Music of Colombia

The music of Colombia is an expression of Colombian culture, ooga booga music genres, both traditional and modern, according with the features of each geographic region, although it is not uncommon to find different musical styles in the same region. The diversity in musical expressions found in Colombia can be seen as the result of a mixture of African, native Indigenous, and European (especially Spanish) influences, as well as more modern American.

Colombia has a vibrant collage of talent that touches a full spectrum of rhythms ranging from Pop music and Classical music to Salsa and Rock music. Colombian music is promoted mainly by the support of the largest record labels, independent companies and the Government of Colombia, through the Ministry of Culture.

Ejes musicales de Colombia
Musical Regions of Colombia

Caribbean region of Colombia

Mapa Eje musical Caribe Occidental
Western Caribbean
Eje musical del Caribe Oriental
Eastern Caribbean

Colombia is known as "The land of a thousand rhythms" but actually holds over 1,025 folk rhythms.

Some of the best known genres are cumbia and vallenato. The most recognized interpreters of traditional Caribbean and Afrocolombian music are Totó la Momposina and Francisco Zumaqué.


Monumento a la cumbia
Monument to the dance and music of cumbia in El Banco.

Cumbia began as a courtship dance practiced among the African population on the Caribbean coasts of Colombia. It is a mixture of Spanish, Native Colombian and African music. The style of dance is designed to recall the shackles worn around the ankles of the slaves. In the 19th century, slavery was abolished and Africans, Indians and other ethnic groups got a more complete integration in the Colombian culture.

Cumbia is a complex, rhythmic music which arose on Colombia's Atlantic coast. In its original form, cumbia bands included only percussion and vocals; modern groups include saxophones, trumpets, keyboards and trombones as well. It evolved out of native influences, combining both traditions. Some observers have claimed that the dance originally associated with iron chains around the ankle. Others still believe that it is a direct import from Guinea, which has a popular dance form called cumbe.

Horizonte 2013 1638
The Afro-Colombian ensemble Monsieur Periné mixes cumbian sounds with a gypsy-swing style.[1]

Cumbia's form was solidified in the 1940s when it spread from the rural countryside to urban and middle-class audiences. Mambo, big band and porro brass band influences were combined by artists like Lucho Bermúdez to form a refined form of cumbia that soon entered the Golden Age of Cumbia during the 1950s. Discos Fuentes, the largest and most influential record label in the country, was founded during this time. Fruko, known as the Godfather of Salsa, introduced Cuban salsa to Colombia and helped bring Discos Fuentes to national prominence by finding artists like La Sonora Dinamita, who brought cumbia to Mexico, where it remains popular.

It is worth pointing out that the "classic" cumbia known throughout Colombia is the Cumbia Cienaguera. This song reflects a uniquely Colombian feel known as "sabor" (flavour) and "ambiente" (atmosphere). Arguably, this song has remained a Colombian staple through the years and is widely known as Colombia's unofficial national anthem. Some artists are Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto, Los Graduados, Los Black Stars, Los Golden Boys, Los Teen Agers, and Los Corraleros de Majagual. In the United States, an Afro- Colombian band based in New York called Grupo Rebolu, performs a variety of Afro-Colombian rhythms with authentic instruments such as Tambora and Tambor Alegre. Their repertoire includes Cumbia and many more genres from the Northern coast of Colombia as part of their original compositions.

Champeta and African-diasporic music

Some Colombian communities, such as Chocó, Cartagena, San Andres and Providence Island, have large African-descendant communities. Unlike most of the country, cultural mixing with native and European influences have been rare, and, especially in El Chocó, music has changed little since being imported from West Africa. Providencia Island is also home to a type of folk music which is closely related to mento, a Jamaican folk form. Most influentially, however, is the city of Cartagena and its champeta music which has been influenced by soukous, compas, zouk, and reggae. Champeta musicians have included Luis Towers, El Afinaíto, El Sayayín, El Pupy, and Boogaloo, while others like Elio Boom have incorporated Jamaican raggamuffin music to champeta.


