Cuban culture loses one of its icons, Giovani Del Pino of Yoruba Andabo


La cultura cubana pierde a uno de sus íconos!

It is with a  heavy heart that Yoruba Andabo announces the following:


Geovani Del Pino has passed away, Director of the legendary Company, Yoruba  Andabo.
Singer, percussionist, composer, music producer, arranger and director-founder of the Yoruba Company Andabo
For over 50 years he cultivated the various genres of Afro-Cuban culture. Under his outstanding leadership, Yoruba Andabo has managed to spread their art in important cultural spaces in America and Europe, and create a significant and multi-award winning discography. He has given lectures and master classes at universities and cultural centers.
Yoruba Andabo has its genesis in the docks of Havana Harbor in 1961, when a group of workers met at parties and union artistic events. They gave rise to Guaguancó Maritime Port, whole, in 1985, began professional work with the Yoruba Andabo name.
From that moment, he offered his art in various activities of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC), worked with the record label EGREM, initiated by the composer and singer Pablo Milanes, and shared the stage with folk singer Merceditas Valdes.
Currently, the company is made up 15 of artists, including singers, percussionists and dancers. The cast has  grown and performed  dissimilar musical genres that make up the African roots of Cuban culture and including the Congo, Yoruba, Abakuá and called the Rumba, with its traditional rhythms, especially the yambú, guaguancó and columbia cycles. They also include elements of fusion with other musical genres, creating contemporary sounds and voices.
The Yoruba Andabo discography exceeds twenty titles, many of which have won awards nationally and internationally.
They have won a Juno Award, the Canadian equivalent of the American Grammy Award, nominations from the Academy of Music of Spain and a shared award  and two Latin Grammy nominations. In the past, at Cubadisco, won the award for best album of Afro-Cuban music.
The Art of Yoruba Andabo has been appreciated by the demanding public at relevant theaters and places of Canada, USA, Brazil, Caribbean, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Mexico, Spain, Geneva, Paris, London and Carnegie Hall, New York city.
Cuban culture loses one of its icons.





The Origins of Cuban music and its Cultural and Spiritual Importance Within the Cuban Diaspora Community – Student Pulse

Source: The Origins of Cuban Music and its Cultural and Spiritual Importance Within the Cuban Diaspora Community – Student Pulse

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This paper explores how the Cuban Diaspora has formed connections and forged a new identity around music, meanwhile reinforcing the resiliency, adaptability, creativity and autonomy of the Cuban people in the midst of crisis and uncertainty. Arts and culture are not just forms of entertainment, but messengers and affirmations of culture and spirituality. These are all manifestations of a collective identity, which becomes personal. Popular music acts as a conduit that people filter their own experiences through. Throughout Cuban history, patterns of travel and emigration have molded the identity of the people and defined generations (Gleason 113).


Back in Havana, as the man says “Chilling!” Thank you Caracas!

#YoSoy YorubaAndabo #YoSoyCuripaya #YoSoyCubano

#YoSoy YorubaAndabo #YoSoyCuripaya #YoSoyCubano

We went to Caracas, renewed and made new friendships, chanted and performed for our fans and supporters! The proof….!!!

A great big thank you to our fans and supporters who made this possible!


YORUBA ANDABO arrived in Caracas! YORUBA ANDABO llegó a Caracas!

Eventos PosterYorubaAndabo_PBEventos alba_cultural_americabanne-todos1

YORUBA ANDABO llegó a  Caracas (6 al 8 de noviembre)


Viernes 6/ VENETUR/Salón Anauco

Sábado 7/VENETUR/Salón Bicentenario

Domingo 8 /Teatro La Caridad

Producción PB Eventos/ Fondo Cultural del ALBA

YORUBA ANDABO arrived in Caracas (6 to 8 November)

