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Héctor "Tito" Matos of Viento de Agua Discusses Puerto Rican Musical Traditions [Interview Video]
When Héctor "Tito" Matos was a young man, his grandfather gave him a pandereta, the lead drum and characteristic instrument of the traditional Puerto Rican plena. Matos quickly became known as a uniquely talented and innovative player of the requinto, the smallest pandereta and the one responsible for the constant rhythmic improvisation that lends dynamic energy to the music. Here, he discusses how he and his bands keep Puerto Rican musical traditions alive and popular in the community without big record labels or radio play. 'Viento de Agua Unplugged: Materia Prima' is available on CD and digital. Stream/download/purchase: Smithsonian Folkways: Spotify: The bomba and plena heard on this recording are the materia prima (raw material) of today's two most African Puerto Rican musical traditions. When its dynamic leader Tito Matos created the group Viento de Agua ("Wind of Water"), he vowed to keep alive the "streetcorner sound" of the plena, music rooted in the lives of ordinary people. Viento de Agua Unplugged plays the stripped-down, straight-ahead version of his music, foregrounding its essence—the sound of unbridled percussion, underscoring lyrics that proclaim local topics. In these performances by veterans of bomba and plena, Tito proves his claim that "There is no way to create if you don't have the roots." Héctor Matos Facebook: Instagram: Smithsonian Folkways: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: The content and comments posted here are subject to the Smithsonian Institution copyright and privacy policy ( Smithsonian reserves the right in its sole discretion to remove any content at any time.
Video Duration:
1 min 13 sec
YouTube Keywords:
music folk "Woody Guthrie" "Pete Seeger" Smithsonian Folkways old-time non-profit
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