‘C’ is for Cumbia – Old School & New

‘C’ in the A-Z of Music Genres, Beaver Style (ie. ‘fusion’) goes to Cumbia – old school and new.

Older (But Still ‘New’) School Cumbia

In its original form Cumbia music developed around the Caribbean coast of Colombia during its period of colonization by the Spanish.  It became a fusion of music styles and instruments from the indigenous Colombian peoples of that region (the colonized), the Spanish (invading colonists) and African slaves bought to Colombia by those colonists to work.

A tragic history for Africans and Colombians yes…which brought about the awesome sounds of Cumbia that have since spread throughout the world and morphed into its many different forms.

 Cumbia Colombia

Here you can sample some older (but still ‘new’) school Colombian cumbia songs.  They’re the oldest I have in my collection anyway – cumbia goes way back a long, long time before this…

La Cumbia Colombiana - CD 2

La Cumbia Colombiana

‘La Zenaida’ – Armando Hernández – La Cumbia Colombiana


‘Yo Me Llamo Cumbia’ – La Integracion – La Cumbia Colombiana


New School Cumbia

Cumbia has come a long way since its origins.

Throughout history countless artists from around the world have taken cumbia and mixed it with their own regional music styles and/or modern ones like hip-hop, electro and jazz to create new and unique forms of music.

Here you can feast on the sounds of the newer school of cumbia music. Check out these sample (mp3 only) tracks by 10 current artists whose music I know and love from the USAFrance, England and of course Colombia.

Toto La Momposina (Colombia)

To my ears Toto La Momposina is the Queen of Contemporary Cumbia. She’s also on my ‘Live Music Experience Bucket List’.

Hailing from Talaigua Nuevo, a town in Northern Colombia, Toto La Momposina’s music draws heavily on traditional cumbia music and dance (amongst other Latin music styles like Cuban son, bullerengue, chalupa, rumba and guaracha).

Her music is celebrated in Colombia, the rest of Latin America and the wider world through which she has toured extensively in her long career.

Check out some sample tracks from some of Toto La Momposina’s albums, including her version of one of the older school sample tracks above…

Toto la Momposina - La Bodega (2009)

La Bodega (2009) – Toto La Momposina

‘Yo Me Llamo Cumbia’ – La Bodega (2009) – Toto La Momposina


‘Manita Uribe’ – La Bodega (2009) – Toto La Momposina


Carmelina (1995) - Toto la Momposina

 Carmelina (1995) – Toto La Momposina

‘La Sombra Negra’ – Carmelina (1995) – Toto La Momposina


La Candela Viva (1993) - Toto la Momposina

La Candela Viva (1993) – Toto La Momposina

‘El Pescador’ – La Candela Viva (1993) – Toto La Momposina


Ondatrópica (Colombia/England/Chile/ Peru+)

Ondatrópica - Ondatrópica (2012)

Ondatrópica (2012) – Ondatrópica

‘Cumbia Espacial’ – Ondatrópica (2012) – Ondatrópica


Read more about Ondatrópica and hear more Ondatrópica sample tracks here.



Bomba Estereo (Colombia)

Bomba Estereo - Elegancia Tropical (2012)

Elegancia Tropical (2012) – Bomba Estereo

‘Bailar Conmigo’ – Elegancia Tropical (2012) – Bomba Estereo


Kartel Pacifico (Colombia)

Coctel (2012) - Kartel Pacifico

Coctel (2012) – Kartel Pacifico

‘Care Cumbia’ – Coctel (2012) – Kartel Pacifico


Puerto Candelaria (Colombia)

Cumbia Rebelde (2011) - Puerto Candelaria

Cumbia Rebelde (2011) – Puerto Candelaria

‘Cumbia Veracruz’ – Cumbia Rebelde (2011) – Puerto Candelaria


Here you can check out more sample Puerto Candelaria tracks and a video of a live Puerto Candelaria show in Medellin last year.


Papaya Republik (Colombia)

Vol. 1 - Papaya Republik

Vol. 1 (2010) – Papaya Republik

´Cumbia Del Pescaito´ – Vol 1 (2010) – Papaya Republik


Read more about Papaya Republik & listen to other Papaya Republik tracks here.

Papaya Republik live

Papaya Republik


Monareta (Colombia)

Monareta - Fried Speakers (2010)

Fried Speakers (2010) – Monareta

‘Cumbia de la Sierra’ – Fried Speakers (2010) – Monareta


The Quantic Soul Orchestra

(aka Will Holland – England – + his global music collaborators)

Tropidelico - The Quantic Soul Orchestra - Tropidelico

Tropidelico (2007) – The Quantic Soul Orchestra

‘Los Olvidados’ – Tropidelico (2007) – The Quantic Soul Orchestra


Check out more sample tracks from The Quantic Soul Orchestra + other Will Holland albums here.

