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.
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.