U.S. Embassy Montevideo - Archives
EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
ESPAŅOL

Living Colour musician Will Calhoun visits Uruguay to study candombe

Calhoun admires the unique Afro-uruguayan rhythm for its blend of many African cultures

Posted: February 9, 2005 Related item: African American History Month 2005      

Will Calhoun in Montevideo. [U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi]Renowned percussionist Will Calhoun was in Montevideo last week to attend the "Llamadas" parade, which features the sounds and images of candombe, a unique Afro-Uruguayan rhythm derived from a multi-ethnic swath of Africa that was culturally quite varied. The rhythm traveled to Uruguay from Africa with black slaves whose culture although repressed by the Spaniards, was maintained through their Tambor or drum.

"My first interest in coming to Uruguay was candombe", states Calhoun, a rhythm that he had heard about from fellow musicians in 1993 while on tour with Living Colour in Argentina, and was able to experience first hand during his visit to Uruguay late last year. It was then that he decided to return to Uruguay to see the "Llamadas".

As part of a program sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Montevideo, Calhoun's visit included a workshop with Uruguayan musicians, a press conference, and a tour accompanied by U.S. Ambassador Martin J. Silverstein, of the African American exhibit Portraits of a New Generation - The Legacy of Martin Luther King now on display at Mundo Afro.

U.S. Ambassador Martin J. Silverstein and percussionist Will Calhoun visit the exhibit Portraits of a New Generation - The Legacy of Martin Luther King, in Montevideo, February 3, 2005. [U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi]

PRESS CONFERENCE
February 3, 2005

MARIO CAYOTA
Municipal Councilman

MIGUEL PEREIRA
Director, Mundo Afro

NESTOR SILVA
Coordinator, Theme Unit for Afro-descendants' Rights

LINDA GONZALEZ
PAO, U.S. Embassy - Montevideo

WILL CALHOUN
Will Calhoun meets U.S. Ambassador Martin J. Silverstein at MUNDO AFRO, February 3, 2005. [U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi]
Will Calhoun meets U.S. Ambassador Martin J. Silverstein at MUNDO AFRO

Will Calhoun, Ambassador Silverstein, and members of MUNDO AFRO tour the Portraits of a New Generation exhibit. [U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi]

Will Calhoun, Ambassador Silverstein, and members of MUNDO AFRO tour the Portraits of a New Generation exhibit. [U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi]
Calhoun, Ambassador Silverstein, and members of MUNDO AFRO tour the
Portraits of a New Generation exhibit

MUNDO AFRO director Miguel Pereira, U.S. Ambassador Martin J. Silverstein, percussionist Will Calhoun, and U.S. Embassy PAO Linda Gonzalez. [U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi]
MUNDO AFRO director Miguel Pereira, U.S. Ambassador Martin J. Silverstein,
percussionist Will Calhoun, and U.S. Embassy PAO Linda Gonzalez

For more information on MUNDO AFRO activities, please visit:
http://webs.demasiado.com/mafro/


TRANSCRIPT
PRESS CONFERENCE
February 3, 2005

WILL CALHOUN: Buenos Días, first I have to say it’s a huge honor for me to be here today.

Es un gran honor para mí estar con todos ustedes hoy.

I'd like to thank my friends Gonzalo and his wife Estela for introducing me to Mundo Afro.

Quiero agradecer a Gonzalo y Estela por haberme presentado a Mundo Afro.

I’d like to thank the Mundo Afro organization, the entire organization for inviting me and taking time to show me how important this building and this institution is for the world.

Quiero agradecer a todas las personas que participan de Mundo Afro y agradecerles por haberme mostrado la importancia que tiene esta institución para todo el mundo.

I’d like to definitely thank the American Embassy and everybody here for inviting me down this morning, this is a huge honor for me to be here, I don’t take this situation lightly, it’s very impressive and it's really an honor for me to be here today.

Quiero agradecer también a la Embajada de los Estados Unidos por haberme invitado por haber posibilitado mi venida aquí también. Es un gran honor para mí, no tomo estas cosas ligeramente, estoy muy impresionado y es realmente y un gran honor para mí estar aquí con todos ustedes esta mañana.

And everyone, thank you for saying those, beautiful things. (laughs)

Muchas gracias a todos por haber dicho todas esas cosas tan hermosas que dijeron anteriormente.

