Rock al Parque - Bogota, Colombia

Pulenta – Give Me Those Horns

Pulenta live @ Rock al Parque 2013.

Pulenta live@Rock al Parque 2013

Live @ Rock al Parque 2013

This is home grown Colombian fusion music from Bogota.

This group of 7 artists say they like to stay away from music classifications – and experiment with sounds of funk, hip hop, r&b, and Afro and Latino rhythms.   They combine the use of beats sequencers, samplers and synthesizers, with live bass, electric guitar, vocals, drums, and importantly from my perspective, an awesome horn section.

Pulenta live @ Rock al Parque 2013

Live @ Rock al Parque 2013

Pulenta were fun to watch.  It was cool to hear some Colombian music with some funk elements to it, and with prominent horn lines – both of which I love but neither of which I have heard much of in Colombia.

Check out these sample tunes:~

Gypsy Bermudez by PULENTA

Como fue by PULENTA.mp3

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Dubioza Kolektiv – A Fusion Taste of Bosnia

Dubioza Kolektiv live @ Rock al Parque 2013.

Dubioza Kolektiv - Rock al Parque 2013

My first taste of Bosnian fusion  music.  I’m not surprised it happened in Bogota.

The 8 Bosnian musicians in Dubioza Kolektiv are super energetic and uplifting performers, singing positive social messages.

Dubioza Kolektiv (Bosnia)@ Rock al Parque 2013

Live @ Rock al Parque 2013

They are also quality musicians creating great music with their seamless blend of ska, reggae, punk, hip hop, dub and rock.  I have a super soft spot in music for horns, so the saxophone in this music was the cherry on the cake for me.

The positive reaction of the huge Colombian crowd to Dubioza Kolektiv, with their lyrics in English and Bosnian [?], proved yet again that good music surpasses language barriers.

Check out this video of their Rock al Parque show and let me know what you think….

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Bambarabanda – Super Wacky Colombian Fusion Music

Bambarabanda live @Rock al Parque 2013

  • Hailing from Pasto in Southern Colombia, Bambarabanda plays some of the wackiest fusion music I’ve heard. All of it was performed incredibly well.
  • Fusion of traditional Andean folk, rock, reggae, hip hop, punk, ska, funk, and polka.
  • Three vocalists, drum kit, bass, electric and acoustic guitars, violin, charango, accordion, various percussive instruments, and generally just a mix up of strange but cool sounds.

No photos or videos from this gig– too much rain – but I highly recommend you check out some videos on Bambarabanda’s website or on Youtube to see the super wackiness for yourself.

Bambarabanda

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Rock al Parque – Hard Work With Benefits

It’s called Rock al Parque. ‘Rock in the Park’.

Rock al Parque happens once a year over three days in Simon Bolivar Park, Bogota, Colombia.

Rock al Parque is Latin America’s biggest free music festival – put on by the Colombian government.

Dubioza Kolektiv @ Rock al Parque 2013

Dubioza Kolektiv at Rock al Parque 2013

Rock al Parque is not just rock music. Yes there are rock bands, but also metal bands, reggae/dub bands, gypsy bands, Latin music bands and more, and of course bands playing music that is a fusion of all of the above genres and more. The line-up is a reflection of the diversity that is Colombia.

2013 was my third time at Rock al Parque. This year I managed to get to the festival on Sunday and Monday nights. That was definitely enough for me. Although the line-up generally includes a huge number of talented international and Colombian bands, being in the festival environment that is Rock al Parque itself is hard work.

Pulenta live @ Rock al Parque 2013

Pulenta at Rock al Parque 2013

Imagine a huge park – bigger than Central Park in New York. Imagine a wet park – it rains a lot in Bogota. Imagine it is cold. Imagine tens of thousands of people (120,000 on day one they say) moving about, not really engaging socially with one another except for the people they’ve come with.  Imagine having almost nowhere to sit and relax. The closest festival venue comparison I can think of is the Byron Bay Blues Fest in Australia – but with less seating, more people, and two frisk searches by police on entry. Rock al Parque is hard work.

Despite the effort it takes to be there, there is always good music to be found, and I managed to find some very wacky and unique contemporary bands worthy of mention – Bambarabanda Dubioza Kolektiv Pulenta – and a not so wacky, but a legendary one – Living Colour.

Living Colour@ Rock al Parque 2013

Living Colour at Rock al Parque 2013

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Rock al Parque is just one of countless musical and other artistic events that were happening in Bogota over the weekend.  Same goes for all throughout the year really – including the other government funded festivals Salsa al Parque, Hip Hop al Parque and Jazz al Parque.  It is hard not to be in a constant state of sleep deprivation in a city like this where the musical (and other arts) feasts on offer are seemingly abundant.

I wonder if Los Bogotanos appreciate how lucky they are to have all of it at their finger tips?

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