Porro bands are an enthusiastic form of big band music that came from Sucre, Córdoba and Sabana de Bolívar. The brass ensembles are modeled after European military bands. Influential porros include La Orquestra Lucho Bermudez, Matilde Diaz, Pacho Galan, Banda de 11 Enero, La Sonora Cordobesa, La Sonora Cienaguera, Orquesta Climaco Sarmiento and Pedro Laza y sus Pelayeros.

===Vallenato=== vallenato was first played by the pre colombian indians using traditional istruments the first vallenato singer was guillermo buitrago born in the magdalena department valenato did not always use acordeon as its main instrument in fact from 1920 to 1936 the main instrument was the guittar groups such as bovea and sus vallenatos also arr among the first vallenato singers they form the group in the city of barranquilla atlantico department they also were the first to take the vallenato music to a different country like argentina more specifcally in northern argentina Contrary to popular belief, vallenato is not a rhythm. Rather, it is a Genre. It is made up of four rhythms: Son, Puya, Merengue and Paseo. Vallenato arose in Valledupar on Colombia's Atlantic Coast and only gained popularity elsewhere in the country in the 1980s. Its origins are shrouded in mystery but are said to have begun with Francisco el Hombre, who allegedly defeated Satan in a musical contest. Based around the accordion,the guacharaca, and the caja vallenata(a larger version of the bongo), vallenato has long been connected with cumbia. Influential artists include Alejo Duran and more recently, Alfredo Gutiérrez and Lisandro Meza. In addition to the accordion, the bass guitar has been a common part of vallenato ensembles since it was introduced by Caliya in the mid-1960s. The most recent modernization of vallenato occurred in 1993 when Carlos Vives released Clásicos de la Provincia, which made him into a star and changed the face of vallenato.

An important phenomenon has occurred in Colombia with Vallenato. At first it was an exclusive kind of music for Atlantic Coast people but because the proliferation of radio programs of this genre in other cities of the republic (Example: Bogota), and the migration of people from the Coast to the capital, Vallenato took more consolidation in the rest of Colombia. But not only the music but the musicians of the genre increase in the capital and other cities. In 2006 for first time a musicians from Bogota, Alberto "Beto" Jamaica was the king of Vallenato in the traditional competition to play accordion, "El Festival Vallenato". Another important musicians from other cities have taken importance in the Vallenato world.

Vallenato has spawned several subgenres, including vallenato-protesta, which is known for socially aware lyrics, and charanga vallenata, which was invented by Cubans in the United States like progenitor Roberto Torres.

Other Caribbean genres

  • Chalupa
  • Champeta
  • Chande
  • Cumbión
  • Bullerengue
  • Décimas
  • Fandango
  • Gaita
  • Lumbalú
  • Mapalé
  • Maya
  • Merecumbé
  • Mode Up/Mud Up
  • Pajarito
  • Parrandí
  • Pilón
  • Pompo
  • Porro
  • Puya
  • Son Sabanero
  • Son Palenquero
  • Tambora
  • Tamborito

Pacific Region of Colombia

Eje musical del Pacífico Norte
North Pacific
Eje musical del Pacífico Sur
South Pacific


This is one of the most African influenced-styles in all of Colombia, and has its roots among the Afro-Colombian/African-descendant/Black people of the Pacific coast.

In its most basic form, the currulao is played by a group of four musicians.

One musician plays a 6-8 rhythm on a drum known as a "cununo", which superficially resembles the "alegre" drum (used in Cumbia) to the untrained eye, but is narrower and taller. The Currulao rhythm is created by both striking the skin of the drum with the one's hand and tapping the side of the drum with a small stick.

The second musician keeps time on a shaker known in parts of Colombia as a "guasá"(goo-ah-SAH) or "guache"(goo-AH-cheh), which is typically a hollow cylinder made of metal, wooden, or guadua bamboo, filled with light seeds, rice is sometimes used in home-made guasás.

