Palo De Mayo

1. Grupo Gamma: Tu lu lu luL1000897

I had the opportunity to live and work in  Nicaragua from 1993 to 1994. I lived between my uncles house/my mother’s birthplace in Ciudad Dario and Granada . So whether I was in a bus, a bar, at a party, or in a market I probably heard this song on a daily basis.

The genre of music is actually called Palo De Mayo (The May Pole) which is a month long May Day festival on the Carribean Coast of Central America. It originated in Bluefields Nicaragua in the 17th century and the celebration includes a maypole, which is a tall wooden pole, which is decorated with several long colored ribbons suspended from the top.

The festival, the music, and the culture of the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua is in itself a potent cross-fertilization of African, Creole, Garifuna, Jamaican/Caribbean, Indigenous, and Latin cultures. The song really sounds like a mixture of traditional African rhythms, soca, paranda and Calypso style music. From what I understand, Grupo Gamma probably made a living playing parties and going door to door playing their music in the month of May. The song Tu lu lu lu pasa  (to pass) basically is naming off the people coming,  going, passing  (be it in life, death, or dance I suppose). There are various versions of the song, always naming someone different and I’ve heard a faster merengue version as well.     

Advertisements

9 Responses to “Palo De Mayo”


  1. 1 Jonathan Jackson June 3, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    I was just in Bluefields for the final weekend of May and heard the Dimension Costena version of Tululu a million times, but I have never heard this version before. Do you know if this Gamma version is with the same singer, Anthony Matthews, from the Dimension Costena version? I saw someone say that on a message board but I couldn’t confirm it.

    Outstanding blog by the way!

    • 2 josephfranko June 4, 2009 at 3:20 am

      Yeah Dimension Costena is another big name Nicarguan group (more salseros than anything else) and they are from the atlantic coast as well. But I couldnt tell you if the singer is the same or not, sorry. Nevertheless, it’s funny to know that you heard tululu over a million times. I swear its all i ever hear when I visit Nicaragua. Saludos!

      Franko

    • 3 corto February 26, 2013 at 7:20 am

      having the record in my hand, i can confirm that anthony matthews is the singer.

  2. 4 Adam June 14, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Great track!

    I’m consistently getting reminded how fascinating Central America and its amazing blend of cultures and ethnicities is.

    Are there a lot of records to be found in Nicaragua?

  3. 5 josephfranko June 16, 2009 at 1:17 am

    Yeah, when I was there in 1993-94 I wasn’t as big as a collector as I turned out to be. Also I was broke. So I really wasn’t digging. I found a some communist/sandinsta era propaganda records, a few which I still have. Maybe i’ll post a snippet of one of those.

  4. 6 OSCAR DANILO ARANA October 10, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    HOLA MI NOMBRE OSCAR DANILO Y LIVE EN ANGELES CA EN CITY WEST COVINA SOY NICARAGUA BRONDS OKEY ME JUSTARIA SABER SI TIENES EL CD DEL PALO DE MAYO ORIGINAL GAMMA COMO LO ESTAS MOSTRANDO OKEY CUANTO ME LO VENDES QUIERO EL ORIGINAL OKEY NO COPIA YUO UNDERSTANG GAMMA GRUPO OKEY OSCAR DANILO

  5. 7 obee December 4, 2013 at 7:24 am

    I was a young Marine at the American Embassy in 1993 and fell in love with the Dimension Costena Group! I had the opportunity to meet and talk to Anthony on several occasions. At one concert in Managua he called me up on stage by name to dance with his dancers to Tu lu lu Pasa! Those were great times in Managua in the 90’s. I miss that country.

  6. 8 Mitchelle November 29, 2015 at 11:22 am

    I own the Album, but would love to get the music in a CD or something. Any suggestions?


  1. 1 Awesome CD’s from Nicaragua « Super Sonido Trackback on April 10, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s





%d bloggers like this: