Cali Rivera Makes Cowbells Like No One in the World, Ask the Best Percussionists
Every Cowbell is Made One-by-One
“I’ve been a cowbell lover all of my life,” says Cali Rivera, who lives in the Bronx and has been making congas, bongos and cowbells for the greatest percussionists in the world like Bobby Sanabria, Eddie Montalvo, Tito Puente and Giovanni Hidalgo.
“We don’t advertise, we don’t promote, the musicians do,” his wife says. And people call from all over the world to get their hands on a Cali-made instrument.
Rivera has been making the instruments since he was a kid, “My father used to make the instruments like the guitar. He used to make it, but we were the helpers.”
And there’s a special technique to his beloved cowbells: “If you get the right metal you get the right sounds. Strong metal, strong bell. Bend it. Hit it with the hammer. Weld it. And that’s the bell right there,” he says.
Will Ferrell is for sure jealous.
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