fri 15/10/2021

Lucumi Choir, St John's Church, Waterloo | reviews, news & interviews

Lucumi Choir, St John's Church, Waterloo

Lucumi Choir, St John's Church, Waterloo

Cuban Afro-Catholic ritual comes to London for Christmas

The Lucumi Choir: songs to the Yoruba orishas sung in a Christian church
As we gathered in St John’s Church in Waterloo last Thursday to hear The London Lucumi Choir perform, on the same day people in their thousands were making the pilgrimage to the Church of San Lazaro in Cuba. In that church, just outside Havana, pilgrims walk or sometime crawl the few miles to the Church, often bearing gifts of rum and cigars as penitence.  It is a sign of the times that songs to the orishas – the deities that populate the Yoruba religious pantheon, who all have their own distinctive, trance-inducing rhythms – can also be heard in a Christian church in London.
As we gathered in St John’s Church in Waterloo last Thursday to hear The London Lucumi Choir perform, on the same day people in their thousands were making the pilgrimage to the Church of San Lazaro in Cuba. In that church, just outside Havana, pilgrims walk or sometime crawl the few miles to the Church, often bearing gifts of rum and cigars as penitence.  It is a sign of the times that songs to the orishas – the deities that populate the Yoruba religious pantheon, who all have their own distinctive, trance-inducing rhythms – can also be heard in a Christian church in London.

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