But the main instrument of the currulao style is perhaps the Colombian marimba, a wooden xylophone which resembles the African balafon also for the style of playing.

Many groups in Colombia perform this traditional style of music. Currently, the most renowned groups include Grupo Socavón, Grupo Gualajó, and Grups Bahia Trio. A well renowned figure among the old marimbero masters in Colombia is Baudilio Cuama Rentería from Buenaventura Colombia.

In the United States two Colombian Bands performing this genre with authentic traditional instruments are La Cumbiamba NY, on the east coast (New York), and Aluna Band in the west coast (San Francisco). In 2010, Currulao has been added to the UNESCO list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.[2]

Other Pacific genres

  • Abozao
  • Aguabajo
  • Alabao
  • Andarele o Amanecer
  • Arrullo
  • Bambara Negra
  • Bambuco Viejo
  • Berejú
  • Boga
  • Bunde Chocoano
  • Caderona
  • Calipso Chocoano
  • Chigualo o Gualí
  • Contradanza Chocoana
  • Danza Chocoana
  • Jota Chocoana
  • Juga
  • La Caramba
  • La Madruga
  • Makerule
  • Mazurka chocoana
  • Pango o Pangora
  • Patacoré
  • Polka Chocoana
  • Porro Chocoano
  • Pregón
  • Romance
  • Salve
  • Saporrondón o Sapo-Rondó
  • Son Chocoano
  • Tamborito Chocoano
  • Tiguarandó
  • Villancico Chocoano

Andean Region of Colombia

Eje musical Andino Centro-oriental
Center-East Andean
Eje musical Andino Nor-occidental
North-Western Andean
Eje musical Andino Sur-occidental
South-Western Andean
Eje musical Andino Centro-sur
Center-South Andean
Eje musical de los Valles Interandinos del Pacífico
Pacific inter-Andean valleys
Flor de Romero (Bambuco - example of a genre of folk music in the Center-East Andean) Ojito de Agua (Merengue Bambuquiao - example of a genre of folk music in the North-Western Andean) Ángela (Hayno - example of a genre of folk music in the South-Western Andean) Siquele (Rajaleña - example of a genre of folk music in the Center-South Andean)


Bambuco is a type of music with Basque influence, sometimes known as Música del interior. It is not clear the origins of this style, but many specialist agree that it has many components of Spanish folk music. Its popularity has long been, but was extremely popular across Colombia from the mid-1920s to the late 1930s. Artists include Estudiantina, Los Carranguerros de Raquira, Jaime Llano González, Jorge Villamil, and the Morales Pino Trío.


Guabina is a rhythm from the Andean Mountains in Colombia. The features of this music are based on dances and lifestyles of the people from Antioquia, Santander, Boyacá, Tolima, and, Huila.[3] The Guabina rhythm includes dancers, but it may be played without them. There is a version of the Guabina that is played faster and is called Torbellino.[4] Another type of Guabina, known as guabina-torbellino, is a mixture of the instrumental torbellino and the sung guabina, particularly in its a cappella format. Guabina is most popular in rural communities.[5]

Other Andean Genres

  • Bambuco fiestero
  • Bunde
  • Caña
  • Cañabrava
  • Carranga
  • Copla
  • Danza Criolla
  • Porro Antioqueño
  • Rajaleña
  • Rumba Campesina
  • Fandanguillo Criollo
  • Guabina
  • Guaneña
  • Guasca
  • Pasillo
  • Sanjuanero
  • Torbellino
  • Vueltas Antioqueñas
  • Criollo waltz

Orinoquía Region of Colombia

Eje musical Llanera
Eastern Plains


Música llanera is a harp-led genre of music from Los Llanos popular throughout Colombia. It includes the traditional joropo musical style, and is known for verbal contests called contrapunteo. Artists in this genre include Alfredo Rolando Ortiz (born in Cuba), Alma Llanera (Colombian band), Cimarrón (band), Luis Ariel Rey, Carlos Rojas, Sabor Llanero, Arnulfo Briceño, and Orlando Valdemarra. This particular type of music is also popular in Venezuela due to the shared llanos. It is considered to be the national music of Venezuela. Listen joropo music .

