Bongo drums are arguably one of the most recognized percussion instruments! They are popular drums because of their history, their techniques and their use in popular culture!
Historically, bongo drums originated in Africa somewhere around 1800's. During this period, tribes communicated with each other using rhythm and beats of the drums! The drums were played in ceremonies, rituals, tribal wars etc. The simple fact that this is part of their ancestral history makes this an important piece of percussion instrument not only in this region but for all Africans around the world! When the African migrated to Cuba, they carried the drum culture with them! When son genre of music was introduced to Havana, bongo drums became really popular as they were used in Salsa, Latin and other Cuban based dance forms! Thus, the rich histories of bongo drums make it an invaluable percussion instrument!
The technique in bongo drums makes it very easy to assimilate in any genre of music. The drums consist of a larger drum called hembra (female) and smaller drum macho (male), the sound and beats of which creates a variety of unique pulses. It is an easy play along instrument that can be used along with congas and timbles. This is especially useful for a band during a drum jam or drum circle! A bongecero or someone who has mastered the instrument can easily work with rhythm and beats to play along with this instrument. This instrument is also used in art compositions when struck with drumsticks. This makes it an invaluable asset to opening ceremonies for arts, craft and photography events!
Lastly, this instrument has been used in a variety of movies in popular culture! Famous players include Manny Ocquando who many tropical and Latin music ensembles like Carlos Valero, Luis del Campo and Tito puenta, an American Salsa musician and Latin jazz composer who was credited as "The King of Latin music". He later on joined the Grammy award winning pianist and band leader Eddie...