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Cuba's Rich Percussion Scene Being Taken Over By Women
Cuba is seeing a boom in women percussionists as the generation that first started playing in the 1990s comes into its own and inspires younger talent to follow.
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Wendy Garcia of the Obiní Batá orchestra of women percussionists plays the drums in Old Havana, Cuba, Thursday, May 29, 2014. It wasn't that long ago that Cuba's rich percussion scene was essentially a boys' club, dominated by men due to macho attitudes and religious tradition. Perceived as too weak for the physical demands of drumming, and unsuitable for an instrument considered a means of communicating with the gods, women were shut out of rehearsal spaces and barred from using "bata" drums belonging to the National Folkloric Ensemble. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)

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Precussionist of the Obinin Bata ensemble, Wendy Garcia, right, Yilian Letamendi, center and Adonay D' Armas, left, play the drums in Old Havana, Cuba, Thursday, May 29, 2014. Over the years, doors slowly began opening for female drummers, just as women gradually took on greater roles in politics, academics and other areas of society. Today, experts say, the island is seeing a boom in women percussionists as the generation that first started playing in the 1990s comes into its own and inspires younger talent to follow. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)

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In this May 23, 2014 photo, Obiní Batá percussionist, Wendy Garcia dresses up before a performance in Havana, Cuba. After breaking off from the National Folkloric Ensemble in 1994, Obini Bata spent years on the margins of acceptance. With time, however, more women took up the hourglass-shaped drum and also became percussionists in other genres such as jazz and big band. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)

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In this May 23, 2014 photo, members Obini Bata orchestra, perform in Havana, Cuba. Over the years, doors slowly began opening for female drummers _ just as women gradually took on greater roles in politics, academics and other areas of society. Today, experts say, the island is seeing a boom in women percussionists as the generation that first started playing in the 1990s comes into its own and inspires younger talent to follow. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)

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In this May 23, 2014 photo, Yusanelis Moras leaves of a room before a performance in Havana, Cuba. Obini Bata is the first orchestra of percussionists made up of women who dared to drum bata drums. Under Afro-Cuban beliefs, the two-sided bata (pronounced ba-TAH) are sacred, used for connecting with Santeria spirits. Tradition dictates the drums be made only from the hides of male goats. Players must undergo a lengthy consecration ritual. And, above all, the sacred bata are only to be played by men. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)

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In this May 23, 2014 photo, Yusanelis Moras dresses as the orisha Saint Oya, patron of the cemetery, performs in Havana, Cuba. Obiní Batá is the first orchestra of percussionists women who dared to bata drumming and making art. It wasn't that long ago that Cuba's rich percussion scene was essentially a boys' club, dominated by men due to macho attitudes and religious tradition. Over the years, doors slowly began opening for female drummers, just as women gradually took on greater roles in politics, academics and other areas of society. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)

Cuba's Rich Percussion Scene Being Taken Over By Women

Cuba is seeing a boom in women percussionists as the generation that first started playing in the 1990s comes into its own and inspires younger talent to follow.

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