Afro Cuban Bata


The bata drum originated in Nigeria and later traveled to Cuba and the U.S. The bata drum is used in Yoruba ceremonial music. The rhythms are directed to the Orishas, who are deities of the Yoruba religion. Each of the drummers traditionally belonged to the sacred order of Anya.

The bata batterie has three drums, each with two heads: okonkolo ("the child") the small drum which keeps the pulse; itotelle ("the father") carries melody and answers the calls; lya ("the mother") plays the calls and solos and is the largest drum.

During some pieces the cajon drums are played by the bata batterie. This family consists of the tumba, segunda and quinto. They were originally fish crates and were played on the waterfront by the dock workers. Today cajon drums are made out of wooden boxes to replicate the fish crates.


The bata members are:

Clifford "Peache" Jarman
John Wilkie
Ken Fauntleroy