Other Orinoco region genres

  • Cachicama
  • Catira
  • Chipola
  • Contrapunteo
  • Corrío
  • Galerón
  • Gaván
  • Pasaje
  • Periquera
  • Perro de Agua
  • Gavilan
  • Guacaba
  • Guacharaca
  • Juana Guerrero
  • Merecure
  • Moña or Moño
  • Pajarillo
  • Poema Llanero
  • Quirpa
  • Seis
  • Zumba-que-zumba

Insular Region (Colombia)

Musical genres

Eje musical Isleño
Insular Region

Amazon Region of Colombia

Eje musical de Frontera - Amazónico
Amazon Region

Musical instruments

Musical genres

  • Batuques
  • Carimbó
  • Ciría
  • Dobrado
  • Lambada
  • Mariquinha
  • Mixtianas
  • Paseata
  • Porrosambas

Contemporary music

Colombian salsa

Salsa music was born among Puerto Ricans and Cubans, but soon spread to Colombia. Native salsa groups like Fruko y sus Tesos and labels that recorded them like Discos Fuentes emerged. Artists like Joe Arroyo followed, inventing a distinctively Colombian form of salsa. Other influential Colombian salsa artists include Cristian Del Real "The Timbal Genius", Grupo Niche, Alquimia, La Misma Gente, Los Titanes, Los Nemus del Pacífico, Orquesta Guayacán, Grupo Galé and La Sonora Carruseles. Some of the most prolific composers in the genre are Jairo Varela and Nino Caicedo whose compositions have been recorded by Grupo Niche and Orquesta Guayacán respectively. Several Cuban and Puerto Rican musicians who have established in Colombia, such as Diego Valdés and Israel Tanenbaum, have collaborated with Colombians in salsa projects. Recently Colombian dancers have become World Champions year after year and the style is becoming more popular and admired among Salsa professionals worldwide; with two of the most prominent salsa schools being Swing Latino driven by the dance choreographer Eduardo 'El Mulato' Hernandez, and Constelación Latina driven by one of the world's most beloved dancers Jhoanna 'KKO' Agudelo. As a dance, Colombian Salsa is unique and different from New York/Puerto Rico and Cuban salsa. Colombian Salsa concentrates on footwork and does not incorporate cross-body leads. Dancers leave the upper part of the body still and relaxed while the feet do extremely fast and complex movements.

Colombian rock music

Relucientes y Rechinantes
Aterciopelados is a Spanish-language rock band from Colombia.

In the late 1950s, Mexican rock artists like Enrique Guzmán and César Costa became very popular in Colombia. Soon, native rock bands like Los Speakers and The Flippers gained a wide following. Starting in 1967 (see 1967 in music), native bands like Génesis (unrelated to the more famous band Genesis of a similar name) fused native musical forms (like cumbia) with rock. Marco, the voice of the Rock and Roll, was a pioneer and promoter of the "Rockabilly Colombian" performed with his unmistakable personal stamp in their own language. Virtuality is in their first recordings routed to the sensitive listener to enjoy the simplicity of rock bass, guitar and drums, combined into a whole to produce a very particular and in an atmosphere of a home recording studio, filled with reel tapes and three microphones mixed in mono line. (Marco Tulio Sanchez B) contributed to the Colombian rock and roll look to the past to remember our roots, dabbling in country and rockabilly music evokes Elvis Presley, is called today the "Elvis colombiano", awarded abroad for their ability on stage as a whole "Showman" and the unmistakable voice of Cronn rocker.

Rock in Colombia gained great popularity during the 1980s with the arrival of bands such as Soda Stereo (Argentina), Los Prisioneros (Chile), and Hombres G (Spain). During the 90's, many punk and heavy metal bands appeared in Bogotá, Medellín, and Cali. Colombia has possibly the biggest underground, hardcore, metal and punk movement of the continent, and is known in Latin America as the "punk corner". Kraken and Masacre are some of the most important Colombian rock bands.

