Mama Julia y Los Sonidos Ambulantes

If you follow Rule No. 1 of moving house  – ‘Thou shall take and set up thou sound system in the new house first‘ – the best (and just about the only good) part of the process is having lots and lots of time to drown yourself in music. In this house-move my beloved, but much-neglected-of-late Colombian music collection was my main unpacking companion. The Mama Julia y Los Sonidos Ambulantes album Pa’ Que Se Lo Goce was with me mucho.

Mama Julia y Los Sonidos Ambulantes - Pa' Que Se Lo Goce

Pa’ Que Se Lo Goce (2011) – Mama Julia y Los Sonidos Ambulantes

Mama Julia are yet another great contemporary Colombian fusion group mixing up traditional and modern urban sounds to create music like none other in the world – or at least none other than in Colombia 🙂 . My discovery of Mama Julia y Los Sonidos Ambulantes was courtesy again of Cesar at one of Bogota’s best independent music stores Musiteca.

Musiteca - Bogota

This group’s music is a blend of traditional Afro-Colombian rhythms, instruments and music styles from both the Pacific and Atlantic Colombian coasts with currulao, cumbia, champeta, porro & more blended with elements of son, jazz, afro-beat, reggae, hip-hop and rock.

Check out 2 sample tracks here from Mama Julia y Los Sonidos Ambulantes’ one and only album so far Pa’ Que Se Lo Goce…

Mama Julia y Los Sonidos Ambulantes - Pa' Que Se Lo Goce

Pa’ Que Se Lo Goce (2011) – Mama Julia y Los Sonidos Ambulantes

This one is for the bass lines and sax solo…

‘Chontaduro Maduro’ – Pa’ Que Se Lo Goce (2011) – Mama Julia y Los Sonidos Ambulantes

.

This one’s also for the bass lines towards the end of the song…

‘Chucubit (Canto Negro)’ – Pa’ Que Se Lo Goce (2011) – Mama Julia y Los Sonidos Ambulantes

.

As well as the vocals and instrumentation of the 10 members of Mama Julia y Los Sonidos Ambulantes, Pa’ Que Se Lo Goce has a whole lot of guest artists on the album including a bonus track with Colombia’s renowned Pacific Coastal singer Zully Murillo on vocals.

There was talk of a 2nd Mama Julia y Los Sonidos Ambulantes album release by the end of 2013 but so far only the single ‘Distrito’ has come. The next album can’t be far away? Until then you can check out this Mama Julia y Los Sonidos Ambulantes video of ‘Distrito’ for glimpses of 1 of so, so, so many diverse and colourful districts of Colombia  – this one in Cali, called Aguablanca…

Here’s hoping for a live Mama Julia y Los Sonidos Ambulantes show when I’m next in Colombia. Here’s also hoping that’s not too long away.

Mamajulia y Los Sonidos Ambulantes

Photo courtesy of http://www.planb.com.co

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‘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.

Ondatrópica

 

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?  

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Ondatrópica – Fusion Music Treasure

The Ondatrópica Recipe:

1. Find English producer and musician Will Holland (aka QuanticQuantic Soul Orchestra) where he is based in Cali, or wherever else in the world he is touring.  Join him up with Mario Galeano, leader of Colombian fusion band Frente Cumbiero, and also collaborator with the one and only Mad Professor.

Ondatrópica - www.beaveronthebeats.com

2. Then find 40 more of Colombia’s (and other Latin countries) most talented and experienced musicians, representing different generations and different musical genres.

Ondatrópica - www.beaveronthebeats.comOndatrópica - www.beaveronthebeats.comOndatrópica - www.beaveronthebeats.comOndatrópica - www.beaveronthebeats.com

3. Put all of those artists together into legendary, old school recording studio Discos Fuentes in Medellin, with analogue production equipment.  Keep them there for about 3 weeks.

Ondatrópica - www.beaveronthebeats.com

What do you get at the end?

Ondatrópica - Ondatrópica (2012) - www.beaveronthebeats.comThe Ondatrópica album:  an incredibly unique and brilliant Colombian fusion music album in which traditional meets modern in a very exciting way.

