Project Updates

De Inga y Mandinga – October 12, 2021

We are planning to give you regular updates on the development of this project, which Early Music Seattle will present on April 22 and 23 at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center. The latest news – last week members of the cast of De Inga y Mandinga got together with Eduardo Balcazar Garay on Zoom to study the Checho, an ancient Peruvian percussion instrument made from a large hollowed gourd.  This instrument will be included in the performance!

Ignacio Merino, Peruvian artist, early 1800s

Clockwise from the upper left: Jabali Stewart, Monica Rojas, Taryn Webber, Eduardo Balcazar Garay


De Inga y Mandinga – December 10, 2021


The Cajita is an instrument used in the music of Peru. The ensemble preparing the April 22 and 23 performances of De Inga y Mandinga will be using the cajita in their ensemble. The instrument has its origins as a box to collect alms in for the Catholic Church. Denied the use of their traditional drums, enslaved people repurposed the box as a percussion instrument. The cajita is an example (or manifestation) of African descent populations’ cultural resilience and survival.  Enjoy the video below and click here for more information about De Inga y Mandinga.

Here are two of Pancho Fierro’s watercolor paintings (early 1800’s) featuring Black people playing cajita during a religious street parade. Black people were made to parade as “devils” during Catholic celebrations of Corpus Christi.