Ritmos Negros have based their music on the Afro-Peruvian music – songs from the Peruvian repertoire, as well as their own compositions. The talented musician Piero Epifanía, Peru (cajón and vocal) is at the heart of the formation, accompanied by Simeon Leonidov on the guitar, backing vocals and percussions, Boris Taslev on the bass, and Arnau Garrofé of Spain whose lyrical saxophone and clarinet perfectly complement the music palette of the quartet.
The music of Ritmos Negros is based on Afro-Peruvian rhythms: Festejo – pure-hearted and cheerful dance rhythm, landó – reflexive rhythm, similar to the sound of blues, and Peruvian waltz. "All these rhythms are basically dancing rhythms", said Piero, "and so it is very interesting how Bulgarian and European audiences generally respond to them...
people do not move so much, just absorb the music... some of them with their eyes closed...
From a cultural point of view, there seems to be no similarities between Peru and Bulgaria, but Piero holds that in countries like those, with "old roots" and "ancient cultures" people always have something to tell. And of course, there is no better way to tell a story than through the language of music.
The band will hit the stage at the A to JazZ Festival just a week after joining the UK's iconic Glastonbury Festival.
"We, at Ritmos Negros, are aware that we are exploring the musical traditions of a quite distant country such as Peru and trying to be as authentic as possible in order for us to get closer to the roots", said Boris. "Even when we mix genres... we do it in a pretty fine way." "After all, such a journey is important for the purpose of exploring and getting deeper in their musical culture, and in the person of Piero we have an experienced captain who helps us to navigate across these deep waters", added Simeon.
"And of course, Donkey!" Donkey?! "We are talking about this strange instrument—quijada—which is actually made from a jawbone of a donkey, used as a percussion instrument in Peruvian music, producing a unique sound" "Whenever we pull out the Donkey, audience's reaction is exceptional!", everyone laughs.