Friday 6 / VENETUR / Lounge Anauco

Saturday 7 / VENETUR / Lounge Bicentennial

Sunday 8 / Teatro La Caridad

Production Events PB / ALBA Cultural Fund




Salón Anauco/VENETUR

Viernes 6 de noviembre, 10pm

Producción Fiver Star y PB Eventos



Hall Anauco / VENETUR

Friday, November 6, 10pm

Fiver Star and PB Eventos Productions




Salón Bicentenario/VENETUR

Sábado 7 de noviembre, 6pm

Producción PB Eventos


Afro-Cuban music and dance

Bicentennial Hall / VENETUR

Saturday, November 7, 6pm

PB Eventos Productions




Teatro Alameda

Domingo 3pm

Producción PB Eventos


Afro-Cuban music and dance

Alameda Theatre

Sunday 3pm

PB Eventos Productions




Teatro Alameda

Domingo 8pm

Producción PB Eventos



Alameda Theatre

Sunday 8pm

PB Eventos Productions



Final Avenida Lecuona.  Complejo Parque Central. Edificio Anauco.  Caracas 1010-A

Telf +58 212 573 4111

Comercial +58 212 573 7724


Final Avenida Lecuona. Central Park complex. Anauco building. Caracas 1010-A

Tel +58 212 573 4111

Commercial +58 212 573 7724

Historical tour of Yoruba Andabo in the U.S.A postponed to January 2016

PosterYAScreenshot 2015-11-01 23.49.31Screenshot 2015-11-01 23.49.11

Yoruba Andabo wishes to apologize to all its friends and public in the United States for postponing the tour scheduled for this November, for reasons beyond the control of the company, the involved institutions, and the organizers and promoters; The Yoruba Cuba Association, The Adinkra Group, and The Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation.

A delay in the processing of our visas prevented us from bringing the best of our art to you. We regret any inconvenience caused.

All of the involved parties are working very hard to schedule the presentations and workshops for January 2016 and to fulfill our commitment established with the people of the United States.

We are very grateful for your understanding and never ending support, and we await you without fail in January.

Respectfully yours

Geovanni Del Pino – General Director

Jose Luis Lobato – Manager and Producer


Yoruba Andabo desea pedir disculpas a todos sus amigos y público en los Estados Unidos para posponer la gira prevista para este mes de noviembre, por razones ajenas a la voluntad de la empresa, las instituciones involucradas, y los organizadores y promotores; La Asociación Yoruba Cuba, El Grupo Adinkra y La Fundación Cultural Arts Asase Yaa.

Un retraso en la tramitación de los visados nos impidió traer lo mejor de nuestro arte para usted. Lamentamos cualquier inconveniente causado.

Todas las partes involucradas están trabajando muy duro para programar las presentaciones y talleres para enero de 2016 y para cumplir con nuestro compromiso establecido con el pueblo de los Estados Unidos.

Estamos muy agradecidos por su comprensión y apoyo sin fin, y les esperamos sin falta en enero.

Respetuosamente tuyo

Geovanni Del Pino – Director General

José Luis Lobato – Director y Productor

Yoruba Andabo en el Teatro Artime en Miami! Corre la noticia!


Courtesy of Prensa Latina

Founded in 1961, Yoruba Andabo enjoys a special rapport on and off the island, as is a true example of authenticity and versatility to take on folk and popular traditions, from the great diversity of Cuban culture.

With a hallmark, the cast grown dissimilar genres that make up the African roots on the island as the Congo, Yoruba, Abakuá and called Rumba complex, with its traditional rhythms, especially yambú cycles, guaguancó and columbia, creating contemporary sounds and voices.

The spirit of Santerí­a dances on: Courtesy of and by Tony Montague

The spirit of Santerí­a dances on
by Tony Montague

When members of Yoruba Andabo perform the rumba gua ­guanc, you can expect feathers to fly. The ritualistic Afro-Cuban dance represents the courtship of a rooster and a hen. To intricate drum rhythms and call-and-response chants, the male performer attempts to catch his partner off guard touching her crotch with the flick of a handkerchief or thrusting his limbs and pelvis at her provocatively while the female symbolically protects herself with hand or skirt.

Yoruba Andabo Promocion Venezuela verano 2015posterWebEnglish (2)
“The guaguanc is the most popular form of rumba, which was created in the ports of Matanzas and Havana, where most of us come from,” says Matí­as Geovani del Pino Rodrí­guez, singer, director, and cofounder of the 15-piece Yoruba Andabo ensemble. “It has always been an important part of what we do. The company started out in 1961 as Guaguanc Marí­timo Portuario a group of dockworkers who got together to perform at a labour festival.

