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Angá

  • about Angá

    With his explosive soloing and inventive five conga patterns, Miguel "Angá" Díaz (1961–2006) was widely regarded as one of the world's great congueros. He was committed to the development of the conga drum, breaking down traditional percussion barriers to perform traditional Latin rhythms, jazz, jungle, and hip-hop, while retaining his distinctly Cuban roots.

    Angá began playing prodigiously early, performing and recording professionally while still in college. He made his name as part of the pioneering Latin jazz group Irakere, and it was with them that he perfected his five drum technique. Emerging in the mid-90s as an independent musician, Angá was free to diversify and pursue a variety of different projects: from the experimental jazz of Steve Coleman and Roy Hargrove, to hip-hop with Orishas, to his tours with Omar Sosa, and numerous side projects with musicians from all over the globe, Angá's musical journey was a personal quest to explore and create new sounds and rhythmic fusions.

    More than just a performer, Angá further demonstrated his commitment to the development of his instrument by teaching master classes at various schools and universities across North America and Europe. He produced a tuition video in 2000 that explained many of his techniques and his philosophy behind playing; it won Percussion Video of the Year from Drum magazine. Angá would continue to teach on a regular basis and built up a network of students from his base outside of Barcelona.

    Angá's first project with World Circuit / Nonesuch was the influential 1997 Afro-Cuban All Stars album, A Toda Cuba Le Gusta, which showcased the depth and vitality within Cuban music. Angá became an integral part of the extended Buena Vista family adding his trademark sound to albums from Rubén González, Ibrahim Ferrer, Omara Portuondo, Guajiro Mirabal, and the second Afro-Cuban All Stars record, Distinto, Diferente. Angá's own musical vision would emerge with the release of the album Cachaíto, a union of Afro-Cuban jazz, reggae, hip-hop, and funk, which he recorded with the Cuban bass legend Cachaíto López. Building from the foundations laid by Cachaíto's record, and incorporating elements of his own Santeria religion, Angá would finally fulfill his dream in 2005 with the UK release (followed in February 2006 with its US release) of his critically acclaimed album Echu Mingua, a fusion of styles blended together the "Cuban way"—a fitting testament to the career of one of the great musical innovators.

    Quite unexpectedly, "Angá" passed away on August 9, 2006, after suffering a heart attack at his home in San Sadurni d'Anoia, a small town east of Barcelona. He was 45.

on May 29, 2008 - 7:06pm

With his explosive soloing and inventive five conga patterns, Miguel "Angá" Díaz (1961–2006) was widely regarded as one of the world's great congueros. He was committed to the development of the conga drum, breaking down traditional percussion barriers to perform traditional Latin rhythms, jazz, jungle, and hip-hop, while retaining his distinctly Cuban roots.

Angá began playing prodigiously early, performing and recording professionally while still in college. He made his name as part of the pioneering Latin jazz group Irakere, and it was with them that he perfected his five drum technique. Emerging in the mid-90s as an independent musician, Angá was free to diversify and pursue a variety of different projects: from the experimental jazz of Steve Coleman and Roy Hargrove, to hip-hop with Orishas, to his tours with Omar Sosa, and numerous side projects with musicians from all over the globe, Angá's musical journey was a personal quest to explore and create new sounds and rhythmic fusions.

More than just a performer, Angá further demonstrated his commitment to the development of his instrument by teaching master classes at various schools and universities across North America and Europe. He produced a tuition video in 2000 that explained many of his techniques and his philosophy behind playing; it won Percussion Video of the Year from Drum magazine. Angá would continue to teach on a regular basis and built up a network of students from his base outside of Barcelona.

Angá's first project with World Circuit / Nonesuch was the influential 1997 Afro-Cuban All Stars album, A Toda Cuba Le Gusta, which showcased the depth and vitality within Cuban music. Angá became an integral part of the extended Buena Vista family adding his trademark sound to albums from Rubén González, Ibrahim Ferrer, Omara Portuondo, Guajiro Mirabal, and the second Afro-Cuban All Stars record, Distinto, Diferente. Angá's own musical vision would emerge with the release of the album Cachaíto, a union of Afro-Cuban jazz, reggae, hip-hop, and funk, which he recorded with the Cuban bass legend Cachaíto López. Building from the foundations laid by Cachaíto's record, and incorporating elements of his own Santeria religion, Angá would finally fulfill his dream in 2005 with the UK release (followed in February 2006 with its US release) of his critically acclaimed album Echu Mingua, a fusion of styles blended together the "Cuban way"—a fitting testament to the career of one of the great musical innovators.

Quite unexpectedly, "Angá" passed away on August 9, 2006, after suffering a heart attack at his home in San Sadurni d'Anoia, a small town east of Barcelona. He was 45.

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