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Colombian Music

If it's from your hammock; sipping your cocktail on the beach; shaking on the dance floor; waiting for the bus; travelling to your next exciting destination... Feel and enjoy the real Colombian vibe with some Latin-American tunes! Here are some tips to put on your smartphone:

Listen and watch this beautiful video: La Tierra Del Olvido | Playing For Change

-> This song unites over 80 musicians across the nation of Colombia: No matter how much division and struggle we face in life, we can always persevere with the power of music and love! Enjoy Colombia, our country!


Alibombo percusion: They make music with all the stuff you can smash on and you know what? It sounds awesome! Percussion with everything for everyone! Nice modern swinging electro beats combined with percussion. Members are Vanessa Worsnop, Alex Uran, Feliciano Blandon, Lucas Jaramillo, David Colorado and Pedro Rincon Ortiz. From Medellín.  Video Youtube 

Aterciopelados: This Colombian rock band from Bogotá was the first one who received international attention. Their music belongs to latin pop-rock music! Members are Andrea Echeverri y Héctor Buitrago and they sing in Spanish. Songs as Maligno, El Estuche, Bolero Falaz, …

Bomba Estereo: Electro from Bogotá with a tropical elegance. Folklore music from the Atlantic coast with music of all types like electronic music, champeta, hip-hop from Colombia. Members are: Liliana Saumet (vocals), Simón Mejía (bass), Kike Egurrola (drums) and Julián Salazar (guitar). Songs as Así soy yo, Aqua Sala, El Alma y el cuerpo... Check here the oficial video of their song "Somos dos".

Buritaca 200: To keep alive the traditions, origins, expressions and feelings present in the variety of music inherited from one generation to the other through centuries in different regions of Colombia. Rhythms like cumbia, mapalé, son corrido, among many others. Members are Fernelly, Carlitos, Mario, Jose, Alex, Miguel, Paola, Juancho, Santi, Elzine, Magdalena y Felipe. From Barcelona. Genre: Afro Colombian beat.

Carlos Vives: one of the most known Colombian artist after shakira, he merged the tropical sound of vallenato (Caribbean coast) with electro-rock and even regueton. Don´t miss his recent updated video of La Tierra del Olvido!! La Tierra Del Olvido | Playing For Change

39: Tropical dub. Was born of a voyage between the river and the sea in Colombia. Its drummers, vocalists, birds and trees, were all found along the way. Directed by Mauricio Alvarez, the project explores the intersection of experimental dance music and the traditional sounds of Colombia, invoking the bright colours and dances of its journey. Classic tropical touch, crazy beats, excellent melodies and productions.

ChocQuibTown: Music from the Pacific, Colombian hip-hop. Members are Tostao, Goyo, Slow, Larry Viveros, Jhon Sanchez, Andrés Zea and Milton Jurado. Genre: Hip Hop, Funk and Afrocolombiano. Songs as: De donde vengo yo, Cuando te veo en don't miss the music video of Nuqui!!! chocquibtown.

Cielito Drive: Freestyle Rock music influenced by the Caribbean traditional format. Genres: Reggae, pop, rock, bossa nova, folk. The members of this Colombian-Venezuelan band are: Mauricio Barranco (drums) Oscar Alford (bass, keyboards, harmonica) and Jose Rebimbas (vocals, guitar, keyboards). Composed, recorded, mixed and mastered between Barranquilla and Bogota. Songs as Austronauta, Zulu, Arbolito, Sol, Esperanza….

Cirkus Funk: Funk Disco Latino. Cirkus Funk emerged in the year 2010 in the city of Cali, Colombia and was consolidated with several musicians who mixed his love of funk with the original Latin flavor of Cali. Members: Edu Turnturn: Voice - Synthesizer, Sarita Steel: Vocals, Camilo Carvajal: guitar, Alejandro Bastidas: Bass, Jose Pelaez: Battery. Great dance and music video filmed in the city of Cali! 