You can also find these Quantic cumbia fusion albums


Here you can also check out a video of a DJ set by Will Holland (aka Quantic) at WOMADelaide Festival 2014

Sergent Garcia (France)

Mascaras (2006) - Sergent Garcia

Mascaras (2006) – Sergent Garcia

‘Yo Me Yoy Pa’ La Cumbia’ – Mascaras (2006) – Sergent Garcia


Hear more sample tracks from Mascaras + Sergent Garcia’s other albums here.



Ozomatli (USA)

Ozomatli (1998) - Ozomatli

Ozomatli (1998) – Ozomatli

‘Cumbia De Los Muertos’ – Ozomatli (1998) – Ozomatli


Cumbia certainly has made an incredibly profound musical mark all through Latin America and the rest of our big wide world.

I love cumbia in all its many diverse forms, old school and new.  Don’t you?

I Love Cumbia


‘C’ is for Chutney & More

Along with Cumbia, ‘C’ is for so many other music genres from around the world, fusion Beaver style.  Here are a few of the ones I like the sound of…

Candombe – fusion of African and Uruguayan styles developed by African-Uruguayan slaves in the 19th century.

Chicken scratch – fusion of Native American, White American, Mexican, and European styles, performed by the Native American Tohono O’odham people.

Chutney – Caribbean pop music that fuses calypso and cadence with several Indian styles.

Conjunto – fusion of Mexican and German styles developed by Mexican-Americans who had bought German instruments in Texas; it also introduced elements of Caribbean and Cuban music.

Crunk – fusion of hip hop and EDM, known for its heavy basslines and shouted, call-and-response vocals; often used incorrectly as an umbrella term for Southern hip hop.

Crunk&B – fusion of crunk and contemporary R&B.

Crunkcore – fusion of crunk and scream.

Anyone got some Chutney or Candombe music to share?  

Share this...
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

Puerto Candelaria – “Medellin’s Best Fusion Band”

When I told Colombians in the musical know that I was going to a Puerto Candelaria concert in Medellin, they all said something like:

     “Puerto Candelaria is Medellin’s best fusion band.”

I kept answering: Si, I know, that’s why I’m going. I love their kooky music.  

There is no other band I’ve ever heard that sounds like Puerto Candelaria. Their music is experimental jazz with a lot of different traditional Colombian & other Latin rhythms in the mix – including Cumbia, Vallenato, Porro, Guasca & more. The music is fun, original, unconventional and  kooky.

I was lucky to be in Medellin last week to catch their live gig at 3 Cordilleras (supported by Esteman & Troker).

Puerto Candelaria @ 3 Cordilleras, Medellin - Beaver on the Beats

My expectations for this show were really high.  The band totally delivered.

Puerto Candelaria self describes their shows as “absurd, dramatic, explosive, childish, funny and delusional”.  I’d say the one I saw at  3 Cordilleras was just a little (positively) kooky at times is all.

Much more importantly than absurdity, drama, explosiveness etc etc, are the music and the musicianship si?

Well both the music and the musicianship of Puerto Candelaria at the 3 Cordilleras gig were brilliant.

Juancho Valencia on piano & musical direction – Eduardo González on bass & vocals – José Tobón on soprano sax –  Cristian Ríos on trombone –  Carlos Didier Martinez & Juan Guillermo Aguilar on percussion.

 Video of the gig (dodgy at 1st, wait a bit 🙂 ) here…

Puerto Candelaria have played together since 2000, with 4 albums and a lot of world-wide festivals and tours under their belts.

They have a lot of loyal fans by now.  I am one of them –  because they play super unique, feel good, and yes ‘kooky’ Latin jazz fusion music.

Each album sounds different.  Each one is great.

They are easy to find and buy if you like the sounds. Sorry as always you have to listen here in shitty MP3 format. I promise you Puerto Candelaria’s music sounds much better and is done better justice on the original CDs.

Kolombian Jazz (2002)

Proceso (Chucu-Chucu) – Puerto Candelaria – Kolombian Jazz
Suspiro – Puerto Candelaria – Kolombian Jazz

Llegó La Banda (2006)

La Olla Atomica – Puerto Candelaria – Llegó La Banda
Analisis – Puerto Candelaria – Llegó La Banda

Vuelta Canela (2010)

Sargenta Remolacha – Puerto Candelaria – Vuelta Canela
La Corriente– Puerto Candelaria – Vuelta Canela

Cumbia Rebelde (2011)

Balkanica – Puerto Candelaria – Cumbia Rebelde
Cumbia Rebelde – Puerto Candelaria – Cumbia Rebelde


Puerto Candelaria is the “best fusion music band from Medellin” that I’ve heard so far.

Hands down they are  also the best contemporary Colombian jazz band I’ve heard.

Puerto Candelaria  Live @ 3 Cordilleras - 2013

Puerto Candelaria is also at home at Merlin Producciones – an independent label and music production company for emerging Colombian artists.  Apart from Puerto Candelaria, Merlin Producciones has other Colombian artists under its wing worth checking out, including La Republica.

Share this...
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter