The 25-year-old Colombian singer and songwriter, Esteman, has written a song about his friends’ doings on Facebook, and the unavoidable avalanche of friends and event requests. Except for one “ladies and gentlemen” sample, the song is entirely sung in Spanish, but may we warn you that its instantly catchy pop melody will get stuck in your head for a while.
“Graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Berklee College of Music, after receiving the Best Achievement Scholarship, Marta Gómez has developed an extensive music career in the US which has placed her as one of the most interesting singer songwriters on the world music scene today.
Marta and her group perform a repertoire of original compositions based on a vast amount of rhythms from Latin America. On her songs, Marta mixes the joy of the Caribbean with the nostalgia of the Andes adding jazz and pop elements, taking the authenticity of South American indigenous folk music into a hip new realm.
With more than 70 composed songs, This young singer-songwriter not only traverses a whole range of Colombian cumbias and bambucos, Argentine zambas, Cuban sones and Peruvian landos but she also writes the kind of melodies and refrains that translate across whatever language she is singing in. That may be the reason that lead Marta to share the stage with musicians of different genres such as Bonnie Raitt , John Mayer, Totó la Momposina and Mercedes Sosa.” – Source
The Int’l Jazz Festival of Bogotá (Festival Internacional de Jazz de Bogotá) awaits the presence of first-class jazz musicians from Latin America, the USA, Europe and Colombia. From September 2nd to 11th, the Colombian capital will be the epicenter of the 22nd edition of the festival, organized by the free Theater Foundation of Bogotá and with more than 10,000 spectators expected. Well-known groups will be playing, such as The Blind Boys of Alabama, winners of four Grammy awards for best traditional gospel group between 2002 and 2005.
Also in attendance, the group Medeski, Martin and Wood, one of the most important phenomenons of contemporary jazz; the pianist Monty Alexander; the Cuban group Habana Ensamble; the Ramón Valle Trio and the Ialsax Quartet, from Italy. – Source (more here, in ES)
Last weekend, I got to see Colombia’s Bomba Estereo* live and, even better, for free! They came to play at the annual concert series in the park in San Francisco called Stern Grove*. They (including Italian star Jovanotti, pictured below with Lili of Bomba Estereo) were really good and got the huge crowd off their seats in no time.
Unfortunately, last year I left California a few days before Colombia’s Toto La Momposina* was to play at Stern Grove, again for free. It’s okay, though, I’ve seen the likes of Bajofondo, Seu Jorge, Ojos de Brujo, Amigos Invisibles and Sergent Garcia in previous years.
On a side-note, a Colombian friend tells me Bomba Estereo is expensive to go see in Colombia, which struck me as a bit odd.
Since I really enjoy music from other cultures, I thought I’d introduce a traditional Colombian style called Bambuco, which hails from the Andes, but carries influences from Europe and Africa. The style is renowned throughout Colombia for being an authentic part of the national folklore, which includes its own festival. The “Festival Folclórico, Reinado Nacional Del Bambuco y Muestra Internacional de Folclor” (or, “Folkloric Festival, National Crowning of Bambuco and International Exhibition of Folklore”): Celebrated in Neiva, between the last two weeks of June and the first days of July.
It has a beat structure similar to the European waltz or polska (not polka). Typically a bambuco piece is a folk music song accompanied by a stylized group dance. Here’s some lyrics from the second song below, called “Soy Colombiano”.
On Vimeo, I found a nicely-done music video of sorts on the street people of Medellín and so I thought I’d share it. The song is ‘Donde Estas?’ by Yuri Buenaventura (second video below), a Colombian singer and the music in the first video is accompanied by Los Orishas, the Cuban hip-hop group.