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Dom Um Romeo

Dom Um Romeo was one of the first Brazilian percussionists that I came to meet. While he was working with the late Hammond B3 organist Walter Wanderlei at the Hotel Drake in New York around 1967, I brought him the first cuica that I made for him to evaluate. I had just finished mounting the head on the drum that evening and put the drum in the oven for a quick dry. Dom Um was impressed with my new creation which was made of spun aluminum and used wing screws for tightening. The form for spinning this drum was lost in the bankruptsy of the spinning company and I never got to revisit this construction.

Dom Um is well into his 70's as I write this note and I am told by Steve Kroon, that he is enjoying a active career shuttling between Switzerland, New York and Brazil. At one point in his career he maintained the Rice and Beans rehearsal/performance facility in New York.


Dom Um is shown here in a performance at the Top Of The Gate at New York's Greenwich Village, Village Gate. The year was sometime in the 1970's. He was one of the pioneers, along with Airto, in introducing small percussion to a broader range of music.