Colectro: Six musicians from Barranquilla who moved to Bogota. Members are Alex Herrera, Moises Vargas, Donaldo Barrios, Gonzalo Prieto, Alberto Palacio. Songs as Green Smoking Jam, Navijazz, Diosa in my Mind, Coletera en Vivo… Video: Vimeo Colectro.

Dicken Schrader: Colombia Fácil's founder Inge became a big fan of Dicken Schrader and his kids. This is a great video from a Colombian father and his kids covering a song of  Everything Counts -  Depeche Mode. You can't start early enough with teaching your kids to play MUSIC! 

Esteman: Musician, actor and chameleon appropriating multiple sounds from different eras and cultures. Creates a musical, visual, conceptual and scenic own original world. Pop - Indie Pop - Folk - Rockabilly. Members: Nicolás Mateus, Maria Cardona, Juanita Carvajal, Pablo Escallón, Julian Bernal, Miguel Cuevas y Camilo Rojas.

Gordo's project: 'Chucu chucu Fashion’... Soft easy-going happy Colombian melodies inspired by Colombian tropical vibes (cumbia, porro, vallenato, choo choo, son, merengue...). Members are: Jose Villa, Juan Camilo Orozco, Magaly A, Alzate, David Robledo, Daniel Restrepo, Andrés Sanín, Fredy Henao, David Colorado. Songs as: Nasty, Terror, Me da lo miasma, Fashion, Cumbia, La Faldita, Me duele el pelo... From Medellín.

Kukos Band: Their sound is based on rhythms like ska, reggae and swing, but has a very strong influence of rhythms that are part of our Colombian culture.

La 33: A salsa group inspired by the latin sounds of New York in the 70's. The band is born in Bogota in 2000. It is an extrovert and happy group with more than 1.000 live presentations around the world. With original lyrics, fresh arrangements and young sound that have turned into a symbol of the Colombian salsa scene. Members are: Sergio Mejia (music director, bass), Santiago Mejia (piano), David Cantillo ‘Malpelo’ (vocal), Guillermo Celis ‘Guillo’ (vocal), Pablo Martinez (vocal), Jose Miguel Vega ‘El Profe’ (trombone), Vladimir Romero (trombone), Roland Nieto (trumpet), Felipe Cardenas (sax), Diego Sanchez (bongoes), Cipriano Rojas ‘Ciro’ (conga), Juan David Fernandez ‘Palo’ (timbales). Songs as Bye Bye, La Pantera Mambo, La 33, Ten cuidado, La Tromenta, Mambo con Boogaloo, …  Ran Kan Kan.

La Chiva Gantiva: Colombian rhythms of yesteryear mixed with well known rhythms such as champeta, chirimia and maple. They use traditional Caribbean instruments (tambour, alegre, llamador, maracones) and modern instruments like the bass guitar, clarinet and saxophone. The bandmembers are Colombians who live in Brussels (Belgium) and their producer is an English man in Bogotá. They opened their path to many big festivals throughout Europe. They sing in French and Spanish. Pelao.

Lido Pimienta: Dark pop. Dramatic and glamorous music of pathetic terror. Known as "Colombian darling" and "Soundsister" Lido jumps back and forth from electronic music to Afro - Colombian rhythms. She currently is based in Canada.

Maite Hontelé: This Dutch trumpet player is HOT in Colombia! Nochecita How does a Dutch trumpet player become famous in Colombia? 

Mama Julia: Created in 2008, this band recreates the sounds of afro-Colombian music with a touch of street style. The rhythm section is made up of traditional percussion from the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, accompanied by the sweet jungle sound of the Chonta Marimba, typical of the southern Pacific coast. Their songs speak out on social issues and everyday life. Mama Julia received the ‘Best Group My Music’ price from Shock magazine in November, 2010. In 2011 they were nominated in two categories, for Boom of the year and Vuelta a Rockombia. Members are: Mayra Lopez, Yahaira Mina, Moises Zamora, Marimba de Chonta, Paulo Gutierrez, Carlos Acosta, Sergio Raminez, Stevan Álvarez, Paulo Sanchez & Joaquín Salcedo.

