Drums & Percussion/marimbamallets
Julia wrote at 2009-12-20 08:52:23
I was a student of Jose Bethancourt in Chicago for many years in my youth.
Sometimes my Saturday lessons were on the NBC soundstage in the Merchandise building, where Jose played in the NBC orchestra. Sometimes we met at Roy (famous drum teacher) Knapp's studio.
I have a couple sets of Jose's rubber mallets - made from the rubber on his brother's plantation in Guatamala. They're wrapped strands of rubber and played wonderfully - now they have indeed become harder, less springy over the years. The sticks are still wonderfully proportioned, straight and supple.
Marimbero wrote at 2013-03-26 03:13:22
Rubber mallets made with crude latex date back to classic Mayan times in Guatemala (300-800 AD). Even though it was used largely for the ball in the Maya ball game, there are codex paintings showing musicians with mallets, pretty much the same as currently used by Guatemalan marimbists today. Following up on a previous answer, I would like to contact Mr. Jose Bethancourt's son, if anybody has this info.