The Brazilian Cuica is a percussion instrument that makes one of the most unique and fascinating sounds in all of music. “Cuica” is a Portuguese word, pronounced “kuweeca“. If you’re not sure what it is, you have probably heard one in a song, and simply didn’t know it was a cuica. Especially if you like samba or other Brazilian music. Stories vary as to the exact origin of the Cuica. However, most researchers agree that it can be traced back to the Bantu speaking tribes of Central and Southern Africa, whose culture was interrupted by the slave trade – particularly that of the Spanish and Portuguese. The cuica (or its predecessor) is said to have been used as a male lion call. Since it’s timbre mimics the tones of the female lion during mating season.
In this video, Kurt Rasmussen gives a great demonstration on how the cuica is played. And then goes into further detail on how the distinct sound of the cuica instrument is achieved. If you are looking to purchase a cuica, click here or on the image below the video, to shop great deals. Thanks for stopping by!
by Ken Omega
Kurt Rasmussen demonstrates the Brazilian Cuica percussion instrument.
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The Downtown Science Tour with Big Audio Dynamite (a group comprised mostly of former members of the British punk rock group, The Clash) went on for pretty much the entire summer in 1991. During that time, Bosco Money (me) and Sam Sever were seldom back in New York City. Some heart warming news was when we heard that DJ Red Alert, who was spinning weekend nights on 98.7 Kiss FM at the time, was opening and closing his 3 hour show with “Room to Breathe”.
“Room to Breathe” was, and probably still is, the best known Downtown Science song. But all the songs off the self-titled Downtown Science album, that we performed while on tour, went over really well with the different crowds we encountered.
Having the opportunity to travel on the road and bring our music to thousands was the experience of a lifetime. And there are many memories from that journey that remain etched in my mind. One in particular, was how “80’s orange and brown” our LA hotel rooms were. Another was how big the steaks were in Texas – and how many steakhouses are in that state. The list goes on.
I’m thankful to Russell Simmons, and the staff at Def Jam for all the work they put into packaging up the singles and the LP and getting them into the stores. And I’d like to send a shout to all the College and Commercial Radio DJ’s whom we met along the way, that showed so much interest in our music.
All in all, the Downton Science Tour with Big Audio Dynamite was a fantastic time. It was an opportunity to travel and get paid, doing what I love. And I can think of few situations that could be considered more rewarding when evaluated in that respect. It was a pleasure, and a musical adventure working with my partner, Sam Sever. And I hope the music of Downtown Science will continue to be remembered for years to come. Thanks to our fans for all your support!