GET AUTHENTIC: THE DONKEY JAW

Learn about the Donkey Jaw

6 Dec 2022
In our second ‘Get Authentic’ episode, Colombian artist Juan David Castaño shows us how he plays the Donkey Jaw

This video series showcases unique instruments from around the world being expertly played by local composers and musicians.

This unusual idiophone percussion instrument is normally made from the jawbone of a donkey, horse, or mule and produces a powerful buzzing sound. The jawbone is cleaned of tissue and dried to make the teeth loose and act as a rattle when the instrument is struck. The instrument was carried by slaves to South America where it become known as the Quijada. 

The Donkey Jaw, the quijada, charrasca, or jawbone (in English), was used on a Soca-Calypso music track on a recent SOMOS album. The style is seen in Providencia and San Andrés islands in Colombia.

In Colombia, you can find the Donkey Jaw played in Santander, Boyacá, San Andrés and Providencia islands. In Latin America, they also play it in Peru and Mexico.

Watch below as Juan breaks down the Donkey Jaw and dives into the history of the unique instrument…

The Donkey Jaw can be heard on SOMOS album Días de Sol, played by Juan David Castaño.

The album is filled with positive and uplifting guitar tunes for sunny days, with an upbeat summery feel featuring traditional Latin American instruments like tiple, tinafono, donkey jaw and folklore percussion.

 


 

Within this Get Authentic series, we were delighted to be able to highlight some of the remarkable global talents that we work with. Constantly learning from, and inspired by, musical communities, styles, and genres around the world, we work collaboratively with composers, artists, and musicians to create meaningful albums that resonate not only in production quality but reflect the true nature of the inspiration behind them.

Take a look at our first Get Authentic video on the Taiko drum here.

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