The Argentine native Gustavo sat on a concrete bench, banging on his drum in Dolores Park with gusto.

“I cannot speak English [very well], but I can communicate with music,” he said as he played an afro-Caribbean style of drumming that he learned at the Community Music Center on 21st and Capp St.

Gustavo, who moved to San Francisco in 2000 and currently cleans houses and lives with a friend in Bernal Heights, said this style of was new to him and part of the neighborhood’s past.

“This park has a long history; these people don’t know about that,” he said.
Gustavo remembers the days when other musicians would gather and play rumba music in the park—It’s different now. “A lot of those people don’t live here anymore.”

He says the newer residents still play music, just out of their phones or speakers. As long as music is playing, he’s okay with it.

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1 Comment

  1. Actually Ricky, Gustavo was not “banging” on the conga. By the placement of his hands, he was forming a rhythmic pattern.
    “Banging” is what some children– or those untrained–do on a drum! Choose your words respectfully!
    Thanks though, for featuring him.
    Dan Sarago (35 year resident of the Mission)

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