“But our interest was not only in rumba,” continues Rodrí­guez. “We wanted to celebrate all aspects of our Afro-Cuban heritage, which is rich and complex. When the slaves were shipped across the Atlantic, all they took with them was their music, their dance, and their religious beliefs. They maintained these traditions through centuries of repression by concealing their activities, often in ingenious ways. Since the [1959 Cuban] revolution, Afro-Cuban culture has come out in the open, and is now experiencing a major revival.”


At the heart of the mesmerizing spectacle that Yoruba Andabo  presents is the dance and music of Santerí­a, a religion rooted in West Africa, and among the Yoruba people of Nigeria in particular. Its initiates venerate orishas (or santos), spirits similar to the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece. In Cuba, the slaves fused these orishas with Catholic saints, in whose name and image they could be worshipped. Sometimes genders were crossed: Chang & the orisha of manhood, fire, thunder, and lightning was equated with St. Barbara, probably because, like hers, his emblematic colours are red and white.

“All of the orishas have their own colour, dress, and symbols as well as their own ritual dance, chant, and toqué [rhythm],” Rodrí­guez explains. “We present the most important deities: Elegguá, Oggún, Ochún, Yemayá, Babalú, Chang, and Obbatalá. The dancers perform solo, and express the particular qualities of each orisha. Their movements are based on tradition, though these are not precisely choreographed the dancer follows the rhythms played by the drummers, who in turn follow the chant of the leader and chorus.”

The company Yoruba Andabo has a long-standing link with the arts scene in Canada. In 1993, it earned a Juno for contributing to jazz saxophonist Jane Bunnett’s Spirits of Havana.

“We are travelling all over the world, and keeping our Afro-Cuban arts and culture alive,” says Rodrí­guez. “This is why we are called Yoruba Andabo, because in the Carabalí­ language [of Nigeria], andabo means ‘a friend or admirer,’ and we are all friends and loyal followers of the Yoruban religion. It sustains us, just as it sustained our ancestors.”

Rumba group Yoruba Andabo celebrates 30 years with new release in 2015 -COURTESY by: Rafael Lim

Friday, 20 March 201

Rumba group Yoruba Andabo celebrates 30 years with new release in 2015

by: Rafael Lim


Yoruba AndaboYoruba Andabo

Rumba, which was born long ago in slave barracks, cane field settlements and urban tenements, is heard today in the world’s most prestigious venues, such as New York City’s Carnegie Hall.

Rumba does not go out of style and the Cuban genre is now experiencing its greatest popularity, an explosion no less surprising than the group Yoruba Andabo.

Yoruba Andabo was featured as a special guest on the discs La rumba soy yo (2001 Latin Grammy) and Tremenda rumba, by Maracas y Nueva Visión, nominated for a Grammy in 2003

Many of the group’s tracks have made the hit parade charts of Cuban radio, not to mention Cuban stages, especially La gozadera, with the powerful earthy voice of lead singer, or akpwón, Ronald González, backed up in the choruses by Jorge Luis Hernández.

Yoruba Andabo holds a peña (a short, informal concert) every Sunday at the Galiano Casa de la Música, whiich is always filled to capacity, well before it begins at 5:00 pm. Group leader Geovani del Pino has attracted rumba as well as salsa lovers, and is now preparing a Saturday afternoon peña at the Las Vegas cabaret.

“It’s like a fever,” an international visitor tells me, “The fury for rumba in Cuba is amazing.” A great number of tourists are intent upon seeing a performance of the genre, considering it a kind of musical reflection of the country.


Traditional or folkloric music has often been viewed as “museum” music, reserved for specific events, but visitors want to know Cuba’s most authentic, original music.

Yoruba Andabo’s producer tells me that the Cuban label Bis Music will release the groups new disc, Cántalo y báilalo como yo, while Del Pino recalls that the group made a huge splash at New York City’s music mecca, Carnegie Hall, November 30, 2012.

Tickets were selling for $300, three months before the concert, which was the first by a Cuban rumba group at such a prestigious venue, and the spectacle was expected to be of the highest level.

“We performed Yoruba music and rumba. We prepared the “Orishas de la rumba” segment, in which we performed batá with Iyesá. We included Guaguancó, Columbia, Yambú and Conga. As a special we offered a rumba version of El necio by the singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez who had sung this song at the Manhattan theater.”

