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The Tradition of Afro-Cuban Drumming is Alive and Well in San Diego


Aired 4/19/09

(Photo: Victor Tapia (left) and Paul Lopez perform in studio, Josette Herdell/KPBS)

Maureen Cavanaugh (Guest Host): Many of us will remember the image of Desi Arnez playing the Conga drums on the popular ‘50s sitcom “I Love Lucy.” What might not have been apparent from those episodes is how much technique is really involved in conga drumming.

Rumba Nights takes place every Wednesday throughout the month of August at The Voz Alta Project space on Broadway in downtown San Diego. Performances begin at 8 p.m. 


  • Victor Tapia, percussionist and singer who began studying West African drumming 10 years ago. He plays with the B-Side Players and currently teaches Afro Cuban music at King Chavez elementary.
  • Paul Lopez, percussionist who has also been playing for 10 years. He's performed with Agua Dulce, Bill Caballero's quintet.

(Photo: Victor Tapia and Paul Lopez drumming in studio, Josette Herdell/KPBS )

(Photo: Victor Tapia and Paul Lopez singing and playing the gourds, Josette Herdell/KPBS )

(Photo: The drummers' hands fast at work, Josette Herdell/KPBS )

(Photo: Victor Tapia drumming in studio, Josette Herdell/KPBS )

(Photo: Paul Lopez drumming in studio, Josette Herdell/KPBS )

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