Additional Afro-Caribbean Music and Drumming Resources

If you're eager to broaden your understanding of Afro-Caribbean music and drumming, there are numerous resources available to you. Whether you're interested in delving into the music of a particular country or region, or simply want to learn more about the broader Afro-Caribbean cultural heritage, these resources can help you expand your knowledge and appreciation of this rich artistic tradition.

To make your search easier, I've compiled a list of real and reliable resources for Afro-Caribbean music and drumming, organized by country. This will allow you to focus on the specific area of interest that you're most curious about. So, whether you're looking to explore the rhythms of Cuba, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, or any other Afro-Caribbean country, these resources can serve as a valuable starting point for your journey of discovery.

Utilizing these resources allows you to access a wealth of knowledge and expertise on the various musical styles and techniques that make up the Afro-Caribbean tradition. Whether you're a musician, a music enthusiast, or simply someone interested in learning more about the cultural roots of this vibrant art form, these resources can provide you with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the music and drumming that has shaped the Afro-Caribbean cultural identity.

Puerto Rico


       Drum Books

  1. "The Art of Latin Drumming" by Jose Rosa - This book offers a comprehensive approach to Afro-Cuban and Afro-Boricua drumming. It covers various rhythms and techniques and includes exercises and practice tips.
  2. "Ritmos Afro Puertorriqueños / Afro Puerto Rican Rhythms" (Bilingual English/Spanish Edition)  - This book aims to document the Afro-Puerto Rican rhythms that were once marginalized in the cultural scene of Puerto Rico. It covers around 19 rhythms, their history, practitioners, and places of practice. Additionally, the book explores how some of these rhythms can be incorporated into other genres, such as jazz, funk, rock, and other Afro-descendant genres using the drum set. The book comes with educational materials, including videos, audios, and writings that provide guidance on playing the different rhythms and delve into the historical context of Bomba and Plena.
  3. "Modern Tumbadoras" by Jose Rosa -The foundation of Afro-Caribbean music is explained, including the clave concept, and a comprehensive chapter containing the patterns of many of the most popular rhythms. Includes clear instructions, logical sequences, and sections on applying rudiments and on independence training which have applications beyond hand drumming.
  4. "Raiz" by Efrain Martinez - Raíz is a practical guide where I show the drummer my personal fusion of funk with traditional Afro-PuertoRican rhythms like plena and bomba, as well as other Afro-Caribbean beats. Along with these rhythmic fusions, I include preparatory and coordination exercises to support in the fundamental understanding ofeach pattern. This approach will aid in learning the stylistic language of these rhythms, getting to the root ofthem and facilitating their fluency.
  5. "​​Tito Puente's Drumming with the Mambo King" - The late, great Tito Puente was a giant in the world of Latin music. This exceptional book/audio package, co-written with Jim Payne, includes an extensive biography of Tito, a history of Afro-Cuban music, archival photos and step-by-step instruction in Afro-Cuban music for timbales and drumset. Words of advice from the Mambo King himself accompany the timbale and drumset instructional examples by Tito and Jim Payne.


       Academic Resources Books and Articles

  1. "Music in Puerto Rico: A Reader's Anthology" edited by Donald Thompson
  2. "Mambo Kingdom: Latin Music in New York" By Max Salazar
  3. "Salsa and Its Transnational Moves" by Sheenagh Pietrobruno
  4. "From Bomba to Hip-Hop: Puerto Rican Culture and Latino Identity" by Juan Flores
  5. ​"Bomba: The Sound of Puerto Rico’s African Heritage" - This article delves into the historical significance of Bomba. This Puerto Rican musical genre has been popular for 400 years and reflects the African heritage of the island. It provides an accessible overview of Bomba's main components and includes transcriptions of rhythms to aid learning, making it suitable for use as a series of lessons or a curricular unit​ 
  6. A Beat Calls Puerto Ricans to Their African Roots - The article "A Beat Calls Puerto Ricans to Their African Roots" by David Gonzalez explores how Bomba, an Afro-Puerto Rican musical genre, serves as a powerful symbol of Puerto Rico's African heritage. The article highlights Bomba's history and cultural significance and interviews musicians who continue to carry on this musical tradition. Gonzalez also reflects on the role of Bomba in Puerto Rico's ongoing struggle for independence and cultural identity.

          YouTube Channels

  1. Jose Rosa Drums and Percussion Studio 
  2. Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña

         Folkloric Music Videos

Why Puerto Rican Bomba Music Is Resistance                               ​La Plena Puertorriqueña                                                   Danza Puertorriqueña​


The Father of Bomba and Plena Don Rafael Cepeda Atiles (1910-1996)

Academic and Drum Books only from other countries

Dominican Republic:

  1. "The Dominican Republic Reader: History, Culture, Politics" edited by Eric Paul Roorda
  2. "The Dominican Republic: A National History" by Frank Moya Pons
  3. "Bachata and Dominican Identity / La bachata y la identidad dominicana" by Julie A. Sellers
  4. "Merengue: Dominican Music and Dominican Identity" by Paul Austerlitz
  5. "El merengue y la bachata (Spanish Edition)" by  Alejandro Ureña & Carlos Velaquez

Haiti & Lesser Antilles:

  1. "Haitian Vodou: An Introduction to Haiti's Indigenous Spiritual Tradition" by Mambo Chita Tann
  2. "Creole Music of the French West Indies" by Bob Corbett
  3. "The Big Drum Dance of Carriacou: Festival Music in the Lesser Antilles" by Lorna McDaniel
  4. "Vodou Drumset: Drumset Applications of Traditional Afro-Haitian Rhythms" by James Armstrong
  5. "Rara!: Vodou, Power, and Performance in Haiti and Its Diaspora" by Elizabeth McAlister


  1. "Cuban Music from A to Z" by Helio Orovio
  2. ​"Tropical Riffs: Latin America and the Politics of Jazz" by Jason Borge
  3. "Cuba and Its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo" by Ned Sublette
  4. "Cuban Fire: The Story of Salsa and Latin Jazz" by Isabelle Leymarie
  5. "Music and Revolution: Cultural Change in Socialist Cuba" by Robin D. Moore  
  6. "Amadito Valdes,las baquetas de oro de buena vista social club.una historia personal en la musica cubana" by Orlando Matos Piedra

 Professional Drummer/Percussionist,

Producer,  Author, and

Applied Learning Scientist