TEMPLETON — Mama Tumba are bringing the groove to Castor Cellars Lazy Locals concert, sharing their Afro/Latin fusion at a free concert from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 16.
The band will consist of regular members Tim Costa on percussion/vocals, Antiye Mensah on drums, Paul Trent on guitar/percussion, Karrie McKinney on percussion/flute/vocals, Brian Lanzone on bass, Lauren Riffle singing lead/percussion, Jordan Adams on trumpet, Brad Croes on saxophone and Toes Cuffe on keys. Their mutual passion for Afro/Latin rhythm brought them all together to create a fusion with modern instrumentation and arrangements that makes listeners move and groove to the sound.
In an interview with the Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press, Costa and Trent explained that the band is usually comprised of ten musicians but often invite other prodigious world music aficionados who are also instrumentalists to join the groove. Costa was born and raised in Atascadero and said he has been collecting African drums since he was a little kid.
“My mom would ask, ‘What are you going to do with all these drums?’ I would say, ‘Play them,’ and I did and do,” Costa said. “I really just fell in love with African drums and drums in general and was fortunate enough to learn from some of the best including our band leader Anitye Mensah, originally from Ghana, who plays djembe, assorted percussion and drum kit primarily and growing up in Africa, he brings a wealth of knowledge from his own culture and contributes his considerable composition and arranging skills to Mama Tumba. We like to use a quote by James Brown when we describe our sound. ‘Every instrument is a drum,’ and we arrange music and play with that in mind.”
Costa plays the congas, djembes and other world percussion in Mama Tumba and has performed with an impressive list of professionals including tours with Pato Banton, the Wailers and many others. Trent, who generally accompanies his mates on guitar, has a long and varied musical background with interest in a wide range of music and instrumentation, but said he discovered a passion for Afro/Latin beats and like all in the band, continues to learn and grow as a percussionist.
“What I really enjoy is the learning experience,” Trent said. “I was playing around in drum circles years ago and really enjoyed getting in the groove and found out later that the rhythms we were playing were rooted in African and Latin traditions. I really wanted to learn more and being a part of Mama Tumba has really helped me to grow as a musician.”
Mama Tumba is based in San Luis Obispo County and offers folks the opportunity to be transported through their music and the language of the drums of Africa and South America. The band has big plans for the future to become fixtures of the local festival scene and hope to share their love and inspiration for Afro/Latin beats with a wide audience.
To learn more about Mama Tumba or to hear their music, visit mamatumba.com.