Joseito Fernández Hernández

Jose (Joseito) Fernández Hernández. Consecrated master Batá drummer, Omo Añá, Olu Bata (Aña Ilú Kan).

Born in Havana Cuba, in a religious family. Joseito is the son of renowned religious master drummer Jose Fernandez Almendariz (Pito El Gago) (RIP, Ibae) and nephew of Sergio Quirós (Sergio El Viejo) one of the few remaining elder master drummers. He was consecrated to the Batá drums (sworn to the drum) by renowned master drummer Pancho Quinto. He has been playing drums for ceremonial purposes for over 40 years with many of the master drummers and singers in the Afro Cuban liturgical traditions of Yoruba descent such as Pancho Quinto, Angel Bolaños, Regino Jimenez, Papo Angarica, Larazo Galarraga and Andres Chacon. He currently plays daily ceremonies with his group of consecrated drummers in Cuba, and runs his private studio with students from all over the world.

About the Session

From Ñongo to Bembé: A connection between two Afro Cuban liturgical drumming styles

Within the Afrocentric liturgy of the Ocha religious practices (also known as Santería) that are performed daily in Cuba, Batá drums play the crucial part of invocators and communicators with African (Yoruba) otherworldly deities. One of the more commonly performed rhythms in the ceremonies is known as Ñongo. Parallel to the role Batá drums play in ceremonies, there are other drumming styles that, when needed, act as a stand-in playing the style known as Bembé/Guiro. This masterclass will showcase various forms of these rhythms, and explain connections between the styles. With this class, we hope to give a deeper understanding of the music, and its context directly from the practitioners.

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