Meridian Brothers: Funny sounds. Music collection tropical - salsa - pompous rock - non-easy listening - independent balada - eclectic shit - noise protest - cumbia atonal. This band is from Bogota. Members are: María Valencia, Eblis Álvarez, Damián Ponce, César Quevedo, Alejandro Forero y Mauricio Baez. and Desesperanza 

Monsieur Periné: Laboratory experimental folk music with soul from the oldies; themes like human being, inspiration, dedication, mystic, bliss, sacrifice and love. Members: Santiago Prieto, Camilo Parra, Junca Nicholas, Fabian Penaranda, Miguel Guerra, Daniel Chebair and Catalina Garcia. From Bogota. Songs as Ton Silence, Tu m'as promis, Swing romanticon, Cou cou, ... Youtube.

Mr. Loophead: Experimental minimal dj-set mixed with live music. From the Caribbean coast. Live at Ummagumma.

Ondatrópica: The strongest tropical Colombian sounds that was representing Colombia in the Cultural Olympiad of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Video: cumbia espacial

Pernett: Pernett Humberto is a musician born in Bogota, Colombia, characterized by merging elements of music of the Caribbean and Colombian electronic music. Caribbean music / world music/ drum and bass. Songs as La Rumba Bacana, Cumbia computer, La Extinción, Esta noche, Inopia, Delrio de Carnaval, Zoukland…

Puerto Candelaria: Plays cumbia underground, a chaotic mixture of cumbia, jazz, ska and vallenato. The group sees itself as the musical translation of their country Colombia: chaotic, rebellious but also cheerful and full of life.

Shakira: The most famous Colombian star in the world of the international music celebrities. Shakira, Colombians pride (Barranquilla) became famous for her belly dancing talent, unique voice, strong hits and good heart. She received a first Sony contract at the age of 13 years. Her music is a sensual mix of Latin American and oriental sounds. Shakira supports various projects and is founder of Pies Descalzos where she is supporting street children in Colombia. And yes, this is how it all began... Whenever 

Systema Solar: Mix of traditional music from the Colombian coast (champeta, porro, cumbia, bullerengue) with modern styles like hip-hop, techo, breakbeat and house. They use nice visuals influenced by the spirit of the Colombian piko culture (sound systems style performances). Members: John Primera (MC), Indigo (MC), Pellegrino (producer), Daniboom (DJ), Patadeperro (VJ), Andrés (drums, percussion), DJ Corpas (DJ). From the Colombian Caribbean coast, Bogota, Belgium and Venezuela. Songs as Bienvenidos, Mi Kolombia…
Stereocuco: Colombian Caribbean musical collective that creates and mixes sounds of traditional Caribbean music with urban and electronic genres (beats). Fresh and original lyrics based on everyday human idiosyncrasies of being Latino and Caribbean rhythms linked to incite dancing, partying and bacanería. From Barranquilla. Songs as El Raspao, Puro Wachu Wachu, Sonríele… Members are: Malandrews Andrews (multi-percussion, drums), Jabiz Tuff (engineering, front of house), Tete (Dj, percussion), Dave Pacheco (guitar, bass, vocals) and Marlon Peroza (lead vocals, bagpipes).

Tribu Baharú: It's a combo of champetúo* Afro-Colombian Caribbean musicians, influenced by El Pico (Sound System) and a culture with more than six decades of experience in Colombia, with the epicenter cities of Barranquilla and Cartagena. Instrumentalize live music without losing the particular performance of the scene picotera that exists in the dances of verbena (a popular celebration of this region) generating an emotional state for the dancers known as Goce Champetúo. This music is influenced by fishermen of Congolese Soukous, Soweto, Zouk, Calypso, Soca, Reggae Kompa Haitian and urban. Their goal is to convey the joy of 'being caribe' through dance and using music as a vehicle. Genre: Afro-Champeta**. Songs as: Soy Caribe, Members are: Boris Torres, David Cantillo, Jossue Moreno, Walter Pacheco, Ruder Pacheco, Cesar Urueta, Hector Cedeño, Rober Daza, Oscar Gamboa, Andres Muños.

