Conrad Jaminola Benedicto playing kulintang gongs on a stand with traditional Maguinadaon designs. Photo: Manuel Dragon.

Conrad ​​Jaminola Benedicto

Kulintang Music of the Southern Philippines

Kulintang Music from the Kalanduyan Line

Kulintang is an ongoing source of joy and purpose in my life.” – Conrad Jaminola Benedicto

Conrad Jaminola Benedicto playing a set of kulintang gongs in the forest. Photo: Catherine Salvin.

Conrad ​​Jaminola Benedicto studied kulintang music with Master Danongan Kalanduyan for twenty years, starting in 1997. He was a member of Master Kalanduyan’s The Palabuniyan Kulintang Ensemble, as well as his apprentice with ACTA in 2007 and 2013. Benedicto now teaches kulintang to beginners and long-time practitioners; performs frequently; and supports kulintang culture bearers in the Philippines. With grants awarded by the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Zellerbach Family Foundation, Benedicto has also composed new music based on the kulintang tradition.




Conrad Jaminola Benedicto’s band, Kulintang Dialect, at Make Music Day 2023, in San Francisco.


Apprenticeship Program


Kulintang Music
with apprentice Jinji Sayson

Jinji performing with Kulintang Dialect on November 5, 2022. Photo: Buggsy Malone.


During her apprenticeship, Jinji will learn the basic rhythmic and melodic patterns on all ensemble instruments for Kamamatuan and Kangungudan (styles of kulintang music). She will also build her understanding of how these parts contribute to the entire structure of different songs.





Filipino Kulintang
with mentor Danongan Kalanduyan

In 2013, Kalanduyan and Benedicto returned to the Apprenticeship Program, focusing on the Filipino music form of Kulintang.


Filipino Kulintang
with mentor Danongan Kalanduyan

After studying with the late Master artist and NEA National Heritage Fellow Danongan Kalanduyan for nine years, Benedicto became Kalanduyan’s ACTA apprentice, focusing on advanced rhythms and techniques on the five different kulintang instruments, improvisational techniques, and the history and social context of kulintang music. Bendicto also presented what he learned to his students at Balboa High School in San Francisco.


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