Ars Longa da la Habana: Gulumbá Gulumbé

Seattle, WA ­‑ Early Music Seattle announces Ars Longa Early Music Ensemble of Havana will be performing a program titled Gulumbá Gulumbé – Resonances of Africa in the New World on March 12 in Town Hall Seattle.

Originally scheduled to be on our series in March 2020, this Cuban ensemble will finally make its long-awaited Northwest debut. The group, made up of entirely Cuban musicians, presents a creative fusion of Colonial Baroque and indigenous traditions, drawing on repertoire from the archives of the Havana Cathedral. Ars Longa was founded by Teresa Paz and Aland López in 1994 and is dedicated to the interpretation, study and research of different periods and styles, from the Medieval period to the Baroque.

Ars Longa draws inspiration for this program from the poetry and music created in Colonial Spanish America at a time when large numbers of enslaved African people were being taken to the continent. Phrases, themes, and rhythms from African folk culture blended with the Spanish and Portuguese languages and Christian liturgy to create new dialects and music.

You will hear instruments that will be mostly familiar to the early music audience. There will be gambas, violins, guitar, organ, harpsichord, and winds including recorders, shawm (oboe), bajon (bassoon), sackbut (trombone), and cornetto (trumpet). What is less heard is the use of percussion, and in particular some instruments that one associates with contemporary popular music, such as the maracas, claves or djembe.

Creating this program involved the musicians of Ars Longa getting together with the musicologists that transcribed the music and knowing all the gossip about who played what and when, and decide who would play what, and when. This work created the varied, dramatic performance that you will see at the moment. The combination of instruments and vocals produce a strong dramatic feel, as if they were small theatrical plays.

The Gulumbá Gulumbé program is a collection of villancicos, which are an extremely popular musical and poetic form born in Spain sometime in the renaissance. The Villancico was the main musical form used by Spanish composers and poets and this program is what we would call the “Golden Age” of the Villancico, spanning the 17th and 18th centuries.

About Ars Longa de la Habana
The Ars Longa Early Music Ensemble, was founded by Teresa Paz and Aland López in 1994, and has been part of the Office of the City Historian in Havana since 1995. Ars Longa is dedicated to the performance of Latin American and Cuban Colonial music of different periods and styles, from the Medieval period to the Baroque and made is up of entirely Cuban musicians. Ars Longa presents a creative fusion of Colonial Baroque and Indigenous traditions, drawing on repertoire from the archives of the Havana Cathedral. In addition to promoting the interpretation of early music in Cuba, Ars Longa hosts the annual international Esteban Salas Early Music Festival in Havana, which brings musicians and ensembles from around the world for concerts and masterclasses.

The ensemble has released several CDs that have won recognition and prizes in Europe from Diapason, Le Monde de la Musique, Télérama, and Classica.

About Early Music Seattle
Early Music Seattle
is the area’s largest presenter of early music and related educational programs. Its mainstage events include the Seattle Baroque Orchestra and internationally renowned touring artists. EMS uses early music to enrich cultural heritage via education and outreach and engage new audiences through inclusivity and openness.

EMS’ one-of-a-kind concert experiences will turn everything you thought you knew about early music on its head, as we take you on musical journeys that explore new repertoire, challenge the limits of what you thought was possible, and find exciting ways to reimagine the classics.

Concert Information:
Early Music Seattle presents
Global Connections
Gulumbá Gulumbé
Sunday, March 12 | 1:30pm
Town Hall Seattle | 1119 8th Ave, Seattle

Tickets :

– Event information:
– Early Music Seattle website:
Ars Longa Early Music Ensemble:

Scroll to Top