Coming from the Afro-Peruvian community in Peru around the late 18th and early 19th Centuries, Cajons were making Peru a cool place to be long before Paddington caught the train. The name translated from Spanish literally means “Crate” or “Box” and is played by slapping the front face (generally plywood) and sometimes the sides in different places to create different percussive sounds.
Why the box shape? One theory suggests that under the Spanish colonial rule of Peru, the slaves were prohibited from making music. The Cajons, thanks to their box shape, could be disguised as stools or furniture so the guards could never identify what was making all the noise!
Today there’s no need for such secrecy and you can purchase a Cajon with a variety of individual designs that allow players to truly personalise the playing experience. The Rocket Music Cajons come in some great designs and also come with a bag to allow for easy transport. Why not give one a go?
Zebra Stripe, Jade and Chocolate Velvet Designs
Musically you’ll most often seem them in flamenco, Coastal Peruvian and some modern Rumba styles of music, but they’ve also been used effectively to accompany acoustic Guitars and have an increasing reputation on the folk music circuit as great accompanying instruments without using a full drum kit.
Have a look at our Cajons and other latin Percussion here, and check out some of the wide array of possible styles a Cajon can create in this video –