The musical tapestry of Colombia is an incredibly rich and diverse one – reflective of the diverse cultures and peoples of Colombia. It is one of the many things I love about Colombia.
That tapestry is much more diverse than most people know about.
New forms of Colombian music
Traditional forms of Colombian music, or the more popular mainstream ones, are well-known throughout the world: Salsa – Merengue – Cumbia – Vallenato – Reggaeton. There is also a long list of lesser known traditional Colombian music genres: Porro – Palenque – Champeta – Currulao –Merecumbe. You will find all of those styles of music and more in Colombia – made and played by incredible artists. I love it all.
Colombian rock music, metal music, jazz music, reggae music, electronic music and more, can also be found.
Importantly, what you will also find in Colombia (but just need to know to look) is contemporary Colombian music that doesn’t fit into any of those neat musical genre boxes…Music with different flavours that combines a bit of this genre with a bit of that genre.
Love affair with the music of Colombia
When I first came to Colombia in 2007, I found what are now the better known Colombian fusion bands: Bomba Estereo – Sidestepper – Systema Solar – and Choc Quib Town. I fell in love with the unique and interesting sounds in the music they were making, and wanted more of it.
I have been searching for, and finding other Colombian fusion music ever since.
I buy some Colombian music CD’s that I hear about on-line, from my home base in Australia. Better than that though, is going to the right music stores whenever I visit Colombia – and getting a bag of Colombian musical goodies to take home with me.
Where to find the latest Colombian bands
The best music store I have found in Colombia for buying Colombian fusion music is Musiteca in Bogota (Cra 8, # 18-81, Local 203). Musiteca has the biggest selection of Colombian bands – lots of fusion music – and independent music direct from the artist to the store, so you might not find it anywhere else. Go in and tell the owner Cesar what types of music you like, and he will give you a pile of CD’s to listen to.
Live music shows are the ultimate musical experience for me though. When I come to Colombia, and anywhere else in the world I go, I look for those live experiences.
The bigger and more obvious places to look for fusion music bands are at festivals like Rock al Parque, Hip Hop al Parque, and Festival Centro.
There are a few bars in Bogota that support original music and have very regular live gigs – Latino Power Bar (Calle 58 # 13 -88 ); A Seis Manos (Calle 22 # 8-60); and Quibra Canto (Carrera 5 # 17-76). There are bigger venues like El Teatro Metro en El Centro. Also check the program for regular concerts at la Fundacion Gilberto Alzate Avendano.
In Medellin keep an eye out for the weekly gigs at 3 Cordilleras. If you’re in town when la Feria de Las Flores is on in August, make sure you check out Parque Cultural Nocturno where you will generally always find some contemporary Colombian fusion music.
Go ahead – have a listen
Here is a list of Colombian fusion bands I recommend checking out:
Afrotumbao – Alerta Kamarada – Bambarabanda – Belembe – Bomba Estereo – Choc Quib Town – Eyele – Frente Cumbiero – Herencia de Timbiqui – Kinteto Pacifico – La Makina del Karibe – La Republica – Mitu – Monareta – Papaya Republik – Profetas – Puerto Candelaria – Pulenta – Sidestepper – Systema Solar – Tumbacatre – Zalama Crew .
All these bands have websites or Facebook & Myspace pages. I have just started to review these and other fusion music bands on my own blog, with sample tracks, so you can also find more information there if you want it.
Enjoy la musica de fusion Colombiana!