Yoruba Andabo arrived at Carnegie Hall as part of the Festival of Latin American Voices, along with Cuban musicians Chucho Valdés, Aldo López Gavilán and Dayami González.

The group recently performed in London’s Barbican Centre, during the Nations Dance/ Cuba50 Festival, in which the renowned Cuban bands Orquestra Aragón and Los Van Van also participated.

Yoruba is the name of an extensive area in West Africa, and Andabo, in the Carabalí language means friend, follower or admirer, reflecting the rumberos aspiration to be something like the followers of Yoruba culture.

The group was born on the docks of Havana Bay in 1961, when a group of workers got together to create the Maritime Port Guaguancó. In 1985, they took the name Yoruba Andabo and began their professional work performing during the Peña del Ambia (Eloy Machado) at the Union of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC).

Yoruba Andabo Promocion Venezuela verano 2015

Yoruba Andabo Promocion Venezuela verano 2015

Ten years later, during the height of the Cuban salsa boom, they became the Yoruba Andabo Folkloric Company, composed of 17 singers, percussionists and dancers. They cultivated different genres of rumba, both secular and religious, with a rich, broad repertory including a Congo cycle, a broader Yoruba and Abakuá one, as well as rumba based on the most traditional rhythms such as Bambú, Guaguancó and Columbia.

Its music is enriched with carefully studied and executed choreographies, which incorporate Cuba’s longstanding Carnival conga tradition.

Yoruba Andabo has performed across the country and around the world, at renowned venues such as Colombia’s Teatro Colón; Harbourfront Centre in Toronto; and Aaron David Hall in New York; and has shared the stage with Tata Güines, Pablo Milanés, the Buena Vista Social Club, Chucho Valdés, Joe Arroyo, Lázaro Ross, Gonzalito Rubalcaba, Grupo Olodum, Niche, Diablos Danzantes de Oaxaca, Maracas, Celeste Mendoza and Cuba’s National Symphony Orchestra.
Yoruba Andabo was featured as a special guest on the discs La rumba soy yo (2001 Latin Grammy) and Tremenda rumba, by Maracas y Nueva Visión, nominated for a Grammy in 2003.

In 2006, the group received two nominations from the Academy of Traditional Music, in the Best Album and Best Audiovisual categories, for its CD-DVD Rumba en La Habana… con Yoruba Andabo, which was also nominated for Cubadisco 2006 awards.

This year, the group is making plans to celebrate its 30th anniversary, September 24, looking to a bright future for rumba which was declared a component of Cuba’s Intangible National Heritage in 2012, and continues to influence a variety of other genres including salsa and timba.

Link to original article here

Read review and buy CD Yoruba Andabo: El Callejon de los Rumberos here

Buy DVD Rumba en la Habana con Yoruba Andabo here

Buy CD La Rumba Soy Yo here

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The meaning of Yoruba Andabo (Courtesy of

artistyorubaFrom Ayva Musica

This name is nothing more than the conjugation of two words from African dialects. Yoruba is the name given to an extensive territory in southern Africa, inhabited by several nations and consequently their cultures. The word Andabo, in Carabalí language, means: friend, follower, admirer. Therefore, “Yoruba Andabo”, seeks to be something like “the friends, the admirers and followers of the yoruba lands and their cultures.”

This group had its genesis in the Havana Docks where, in 1961, a group of workers met and created what was known then as “Guaguancó Marítimo Portuario.” When they became professional, the group was re-baptized “YORUBA ANDABO” when, in 1986, they started working in a series of activities for and with the Union of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC). These activities were organized by Cuban poet Eloy “The Ambia” Machado, who put the group in contact with singer and composer Pablo Milanés, who invited them to participate in the celebrations for the 25th Anniversary of the record company EGREM. From that moment on they started carrying out important work with folk singer Merceditas Valdés. In 1994, as they stepped into a new working stage, they adopted the name Folkloric Company YORUBA ANDABO.

The company is made up of seventeen artists, including singers, percussionists and dancers, and professionally performs the most important genres of both religious and profane music within the Africans roots of Cuban culture. This work includes:

• Congo Cycle where they do the three types of Palo, Makuta and Yuca singing, with instruments such as the Mula, Cachimbo and Caja drums, including the use of the Catá and the Aggogo.