In the tracks on just one album, Ondatrópica have successfully managed to combine and showcase, in stellar style, the vast richness and diversity of traditional and contemporary Colombian music in all its many forms.   The music is a  quality blend of cumbia, jazz, salsa, bossa nova, gaita, electro, hip hop, champeta, porro, dub, ska, afro beat, funk, beat box, and probably more :).

Check out some sample tracks from the Ondatrópica album yourself.  You’ll see what I mean. Serious mp3 sound quality warning here.  Buying the real album (easy on-line) will give you so much more listening pleasure with all its quality, varied, intricate sounds.

I Ron Man

 

Black Sabbath fans…What say you about Iron Man Colombian style?

Ska Fuentes

Suena

So we all agree about the album’s brilliance yes?

Well then, what do you get next when some of those 42 Ondatrópica musicians go on tour to perform live around the world?  A pretty incredible and unique live music experience, I imagine, and hope to find out for sure when I can.

 Ondatrópica - www.beaveronthebeats.com

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Monsieur Periné – Colombian Gypsy Jazz To Make You Happy

Every second person I spoke to in Colombia recently about contemporary Colombian fusion music, recommended this band to me.  Thanks to all those people – because I love Monsieur Periné.

Monsieur Periné

Monsieur Periné’s music is Colombian fusion flavours of a different sort again – illustrating again the incredible diversity of music in Colombia.

The group self describes as a ‘Laboratorio de música popular experimental con alma de antaño’ – a laboratory of experimental pop music with the soul of yesteryear.  The music is swinging Gypsy Jazz in French roots (Jazz Manouche) + pop + subtle Latin rhythmic flavours in the mix.

Monsieur Periné

Monsieur Periné

Monsieur Periné is an independent 7 piece band based in Bogota. The group is award winning, regularly performs at festivals in and outside of Colombia, gets radio play in Colombia, and has a big following.

There are very good reasons for all of that – the musicianship of the group members is stellar, and the music is fantastic.

This is totally different to any other music I have heard come out of Colombia. Listening to it makes me feel happy.  What else do I need to say???  Nothing :).

Listen yourself to some sample tracks from Monsieur Periné’s album Hecho a Mano. If it makes you happy too, the original CD will make you even happier than these MP3 versions.

Hecho A Mano (2012)

Hecho A Mano (2012)

 

 

03 Suin Romantico – Hecho de Mano (2012) 

11 La Muerta- Hecho de Mano (2012) 

 

Doesn’t it make you feel happy too?

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Afrotumbao: Pacific Coast Afro-Colombian Meets Hip Hop

I meant to tell you about this band a long time ago.

Afrotumbao

Afrotumbao’s album No Es Facil (It’s Not Easy) was another great Colombian fusion music recommendation from Cesar at Musiteca in Bogota last year.  One I’m happy for.

Afrotumbao is an independent band based in Bogota, made up of 10 members from different parts of Colombia.

Afrotumbao - beaveronthebeats.com

The group creates music that’s a mix of traditional Afro Colombian sounds and modern hip hop.

Marimba de ChontaThose traditional sounds come from the principal (and beautiful sounding) instrument – the Marimba de Chonta a percussion instrument from the Pacific Coastal region of Colombia. The rest come from electric guitar, bass, drum kit, percussion, trumpet, sax, clarinet, piano, vocals & raps.

Sample tracks from No Es Facil here…

Afrotumbao

El Pescador – No Es Facil

Pacifico Soy – No Es Facil

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Zalama Crew’s Everyday Fight Doesn’t Disappoint

Have you ever found a band at a fantastic live show, only to buy their CD and find out it makes you a bit sleepy next to the live experience? I have. Many times. The most recent for me was Tarrus Riley, my great live find at Reggae Sumfest.

Zalama Crew - Live @ La Negra Noche, Medellin - August 2013

Zalama Crew live @ La Negra Noche, La Feria de las Flores Medellin – August 2013

I loved Zalama Crew’s live show at  Negra Noche in Medellin last month.

From there I kind of expected their 2013 EP Everyday Fight to be disappointing.     It definitely was not that.

If you love like I do, good sounds of really well blended hip-hop, dub reggae & soul, with some Latin rhythms in the mix, you’ll love the tunes on Everyday Fight.

Zalama Crew - Everyday Fight - EP cover - www.beaveronthebeats.com

My ears lock into the intro beats of Track 1 immediately. Slowly slowly the sounds keep building. I can’t stop listening. I wonder, and wait in anticipation for whatever might be coming next.

