Colombia`s Music Scene Heats Up


Colombia`s Music Scene Heats Up
August 27, 2015
Colombia’s Music Scene Heats Up
Festival attendees gather in Simón Bolívar Park for Rock al
Parque. Photo Credit: Juan Santacruz, Idartes.
Last week, more than 350,000 music lovers gathered in Bogotá’s Simón Bolívar Park for the 21st edition
of Rock al Parque, a three-day music festival that brings together bands
from around the world, including the United States, Chile, Argentina and
many others. The festival, which began in 1995, stands as an expression
of the promotion and respect of civic culture and social transformation,
and has become an icon of Bogotá’s vibrant international music scene.
Under this year’s theme, “Culture of Peace,” the festival brought together
74 national, local and international bands and focused on encouraging
respect for difference and coexistence. Aside from concerts and
performances, the festival also features a series of lectures, workshops
and panels designed around trends in music. This year, the festival
offered 21 workshops and lectures that emphasized the use of digital
tools and composition, among others.
For more information about Rock al Parque, click here.
Photo Credit: Rock al Parque website.
A Spotlight on Colombian Musicians in the News
A song by Colombian salsa band Sonora Carruseles was featured as one of 40 songs on two
of Spotify’s #POTUSPlaylists – President Obama’s summer music playlist. “For us, it's an
honor that an influential person such as the U.S. president is enjoying and having fun in his
free time with the Colombian salsa of Sonora Carruseles,” said band member Daniel
Colombian artist Carlos Vives reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart with his
first live effort, Mas + Corazon Profundo Tour: En Vivo Desde La Bahia De Santa Marta.
In interviews with NPR and The Huffington Post, Bomba Estéreo discussed the fusion of
traditional Colombian music with electronic sounds in their new album, Amanecer, describing
the music’s “universal” appeal.
Colombian Artist Juanes Makes Tour Stop in
On Saturday, Colombian artist Juanes performed a concert
in Washington, DC, at DAR Constitution Hall. A part of his
“Loco de Amor Tour,” the artist’s stop in the nation’s capital
is the last U.S. concert until December, when he will finish
the 18-concert tour with a performance in Orlando.
A native of Medellín, Juanes is a two-time Grammy winner
and has won 20 Latin Grammy awards. Formerly a
member of the heavy metal band Ekhymosis, Juanes has
earned international acclaim as a solo artist since his debut
in 2000. His concert in Washington, DC came just days
after a special performance at the United Nations for World
Humanitarian Day, where Juanes introduced a new song
written for the occasion, singing “[t]his world just needs
more love.”
For more information on Juanes, his U.S. tour and his
music, visit
Ambassador Pinzón greets Juanes
after his concert on Saturday in
Washington, DC. Photo Credit:
Ambassador Pinzón Twitter Page.
I n Ca s e Y o u M i s s e d I t …
Sankofa Danzafro Performs at 2015 Battery Dance Festival
From August 15 to August 21, New Yorkers gathered in Battery Park for the Battery Dance Festival.
Presented by the Battery Dance
Company, the festival gathers a range
of artists and companies from around
the world for a week of free, out door
performances. This year marks the 40th
anniversary of the Battery Park
Company, originally founded in 1976.
During this year’s festival, Colombian
dance group Sankofa Danzafro,
travelling from Medellín, performed their
New York debut. Founded in 1997 by
Rafael Palacios, Sankofa has become a
space dedicated to training and
creativity in dance, with special focus on
Afro-Colombian culture.
Dance group Sankofa performs during New York’s Battery Park Dance
Festival. Photo Credit: Ministry of Culture of Colombia Twitter Page.
For more information about Sankofa, click
Lollapalooza Announces Fall 2016 Festival in Colombia
At the end of July, Lollapalooza announced the debut of a festival in Bogotá, Colombia, in fall of 2016.
The concert in Bogotá will be hosted in Simón Bolívar Park, and is the fifth Lollapalooza to be held
outside of the United States, following annual festivals in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Germany beginning
in 2011.
In a Wall Street Journal article, Charlie Walker, a co-founder of C3 Presents, a Lollapalooza partner,
explained the draw to Colombia, noting “…We look for super fast-growing, robust economies. There’s a
press article every day about what’s happening in Colombia.”
For more information, visit the Lollapalooza Colombia website.
D i d Y o u K n o w …?
The pop and rock music of Colombian stars like Shakira and Juanes is known throughout the world. But
Colombia is also home to a rich and diverse array of other traditional music styles, including:
Cumbia originated on the Atlantic Coast and dates back to the early 19th century. Influenced by
African cultures, instruments used in cumbia include drums, the gaita (flute), claves and
trombones, to name a few.
Llanero is mostly performed along the plains east of the Andes Mountains between Colombia and
Venezuela. Well-known Colombian artists have
popularized the genre with melodic and rhythmic
virtuosity, percussive drive and sabor
colombiano (or Colombian flavor).
Vallenato is Colombia’s most popular form of
folk music. It combines the sounds of an
accordion, the caja vallenata (a small drum), and
the guacharaca (a wooden ribbed stick and fork).
The word vallenato – “born in the valley” –
originated in the valley between the Sierra
Nevada de Santa Marta and the Serranía de
Perijá mountain ranges.
Vallenato musician plays the accordion.
Other popular Colombian music genres include
currulao and salsa.
Get to know Colombia.
Learn more at
Stay connected: @ColAmbPinzon or @PinzonBuenoEmb