Colombia is not just a country of pristine beaches, whitewashed Andean towns, deep jungles and soaring mountains…I mean, it is all of those things, but there is so much more to the country than just it’s natural spectacles. Probably my favorite element of living in Colombia is the music that seems to ooze (finally, I get to use that word in a blog post!) from every pore of day-to-day life over here. Salsa, cumbia, champeta, bullerengue…the list of styles and genres seems endless. And there are numerous clubs around the country that allow you to enjoy these sounds…
A personal favorite of mine is ‘Latino Power’ in Chapinero (Cll. 58 #13-88). Tucked away on a fairly nondescript road down by Avenida Caracas, the club is not immediately obvious from the outside. Once you get inside, however, that changes entirely: a long, industrial looking room, decorated with a variety of excellent murals, and topped off with a giant psychedelic jaguar looming over the stage at the far end of the room (a mural of a jaguar, I should point out…). There’s a long bar (generally serving 2-for-1 beers until 11pm), a coat-check room, and usually a little merchandise table selling records, CDs and cassettes (yep, they still sell those) from whatever artist is playing that night.
And that’s the main reason for visiting Latino Power: the live music and DJs. There are live shows in the club at least 2 or 3 times a week, and usually from a diverse range of (mostly) Colombian artists. The majority seem to experiment with Colombian folkloric traditions, in the vein of Los Piranas or Frente Cumbiero. However, they host some excellent hip-hop, traditional and electronic artists as well. Going to Latino Power every night for a few weeks would be like the human equivalent of the i-tunes shuffle feature. It’s the perfect place to discover new musical styles and fashions, and I have never left disappointed in the music I was treated to after a visit to Latino Power.
The club isn’t a touristy place by any means; you’ll find a majority crowd of young, hip Colombians, with a smattering of extranjeros. However, if you are traveling in Colombia and want to have an amazing Saturday night out, and come back home with some ‘so-cutting-edge-it-hurts’ musical recommendations from Colombia for your friends, then Latino Power is definitely the place to visit.
Check out their Facebook page for upcoming events. See you there!