About six months after my first trip to Perú, visiting the Afro-Peruvian cultural hub of El Carmen, and hanging out in the Barranco District of Lima, where many Afro-Peruvians work and perform for a living, I then happened to stumble on a CD by Afro-Peruvian singer Pepe Vázquez, which contained the hit song “No Valentín,”and that song, to this day, became a hit with me. In fact, he wrote the song, and the famous Susana Baca sung it. However, about six months after my trip, I was delighted to have met Pepe Vázquez, and had a brief conversation with him before his performance at the Fina Estampa Restaurant in San Francisco. He even gave me some dap when he came out singing.
On the Pacific coast of Peru, a Black music culture has survived in spite of repression by the Europeans. Drums and marimbas were forbidden because they "generate trance-like states and are the work of the devil." As a substitute, unique instruments were created out of everyday materials and developed into unique instruments, such as the cajon (a wooden box) and the jawbone of an ass, that have remained a staple of Afro-Peruvian rhythm.