The Silindro Pilipino Project will highlight the use of the harmonica, or “silindro” in Tagalog, in pre-Colonial, Colonial, and post-Colonial music.

“Kutiyapi with Silindro”

“Gandigan Blues in D”
PC: Tony Remington

The Silindro Pilipino Project

…made its debut in Oakland with the performance of two music concerts at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center. Both were preceded by a presentation on Filipino Music, both past and present, and the different instruments used. Veteran jazz and blues harmonica player Carlos Zialcita is a recipient of a 2018 Oakland Individual Artist Grant and with this Project he will highlight the use of the harmonica or “silindro” in Tagalog, in pre-Colonial, Colonial, and post-Colonial music. In addition to the harmonica, other instruments that will be used by the participating musicians, will include: kulintang gongs, agong, gandingan, dabakan, babandil, kubing, the kudyapi, guitar, ukulele, banduria, laud, drums, electric bass, and vocals.

This presentation will have as primary collaborators, Oakland-based musicians that are of Filipino and Pacific Islander descent. In addition, most of the participants are immigrants to the United States, lending added perspective. The project seeks to illustrate through performance of traditional and original compositions in a variety of settings, how a distinctly Filipino American esthetic can be achieved with the harmonica, a very popular instrument in American music, that covers the gamut of artistic, historical, and cultural influences available in today’s Filipino Diaspora.

Slide 1:
SILINDRO PILIPINO PROJECT ~ our first Concert, held at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center on October 13, 2018. L-R: Carlos Zialcita, Aireene Espiritu. PC: Tony Remington

Slide 2:
L-R: Bo Razon, Frank Holder, Carlos Zialcita, Atemu Aton. PC: Tony Remington

Slide 3:
Silindro Pilipino Rehearsal, L-R: Bo Razon, Frank Holder, Carlos Zialcita, Atemu Aton.

Slide 4:
“KULINTANG BABY ~ Yup that’s me practicing what little I know about these sacred gongs during some down time at the I-Hotel Manilatown Center. Lessons on the instruments of the Kulintang Ensemble are available there at no cost to the community. I am so inspired by our traditional indigenous music that I can’t help but want to play them. All I can say is.. no joke, they will awaken the Pinoy DNA in you!” -C.Z.


Silindro Pilipino 2

Silindro Pilipino 2, will be the second part of a project that I began in 2018 as a recipient of an Oakland Individual Artist Grant. I presented two concerts at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center that explored and expressed a Filipino American Esthetic and world view that embraces all the different historical and cultural influences that artists in the Filipino Diaspora can draw from. These influences included the Pre-Colonial music of the kulintang gong tradition in the Southern (Mindanao) region of the Philipppines. Music during the Colonial Period focused on guitar music, most notably the “Kundiman” or love ballad from the Spanish tradition. Additionally, the guitar, and its interplay with the harmonica and vocals was the focus on the Blues and early forms of Jazz as examples of American Colonial music brought to the Philippines during the Spanish and Philippine American Wars at the turn of the 20th Century.

Silindro Project 2 will continue this journey into the different influences that affect artistic expression in the Filipino American Community, with special emphasis on communities and neighborhoods in Oakland that been disproportionally impacted by the  the. COVID-19 Pandemic. These communities in particular are those where there has been a significant amount of intermararriage with the Filipino population and these communities over the generations. These communities are: the Native American, the Mexican and other Latin-American countries, the Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders, and the African American communities. Music representative of these communities will include Native American drumming and songs, Mexican boleros and ranceros, Hawaiian music with the ukulele, thoand the Oakland blues and funk mixed with spoken word and pre-colonial Filipino instruments.


© 2018–2020 Carlos Zialcita / Silindro Pilipino Project