Reviews, profiles and news about music in Chicago

Record Review: “Traditional Songs and Dances from Colombia” by Son de Pueblo

Chicha, Cumbia, Latin, Record Reviews, Salsa, World Music No Comments »

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Colombian pop music is well known in alternative circles thanks to the efforts of bands like Aterciopelados or individual performers like Juanes or Shakira, but the country’s traditional sounds are not as widespread, and are often confused with the ubiquitous Andean music that is played on the streets of many major American cities.

This new release from Son de Pueblo is a great document of the various musical styles played around the country, and they run the gamut from cumbias, salsas and charangas (to name a few). Their arrangements are not at all dated; for instance, “La Cumbia Cienaguera”  blends traditional percussive instruments with a very funky electric bass and electric piano, and “Moliendo Café”  showcases the classical and jazz influences among the band members—the track begins with a Villa-Lobos-inflected flute intro that is followed by an intricate piano solo. Read the rest of this entry »

Preview: Sergent Garcia/Chicago World Music Festival

Afro-Cuban, Dancehall, Festivals, Latin, Reggae, Salsa, Ska, World Music No Comments »

Photo: Liberto Peiro

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For bandleader Bruno Garcia (who is better known as Sergent Garcia—a nickname taken from Zorro’s clueless foe), music is one of the few mediums that has the power of erasing national borders. Through his career, the French-born guitarist has collaborated with musicians from Cuba, Jamaica and other countries that have influenced his sound. Read the rest of this entry »