Guest post written by T. J. Masters
The rumba circle is a fantastic example of the community-driven nature inherent, that is to say VITAL to music that the Western world has eschewed, though elements naturally linger (we play in bands, the definition of which also includes “a company of persons… functioning together [q.v. the Dictionary.com iPhone application]).
This is a video of some of Cuba’s best rumba musicians together, on some afternoon or another, “jamming,” for lack of a better word, though a more elaborate description follows: pulsating beats, polyrhythms, intricate layers of activity form a backdrop for the singing of one ancient woman, a deceptively skilled abuela, who, without any sign of discomfort or effort, guides the circle from a small, tight collective towards an explosive climax of dancing, singing, community, and love. A must-see.