Peru celebrates native percussion instrument, the cajon

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The beats are bumping in downtown Lima, where thousands of Peruvians celebrate the native cajon percussion instrument — and attempt to beat the Guinness world record for largest cajon ensemble.

Peru celebrates native percussion instrument, the cajon

The beats are bumping in downtown Lima, where thousands of Peruvians celebrate the native cajon percussion instrument — and attempt to beat the Guinness world record for largest cajon ensemble.

Dancers take to the city’s Plaza de Armas and move to the rhythm.

The record attempt is part of the country’s eighth International Peruvian Cajon Festival, in honor of Afro-Peruvian music, which the cajon is famous for.

With more than 3,000 percussionists in full swing, Julie Guillerot, wife of afro-Peruvian musician Rafael Santa Cruz, who passed away last year, said she’s confident they’ll break the record.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) JULIE GUILLEROT, WIFE OF AFRO-PERUVIAN MUSICIAN RAFAEL SANTA CRUZ WHO DIED LAST YEAR, SAYING:

“We should get to 3,500 cajon players performing in unison. We fulfilled our goals and dreams and we’re sending a message not just to Peru but to the world, to reaffirm the ‘Peruvianness’ of the cajon.”

For 10-year-old cajon player Mauricio Madrid — breaking records is an afterthought.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MAURICIO MADRID, 10-YEAR-OLD CAJON PLAYER, SAYING:

“I’ve played since I was little. I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve had a teacher who taught me and I like to play all the instruments. I hope to play all instruments.”

The cajon box was declared a “National Patrimony” back in 2001 by Peru’s National Institute of Culture, and is believed to have originated from the Peruvian coast during the early 19th century.

Tags : Cajon, instrument, PERCUSSION, Native, celebrates, peru

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