01 Llego La Melodia

It sounds like it could be something special yes?

Track 2 kicks in, and there it is.  My body has to move to the music. And I’m in it.

02 Escucha & Rota

From there I stay in it. Engaged with each of the different soundings songs on Everyday Fight until the end.

That end is my only disappointment with the EP really. After the 7 songs are over I always wish there were more to come.

Zalama Crew Listen to Everyday Fight tracks @ soundcloud.com/zalamarecords  & soundcloud.com/zalamacrew.

You can buy Everyday Fight from:

*  Almacenes la Musica (in Cali, Colombia), or

* ITunes (elsewhere in the world)https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/zalama-crew/id516662793

& find more Zalama Crew music too…

Zalama Crew are a collective of independent artists from Cali, Colombia.

Zalama Crew = band (human bass, drums, flute & guitar players yes + DJ Cronic +   4 MC/Vocalists + VJ Paul Dub.

Zalama Crew

Anyone want to go to Cali this week for the live Zalama Crew experience? Yo si.

1187061_627445037287691_987410738_n

DJ Cronic chatting about Zalama Crew, Zalama Producciones, fusion music in Colombia, working with Sergent Garcia and more,  soon.

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CONECTADOS – Connected in Innovative Electronic Music

Every Friday night during 3 seasons per year, you can find a peaceful musical space in a charming colonial building in Bogota’s oldest and most gorgeous neighbourhood La Candelaria. There you’ll find people wanting to listen to, and appreciate music. And all of you will probably experience cool, innovative electronic music by (mostly) Colombian and (some) international artists. That space is called CONECTADOS (CONNECTED).

Mercury

Mercury

Diana Yanive Torres, Director of Fundacion Cultural Arca in Bogota, explains here what the Fundacion’s CONECTADOS project is all about:

CONECTADOS (‘CONNECTED’) is an electronic music program that facilitates through live concerts, artistic exchanges and creative workshops, an opening for Colombian artists to develop and share their distinct and diverse electronic music projects drawn from synthesizers, sequencers, computers and other digital tools.

The program was created by Daniel Casas C (Colombian journalist and music critic) and Fundacion Cultural Arca (Cultural Ark Foundation) in August 2010, in association with Bogota’s Fundación Gilberto Alzate Avendaño (‘FUGA’).

The CONECTADOS concert series are open to the public and free.  They are presented 3 seasons per year at the Escenario Muelle de la Alzate (FUGA) (Calle 10 # 3-16).  During the season the concerts run every Friday from 6.00 to 7.00 pm.

CONECTADOS orientates the public to the electronic music genre and its various sub-genres.  The program provides an exchange space for the many diverse participating Colombian and international electronic music artists

So far CONECTADOS has run 9 seasons running for 2 months each, showcasing a total of more than 70 artists. 

Between 2012 and 2013 CONECTADOS formalised an exchange between Canadian and Colombian artists through Quebec’s International Youth Offices (www.lojiq.org).  This  initiative allowed Fundacion Cultural Arca to establish cooperative procedures with other foreign cultural organisations – helping CONECTADOS to continue growing as a cooperative cultural exchange project for empirical artists and electronic music professionals – and continue facilitating the creation and expansion of their activities.

CIRCUITO CONECTADOS - Flyer

CONECTADOS - logoFor more CONECTADOS information:

http://conectadosmusicaelectronica.blogspot.com/

direccion@fundacionculturalarca.org / casascd@gmail.com

 For a few words from Diana about electronic fusion music check out the Fusion Music page.

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Is Bogota “The World Capital of Music”?

“Bogota is the world capital of music.”

That’s a big claim yeah? An even bigger one than being “the greatest reggae show on earth”.

This is what a non-native Colombian – living in Colombia (not in Bogota) – and playing music in a Colombian fusion band – recently told me in Bogota.

Is Bogota really “The World Capital”?

I’m not sure I agree with him that Bogota is the world capital. I’m not sure New Yorkers would agree. Or Berliners.  After recent experiences in Jamaica I think some Jamaicans might say that Jamaica is the world capital of music. Colombian musicians living in other Colombian cities might also disagree that Bogota is the world capital of music.

