On Sundays and holidays in Montevideo there occurs
a rhythmic 'dialogue' between drums, beckoning to the populace to
join in a great celebration known as 'Llamada' ('The Call'). At
some street corners of the old black neighborhoods groups of people
known as 'Cuerdas de Tambores' (Drum Corps) light fires to heat-tune
their drumskins, then march to the sound of the drums along the
streets of the city to a meeting point.
A drum corps is composed of from three to more than eighty drummers,
playing on the traditional Chico, Repique and Piano drums.
As they wind along Montevideo's narrow streets, their contagious
rhythm calls on the neighbors to join the march.
Influences of the Candombe Rhythm
Distinguished Uruguayan musicians throughout the
years have included this traditional rhythm in their music, among
them Romeo Gavioli, Lágrima Rios, Pedro Ferreira, Alfredo
Zitarrosa, José Carbajal 'El Sabalero', Eduardo Mateo, Jorginho
Gularte, Hugo Fattorusso, Ruben Rada, Jaime Roos, and Jorge Drexler.
During the '60s the Candombe became a driving force in the development
of Uruguayan popular music, combining with practically all musical
trends and styles, such as folk music, rock music, jazz and pop
Candombe today is regarded as the traditional rhythm of the Afro-Uruguayan
culture and is a live musical style which is developing and extending
its influence at an increasingly rapid pace.