My passion for the Chekere started back in 1978 when I first heard them being played at a private event. It was like magic had happened to me that moment. I couldn't move. I just stood there listening and watching... everything was beautiful that day, the sun, the outdoors, just perfect. The tones that were coming from the magical Instruments were simple yet complex which formed a balanced poly rhythmic pattern. I tried to listen to all the separate parts, but it was just to hard for my ears at the time.
It would be another year while attending a house party that I would see the Instruments again, but this time I was ready! The beaded instrument originating from the African diaspora by way of Cuba was here in front of my eyes. In front of every one's eyes who was there for this festive event. It was a second chance encounter that I would remember and quite frankly enforce my passion for the Instrument!
I've always thought that some people will have a special calling towards a certain goal or thing in life.... That could be religion, academics, music or anything of individual importance that people pursue. But, the calling for me was the Chekeres. I've never been drawn towards something like this, maybe it's something in the tones! Its a little difficult to explain at times, but it seems all is right when I'm working with them.
In one way or another it can really help you. Maybe it's the creative side balancing it all out! The methodical slow pace of stringing the beads on the gourd can help a person immensely. Sometimes slowing things down in life can do wonders for your health and mind.
Stay tuned for more information!
Jeff Hamilton Trio - "Great American Songs"
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