Friday, November 11, 2005

Lisandro Meza

LisandroB&W, originally uploaded by mister anchovy.

Our friend Zac sent me 3 CDs of cumbias in the Colombian style known as Vallenato, all by a delightful player named Lisandro Meza. The link will take you to an excellent interview. I can't sit still with this stuff playing!

In the interview, Meza says he is playing a vintage instrument known as a Meister, made in Germany - the picture I posted has him playing a Weltmeister - maybe that's what he means.... I have another picture, where he is clearly playing a Hohner Corona II, the same button box I play. These are all diatonic instruments, set up in three keys - the most common arrangement is GCF. The arrangement of notes is almost identical to three diatonic harmonicas in those keys stacked on top of one another. Normally though, we play across the three rows to maximize the available notes and chord possibilities. The Weltmeisters are still made in Germany. I have heard good things said about them, but I played one once and was not impressed. They have plastic reed-blocks as well...what's wrong with wood? Many of the Hohners are now made in China, although they make Corona 'classic' buttonboxes at a factory in Germany. Mine is an older Hohner, made in Germany. I bought it from a fantastic player from Milwaukee, Peggy Mueller, and it has turned out to be a very nice instrument.

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