My first interest in coming to Uruguay was candombe.

Mi primer interés al venir al Uruguay era el candombe.

From hearing about this rhythm for maybe 10 years in the States, I finally had an opportunity to come at the end of last year.

Hace 10 años ya que en Estados Unidos yo había escuchado hablar y había escuchado el ritmo del candombe y finalmente, el año pasado tuve la oportunidad de venir aquí a conocerlo personalmente.

This desire to want to learn about this rhythm, lead me into the introduction to Mundo Afro.

Fue mi interés en aprender acerca del ritmo del candombe que llegó a mi presentación y conocimiento del Mundo Afro.

More importantly for me, I was enlightened to find out, to be informed about the Afro-Uruguayan culture in Montevideo.

Y para informarme que fue una cosa extremadamente importante para mí acerca de la cultura afro uruguaya en Montevideo.

I spent maybe the last 16, 17 years traveling the world…

Hace 16 o 17 anos que ya estoy viajando a través del mundo...

It's always amazing to me to find out how similar we are as human beings and how important the history of Africa has on this planet.

Realmente es fascinante ver que similares somos todos a través del mundo en cuanto a seres humanos, y la importancia que ha tenido la historia, la cultura Africana entre todos nosotros.

So, Uruguay for me is another chapter in a big, huge book of discoveries and information that I need to continue to expand on.

Entonces el Uruguay viene a ser otro capitulo en este enorme libro de descubrimientos que estoy llevando a cabo en mi vida.

One of the things I would like to offer is to discuss at some point while I’m here, some kind of arrangement to bring down artists and scientists who can help make a huge contribution not only to Mundo Afro, but also to the education of Uruguayans on the whole, Afro Uruguayans, but also Uruguayans on the whole.

Una de las cosas que me gustaría poder hablar, discutir en este momento o mas adelante, seria ver la manera de que vengan personas que puedan contribuir tanto a la cultura a conocer la cultura y a mecerse a la cultura no solamente de los afro uruguayos sino de la cultura uruguaya en general y formar, forjar algún vinculo para que esto se lleve a cabo.

It's very important for Americans, who in my opinion, who are unaware of how beautiful Uruguay is and how important this culture is, and how connected it is to America to Central America, to different parts of Africa and Australia and so on.

Es muy importante para mí, me parece porque hay mucha gente en mi país en los Estados Unidos que no conocen lo que es la realidad de la riquísima cultura que hay en Uruguay y como está conectada con otras culturas en América, Centro América, varias partes de Africa, Australia, etc.

Most of my colleagues when I returned from my first trip where very, very shocked at the information that I shared with them, that was given to me at Mundo Afro.

Cuando volví de la primera visita muchos de mis colegas realmente quedaron bastante impresionados acerca de la información que había obtenido yo, que se me había dado por parte de mis colegas en Mundo Afro.

So with my experience with meeting everyone here and my experience with my colleagues in America I would like to make a love connection.

Entonces entre las personas que he conocido aquí con mis colegas aquí en Uruguay y los colegas que tengo en Estados Unidos quisiera realmente forjar una conexión de amor entre ambos.

This is something that I feel… for my colleagues to learn, for Americans to learn, and for artists to learn it’s for us to share our information, to share our history. So many things I’ve discovered in the last four months are very connected.

Creo que es muy importante para que mis colegas, mis co-artistas, las personas que trabajan conmigo tanto en Estados Unidos como aquí, que se disemine y se comparta la información de todas las cosas que hemos descubierto en los últimos cuarto meses desde mi ultima visita.

I’m a little bit shy so I don’t want to speak too long but I look forward to very important and prosperous future with Uruguay, not only myself but with Living Color and other very important colleagues of mine to come and share our information to build this institution to really inform people and to help keep the real education attainable for all.

Soy un poco tímido realmente no quiero seguir hablando, pero le quiero dejar la idea de lo importante que es mantener ese vinculo entre nuestras dos culturas para poder promover la educación no solamente entre los afro-descendentes en ambos países sino también entre las poblaciones en general.

And “muchas gracias”, thank you very much.


[U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi]

/ Return to:  Home l Previous page

/
Jump to:  2003  2004  2005  2006  2007  2008  2009  2010  |  Official Website