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San Francisco Kulintang Legacy

San Francisco Kulintang Legacy presents traditional kulintang ensemble music and traditional dances of the Maguindanaon and Maranao cultures of the Philippines, as taught in the United States by master musician Danongan “Danny” Kalanduyan (c. 1947–2016).

Kulintang music of the Philippines is an ancient cultural heritage that is not well known or understood even within the Philippines. Before the arrival of Islamic missionaries in the 1400s and European missionaries in the 1500s, this complex and varied music was played by many cultures spread throughout the archipelago. Today, it is played primarily in the Southern Philippines.

Kulintang ensemble music may be played on wood and bamboo instruments, but is much more commonly played on metal instruments. Prior to World War II, the instruments were made of cast bronze, using ore from nearby Borneo. Contemporary kulintang instruments are made of cast brass, welded steel, or hammered steel. The tunings differ widely, according to the materials and the particular culture in which the music is played.

Knowledge of kulintang music was brought to American universities in the 1950s and 1960s, first to UCLA by Dr. Jose Maceda and then to the University of Washington by Dr. Robert Garfias. Music teachers from the Southern Philippines soon followed. The music has been taught and performed in the San Francisco Bay Area since the 1980s, and now through the efforts of Kalanduyan, kulintang has been embraced by second-, third-, and fourth-generation Filipino Americans as a link to the culture of their ancestors.

San Francisco Kulintang Legacy is a coalition of Kalanduyan’s students and colleagues. Its members are from six separate performing groups: San Francisco Kulintang Project, Pakaraguian Kulintang Ensemble (San Diego), Filipinas Performing Arts of Washington State, Kulintronica (San Francisco), Subla (San Francisco), and Kulintang Academy of Stockton.

Brian Batugo, musician, Kulintang Academy of Stockton; Little Manila Dance Collective director
Conrad Benedicto, educator, musician, composer
Titania Buchholdt, musician, educator
Alexis Canillo, musician, agung specialist
Juliet Omli-Cawas Cheatle, dancer, educator, Filipinas Performing Arts of Washington State director
Manny Dragon, martial artist, musician, educator
Bernard Ellorin, educator, Pakaraguian Kulintang Ensemble director
Kim Kalanduyan, dancer, musician
Lydia Neff, dancer, musician
Ron Quesada, musician, Kulintronica director
Rocco Ray, musician
Bo Razon, musician, kutiyapi specialist
Mitchell Yangson, musician

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