José Enrique Plata Manjarrés

I put the proposition to a Colombian, un Bogotona, José Enrique Plata Manjarrés. I consider José to be a living, walking encyclopedia of Bogota’s recent musical history, as well as Latin America more generally. Just 2 of his many musical projects, spanning a decade, included: 1.  collecting Bogota concert posters; 2. reviewing and/or collecting all music of all genres recorded in Bogota by Colombian and visiting international artists (some of them unreleased):  http://www.fotolog.com/owaihttp://www.last.fm/user/owai.

José responded “I don’t know that Bogota is the world capital of music. But it is certainly a reference point”.

Bogota is “a reference point”

A reference point it is.

The more I ask questions about Colombian fusion music, the more I find out just how many people outside of Colombia have been looking closely at what’s happening musically in Bogota (and the rest of Colombia) in recent years. I just found out about an awesome 2013 documentary called ‘Que Pasa Colombia’ (‘What happened Colombia’).  It’s whole focus is on contemporary Colombian fusion bands and how all the fusion music came to be: exactly what I’ve been going on about lately, and thinking about for years.

Que Mas?

“World capital of music” or not – the point is that in Bogota there is an incredibly rich, interesting & diverse tapestry of amazing contemporary music being created – including lots of fusion music mixing traditional and modern sounds.

And it’s not just in Bogota.  Maybe there’s more fusion bands based in Bogota because it’s the capital, but music artists are creating great fusion music all throughout Colombia.

Systema Solar - Caribbean Coast

Systema Solar – Caribbean Coast

Puerto Candelaria - Medellin

Puerto Candelaria – Medellin

Zalama Crew live @ Negra Noche - Parque Cultural Nocturno 2013 - Medellin - Beaver on the Beats

Zalama Crew – Cali

What Now for Beaver?

Six years after first discovering Colombian fusion music, I have only just started to scratch the surface of how much incredible music is actually in Colombia to be found (fusion and traditional kinds).

Sadly I have to say goodbye to Colombia for now. For the other side of the Pacific (el otro lado del Pacifico) – to put my feet in the sand there for a bit.Byron Bay Australia - Beaver on the Beats

But I will be back to Colombia again, and again, to keep scratching away and finding great musical experiences.

Until then I have lots of things to keep me entertained and dreaming of musical Colombia:

  • a heap of great Colombian fusion bands whose music I’ve been enjoying for a long time but haven’t had time to write about yet.
  • a bag of new Colombian fusion music CD’s to digest – and share what I find.

Music Stores for Independent Colombian Music CDs - Beaver on the Beats

  • a list of other Colombian fusion bands recommended to me by Colombians – whose CD’s I haven’t been able to get hold of.
  • a list of Colombian music festivals I will get back to Colombia for.

I love and already miss the friendly, warm, happy, passionate and incredibly diverse looking, speaking & acting Colombian peoples.

And Dios Miya I will miss the rich, unique & diverse Colombian fusion music (and traditional too) being created, and played live all throughout Colombia.

 I love Colombian fusion music. Don’t you? Claro que siiiii you do

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Independent Colombian Music Stores for Independent Colombian Music

These are some of the exciting new Colombian sound pleasures I have ahead of me.

Music Stores for Independent Colombian Music CDs - Beaver on the Beats

All are Colombian fusion music CD’s.

All are original, real CD’s with good sound quality. I can listen to all the sounds of the original recorded music (unlike in MP3 or MP4 format). Real CD’s with the album artwork, artists names & track names in real print.

All CD’s bought from 2 music stores in Bogota:

1. Musiteca (Cra 8 # 18-81 Local 203-Tel 284 3263)

Music Stores with Independent Colombian Music Cds - Beaver on the Beats

2. W Records (Tel 247 4045) – in the same complex as Musiteca

Music Stores with Independent Colombian Music Cds - Beaver on the Beats

Musiteca & W Records are independent record stores.

Both music stores sell lots of independent Colombian music CD’s that can be hard to find elsewhere.

In both stores you can tell them what music you like, and they will put all the options in front of you to listen and choose from.

I love love love my visits to these Bogota music stores for all my Colombian music needs.  

I am really excited about my new Colombian fusion music goodies from Musiteca & W Records. I will let you know what I find.

