


awesomely funky singing and drumming en el estilo de Matanzas
Alfredo Calvo was an awesome akpwon. The coro on these tracks is also awesome, the singing is amazingly funky, and, of course, the drumming is very strong. If you like bata (and if you've only heard Havana style), you must hear this CD. Kudos to Tina Gallagher for capturing the best bata performance ever recorded.

Daniel ide

A wonderful ceremony capturing the essence of folkloric music. I play along imagining myself joined in with such passionate expression. My great thanks to Alfredo Calvo and his group for sharing such a gem of music in ritual.