The roots of Afro-Latin music lie in West and West Central Africa. Our ancestors who were transported to the Americas as slave laborers brought with them profound musical traditions with a heavy emphasis on polyrhythm and the drum in combination with dance and antiphonal (call and response) singing. Between the early sixteenth and late nineteenth centuries, more than 10 million Africans came to the New World predominately from the region stretching south from the Senegal River through the vicinity of present-day nations such as Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, and down through Angola—the majority of them arriving in the Caribbean and Latin America. 1 In all of their homelands, music was organized and performed as an important part of every day life. As such the Black music traditions they initiated in Latin America incorporate the drum and related musical concepts. This chapter focuses on Afro-Cuban batá drumming, currulao from Colombia, the cajón (box drum) tradition from Peru, and bloco afro-style samba from Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. I chose these styles because I am personally familiar with them and because they represent key points along a continuum of African-influenced music/dance styles in the Americas. Each in its own way exemplifies the resilience, ingenuity, and soulfulness of Black music that some refer to in Spanish as duende. 2