Any independent music stores left where you live?

There aren’t enough of them left anywhere in the world.

I usually find the people running those independent music stores are passionate about music and about supporting music artists – including local and independent ones.

I think those independent music stores are worth supporting wherever you can so that they don’t all disappear from the world.  

If you’re in Bogota remember to find Musiteca and W Records for buying independent Colombian music.

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La Feria de las Flores – Musically a Great Time to Visit Medellin

La Feria de las Flores (Flower Fair) in August is a good time of the year to visit Medellin. If for no other reason, for the fantastic live music you can find at Parque Cultural Nocturno. 

Medellin With La Feria de las Flores

La Feria de las Flores is 10 days.  During that time you can if you want, find the national Trova competition (traditional music where singers duel in improvised verses) –Cabaret ReggaetonPop concerts – Orchestras – + so much more in lots of different locations/venues in and around Medellin.

I’m sure all of those things were great. But I went to none of them :).

I was mostly at Parque Cultural Nocturno (Cultural Night Park) – a program of free outdoor concerts at Parque de los Pies Descalzos.

Parque Cultural Nocturno 

Night 1 of Parque Cultural Nocturno is ‘Negra Noche’ (Black Night).

Night 2 is ‘Musicas del Mundo’ (World Music).

Troker & two awesome Emcees @ Musicas del Mundo whose names I unfortunately don't know - but if anyone else does, please let me know!

Troker (Mexico) with guest Emcees @ Musicas del Mundo

Night 3 is ‘Noche de Humor’ (Humour Night).

Night 4 is ‘Noche Tropical’ (Tropical Night).

Each of those Parque Cultural Nocturno events is a great environment for listening, dancing to, and appreciating live, and often incredible Colombian and international music.

  • It’s an open-air venue – under beautiful, clear Medellin night skies.
  • Stage visibility is good for the tiered venue layout.
  • Quality sound and lighting .
  • Lots of seating (granny am I).
  • Sensible program times 🙂 (granny I am I tell you) – 6.00 pm til midnight (finishing the same time Jamaican events start!).
  • Restaurants and basic bars to nourish yourself.
  • Family friendly – with a play area for kids. This venue is not a ‘punto libre’ (a location immune from police harassment for smoking a spliff:).

Most importantly at Parque Cultural Nocturno –  you are there amongst a friendly, music loving, artist appreciating group of people.

Emcees regularly remind the crowd about creating a secure, friendly, clean and respectful space for everyone to enjoy music in together.  All the people in the crowd agree. They create and enjoy that healthy space together – along with the emcees and artists on stage of course.

Negra Noche del Parque Cultura Nocturno 2013 - Medellin - Beaver on the Beats

Las Alegres Ambulancias-Negra Noche

If you get to Medellin when La Feria De Las Flores and Parque Cultural Nocturno are on in August, you’re pretty sure to find some incredible Colombian & international artists for your listening and dancing pleasure.  I did this year, and last year too.

Medellin Without Parque Cultural Nocturno

I don’t know what goes on musically in Medellin during the rest of the year when La Feria de las Flores isn’t on.

My time in Medellin looking for musical experiences away from Parque Cultural Nocturno wasn’t very fruitful:

  • visits to Medellin music stores turned up almost no contemporary local music;
  • my attempts to find cool nightlife I’m into failed;
  • asking lots of Medellin folk about where to find live music got me nowhere much.

There must be good stuff happening in the Medellin music scene during the rest of the year? Si? No? Maybe I spoke to the wrong people?  Went to the wrong places? Wasn’t looking hard enough because Parque Cultural Nocturno was there?

If someone knows about other good times to visit Medellin for live music and festivals, please let me know!  If not I’ll just keep my Medellin visits for La Feria De Las Flores where I know I’ll find live musical goodness at Parque Cultural Nocturno.

Troker @ Musicas del Mundo

Troker @ Musicas del Mundo

Quite apart from La Feria de las Flores and its music, there are lots of good reasons to visit Medellin at any time of year by the way. One is Los Paises – the super friendly & ever-so-proud-of-Medellin (especially over Bogota) people. Another is the glorious all-year-round Spring climate and the beautiful, vivid colours it creates in nature and people.

Medellin - La Feria de las Flores - Beaver on the Beats

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