• Yoruba Cycle ranging from singings and prayers, working with the Bata drums orchestra and the Chequeré, to the profane type of “Bembé” or “Güiro”, all of them with the Oricha dances such as: Elegguá, Oggún, Obbatalá, Yemayá, Babalú, Changó and Oyá.

• Abakuá Cycle including the liturgical singing and prayers, with the complex execution of the Tankomo drums and the colorful dances of the Iremes or “little devils”, symbolizing the spirit of the dead.

• The Rumba Cycle with this cycle YORUBA ANDABO specializes in rescuing the traditional rhythms as the Yambú, the Guaguancó, and the Columbia, performing them with the original instruments.

The company also offers workshops and seminars on Folkloric Percussion, Folk Dances and singing, Popular Percussion and Popular Dances. These educational activities are carried out by well known specialists who are members of our staff.
YORUBA ANDABO has performed on important national and international stages, such as the Mella, Karl Marx, América, Amadeo Roldán and Nacional Theaters; and the Tropicana, Capri, Parisién and Copa Room Night Clubs in Cuba, the Colón Theater in Colombia, the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, ad the Aaron David Hall in New York City; they have participated in such important events as the Rumba Festivals, The Percussion Festivals (PERCUBA) and Golden Boleros in the island, the World of Music and Dance (WOMAD) in Canada, The International Arts Festival of Costa Rica, and the 15th Annual Expression International Festival in the United States, in the Tajin Summit 2001 Festival in Veracruz and in the 8th International Afro Caribbean Festival. They have also shared stages with personalities as Tata Güines, Pablo Milanés, Puntillita, Joe Arroyo, Celeste Mendoza, National Symphonic Orchestra conducted by Leo Brower, Lázaro Ros, Gonzalito Rubalcava and the Niche Band, Olodum Group, Oaxaca´s Dancing Devils, among others. Yoruba Andabo won the Latin Grammy Award in 2001, in the Folkloric Music Category, for its participation in the CD “La Rumba Soy Yo”, and was finalist at Latin Grammy Award in 2006, in the Folkloric Music Category, for its participation in the CD “Rumba en La Habana con…”


Yoruba Andabo en el Alameda

From the Venezuelan newspaper “Today Venezuela”



A photo posted by juan carlos (@jcarlos332) on May 19, 2015 at 10:18am PDT

The spirit of the rumba is the name of the show today at 5:00 pm, will present the Cuban group Yoruba Andabo in the Alameda Theater, located in the parish of St. Augustine.

This will be the third concert offered by the group, since his arrival in Venezuela last July 23 for the second time this year. The first of the presentations was in the state Yaracuy, where they released to the Venezuelan people, a rumba-time version of the song popularized by Ruben Blades, Maria Lionza.

The second presentation took place in the mountains of Sorte, there they sang the theme that will be contained in the next album from this company born 30 years ago to the goddess. “It was a very beautiful thing in the magic and atmosphere that was created who welcomed us and explained that this (Maria Lionza) is a representation of one of the goddesses of Afro-Cuban mythology, the goddess Oshun,” said manager Company and producer Jose Lobato, in an interview with CCS City.

About his upcoming show at the Alameda Theatre, Lobato said the entire group is very excited and with great expectations after a tour of the parish of St. Augustine.

“There is a wonderful atmosphere, the audience knows the work of Yoruba Andabo long and joyfully await us,” he said.

Within the repertoire will present the items on his latest album, also titled The Spirit of the rumba and “one box with the Yoruba Orishas African Pantheon”, the Congo and Abacuá.

The manager also said on Sunday presented his show, this time in the Juan Bautista Plaza Room of the National Library at 2:00 pm.

Andabo Yoruba consists of six musicians, five percussionists and two dancing couples onstage ranging from 19 to 77 years old, spreading the congo beats, Abacuá and rumba, with the dances that make up the Cuban popular expressions.

In this regard, he said Lobato defend their culture is one of the most important work they do as a group. “The defense of the identity of the Americas by promoting respect for indigenous values, does not mean they are static, in contrast, continue to evolve with new rhythms, with a new approach, but always letting us know where we come” , he said.

Yoruba Andabo has presented its show at important venues in countries like France, the United States, among others.

Ciudad CCS