*Champetúo = African music + champeta. = ‘very champeta’, not only because of the music, but the urban champeta kind of culture (picós, verbena parties, etc…).

**Champeta = The name of a small knife, and also the name of the rhythm of African Music + electronic beats in the Bolívar department.... like the Afrobeat, but from the Caribbean...

Other famous Colombian singers are JuanesAndrés Cepeda, Fonseca, Manual Medrano, Maluma, J Balvin and Santiago Cruz


What? Orginial music from the Muisca Indigenous with influence from Europe.
Where? The Andes.
Instruments? Harp, guitar, flute, maracas, drums, tiple, mandolin...
Example? You Tube.

What? Rythms of African Music (+ electronic beats in the Bolívar department.... ) like the Afrobeat, but from the Caribbean... Champeta has been influenced by zouk, soukous, reggae and compass. Dancing is sensual.
Where? Caribbean Coast Colombia (Palenque, Cartagena…)
Instruments? The main instruments are drums, bass, conjas, synthesizer, electric guitar.

What? African music + champeta. = ‘very champeta’, not only because of the music, but the urban champeta kind of culture (picós, verbena parties, etc…).
Where? Caribbean coast Colombia.

What? Cumbia is a Colombian music and dance style, a mixture of African, Spanish and Native Colombians music. Its structure is played with a rhythm structure of 2/4 and 2/2.
Where? Caribbean coast in Colombia.
Instruments? Traditional instruments like the tambora (bass drum), accordion, drums. Nowadays bands are using instruments like trumpets, keyboards,  saxophones, trombones, guitar, conga, güira, claves and clarinet. How to do basic Cumbia dance steps: Expert Village.

What? Afro-Colombian roots with an folkloric rhythm. One of the most African influenced-styles in all of Colombia.
Where? The Pacific coast.  
Instruments? Cununo, drums, marimba chonta guasa, ...

What? A genre of Venezuela and Colombia with waltz rhythm and mixed rhythm structure up to 3/2.
Where? Orinoquía region in Colombia, Los Llanos.
Instruments? Mandolin, cuatro, maracas and harp.
An example: Joropo.

What? Musical rhythms of the Caribbean coast. It has an upbeat rhythm and partying, suitable for dancing in pairs.
Where? Traditional departments of Córdoba, Bolívar, Atlántico and Sucre.
Instruments? Euphoniums, trumpets, clarinets, trombones, bass drum, snare and cymbals.

What? Folklore rhythms accompanied by the accordion with African, Spanish and indigenous influences mixed with everyday Colombia.
Where? The Caribbean region in Colombia, situated between the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the Serranía de Perijá in northeast Colombia.
Instruments? Accordion, caja, guacharaca, bass.
There are 4 rhythms in Vallenato:
Son -> slow and focused on the low notes of the accordion.
Paseo -> with its variety in speed it can be an off-shoot of the son.
Puya -> roots in the Indian dance of the Sierra Nevada; the difference with merengue is the length of the lyrics.
Merengue -> narrative style with internal rhymes.

Here are other types of Caribbean music: Lumbalú, Pajarito, Puya, Mapale, Bullerengue, Cumbión, Chalupe, Fandango, Gaita, Parrandi, Merecumbe, Maya, Pompo, Parrandí, Tambora, Sabanero Son, etc...

What is Piqueria? A battle among singers, usually accompanied by the rhythm of instruments.

What is Picós? In the 1970s small mobile soundsystems, know as picós, began to arrive in the area of San Basillo de Palenque (Carribean coast of Colombia), bringing with them the latest sounds of Africa and Colombia, helping Palenque to create its own unique musical style.

Here you can see a 6 years old girl dancing on typical music in Rincon del Mar ... Impressive!