For the past 10 years or so, I’ve loved the sound of musical styles that combine African, European and Indigenous Latino influences. Some of the more popular forms are salsa, merengue and bachata, while many other forms also exist.
Last year, I attended the 2011 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, DC, which featured programs on the Peace Corps (for the 50th anniversary), Rhythm and Blues, and the cultural heritage of Colombia.
While Brigitta and I were walking around the Colombia exhibit area, we came upon a spontaneous musical and dance performance by a group that I later found out to be “Don Abundio y sus Traviesos.” With the drums, flute, guache (a percussion instrument that sounds similar to the maracas) and dancing styles, this was definitely a mixture of indigenous, African and European music!
Don Abundio y sus Traviesos is an ensemble from Mompox, Colombia, that plays tambora guacherna, chandé, and berroche rhythms. The musicians play tamboras, flauta de millo (cane flute), and guache (a rasp-like percussion instrument), and they are accompanied by a vocalist and dancers. Their repertoire includes aires and traditional Carnival dances. The group performs at local events and participates in the Carnival de Barranquilla in Colombia every year.
Here is a video of them that I found on YouTube:
And here is my latest painting, inspired by their performance: