A marimbula is a Latin/Caribbean percussion instrument that appears to be a cross between a cajon and a mbira (thumb piano). The marimbula has its roots in Africa but first appeared in Latin America in Cuba in the 19th century. Musicians used the thick metal strips that are attached to its wooden front to play bass notes in a developing genre of Afro-Cuban music known as changui. The instrument spread across the region and today appears in genres of music such as Dominican merengue and Mexico’s Son Jarocho.

COUNTRY: Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico
KEY GENRES: Changui, Merengue, Son Jarocho
FEATURED ON: La Guacamaya (AATW: Latin America)

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