Afro Latin Percussion Collective

Instruments

Congas

Also known as tumbadora, is a tall, narrow, single-headed drum from Cuba. Congas are staved like barrels and classified into three types: quinto (lead drum, highest), tres dos or tres golpes (middle), and tumba or salidor (lowest). Congas were originally used in Afro-Cuban music genres such as conga (hence their name) and rumba, where each drummer would play a single drum.

Timbales

Or pailas are shallow single-headed drums with metal casing. They are shallower than single-headed tom-toms, and usually tuned much higher, especially for their size. The player (called a timbalero) uses a variety of stick strokes, rim shots, and rolls to produce a wide range of percussive expression during solos and at transitional sections of music, and usually plays the shells of the drum or auxiliary percussion such as a cowbell or cymbal to keep time in other parts of the song.

Bongos

Are an Afro-Cubanpercussion instrument consisting of a pair of small open bottomed drums of different sizes. In Spanish the larger drum is called the hembra (female) and the smaller the macho (male). Together with the conga or tumbadora, and to a lesser extent the batá drum, bongos are the most widespread Cuban hand drums, being commonly played in genres such as son cubano, salsa and Afro-Cuban jazz. A bongo drummer is known as a bongosero.

Claves

Are a percussion instrument consisting of a pair of short, wooden sticks about 20-25 centimeters (8-10 inches) long and about 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) in diameter. Although traditionally made out of wood (typically rosewood, ebony or grenadilla) many modern manufacturers, such as Latin Percussion, offer claves made out of fiberglass or plastic.

Guiro

Is a Latin American percussion instrument consisting of an open-ended, hollow gourd with parallel notches cut in one side. It is played by rubbing a stick or tines (see photo) along the notches to produce a ratchet sound.

The güiro is commonly used in Puerto Rican, Cuban and other forms of Latin American music, and plays a key role in the typical rhythm section of important genres like son, trova and salsa. 

Maracas

Sometimes called rumba shaker or chac-chac, is a rattle which appears in many genres of Caribbean and Latin music. It is shaken by a handle and usually played as part of a pair.

Maracas, also known as tamaracas, were rattles of divination, an oracle of the Brazilian Tupinamba Indians, found also with other Indian tribes, such as the Guarani, Orinoco and in Florida. Rattles made from Lagenaria gourds are being shaken by the natural grip, while the round Crescentia calabash fruits are fitted to a handle.