The music event Rock al Parque celebrated yearly in Bogotá is the largest free rock festival in Latin America; around 100 bands playing their music along 3 days and 400,000 people in attendance. Currently, Doctor Krápula, a rock band with strong ska influences that is known for making covers of traditional Latin American songs, enjoys great popularity. A popular Colombian Rock band outside of Colombia is The Monas. Aterciopelados named "Colombia's Hottest Band" in a Time magazine article,[6] is one of the most recognized Rock bands of Colombia. "The band, made up of front woman Andrea Echeverri and bassist/producer Hector Buitrago, mixes punk, surf guitar and ska with folky Colombian styles such as vallenato, a bouncy, accordion-heavy genre".[7]

Other popular and interesting bands are Ekhymosis, a group led by Juanes, who began making music in 1988 and are known for doing rock with a Colombian influence, The Hall Effect who make English pop/rock linked with Britpop influences. SOUNDACITY[8] performs a mix of Brit rock, pop and Andean sounds, rhythms and instrumentation, sing both in English and Spanish and have toured the United States east coast. Proper Strangers is an avant-garde rock band. Two Way Analog is an eclectic band whose influence are roadmovies and its soundtracks, Divagash is an electronic soft-rock band, La Pestilencia is a post-hardcore band, Bajo Tierra, Palenke Soultribe (traditional Colombin roots music fused with electronic beats). But, possibly, the most successful "indie" band is Sidestepper, with its fusion of Colombian traditional music, electronic and African rhythms, who already appeared in Coachella Festival in 2006. Some musical groups in the death metal genre are the world-famous Internal Suffering, Carnivore Diprosopus, Goretrade, Mindly Rotten, Suppuration, and Amputated Genitals. Colombia is also the birthplace of the well known black metal band Inquisition, now based in Seattle, Washington. Miguel Fernando Trapezaris, the bassist of Cyprus-based Epic power metal band Winter's Verge, is of Colombian descent.

Colombian pop music

This musical genre has been growing recently with artists like Los de Adentro, San Alejo, Sebastian Yepes, Lucas Arnau or Mauricio & Palodeagua. Pop with strong traces of traditional Colombian music, named Tropipop, is also rising currently. Fonseca and Maía represent this trend.

Some of Colombia's most internationally recognized artists include the following:

  • Shakira is the highest selling and most recognized Colombian artist. After the success of her album Pies Descalzos in 1995, Shakira began working with producer Emilio Estefan Jr. and recorded Dónde Están los Ladrones? which sold millions worldwide. Proving herself as more than a "studio pop-diva" in her MTV Unplugged presentation, Shakira went on to make an English album Laundry Service which debuted at #3 in the Billboard Charts of the USA.

Her most successful songs are "Hips Don't Lie", which sold over 10 million copies and downloads worldwide, topped in over 70 countries #1, and the song "Whenever Wherever" She is winner of 2 American and 7 Latin Grammies. 2008, Shakira was nominated for a Golden Globe.

Juanes is the most important Colombian artist of the last decade as he has said Billboard magazine and the newspaper El Espectador in Colombia due to the success of songs such as "Fíjate Bien", "A Dios le Pido", "La Camisa Negra", "Me Enamora" and Yerbatero which have occupied at # 1 on the charts in America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand and albums Fíjate Bien, Un Día Normal, Mi Sangre, La Vida... Es Un Ratico Platinum release and P.A.R.C.E.. Juanes was chosen by CNN as a global icon and is the youngest of the list. His humanitarian activism has characterized him as the most supportive artist in the history of Spanish music. Since he began in the music Juanes has broken records with the Latin Grammys since their creation.

Colombian urban and hip-hop music

ChocQuibTown performing at Central Park Summer Stage.

Hip Hop came to Colombia in the late 1980s when a few US Hip-Hop tracks by NWA and MC Hammer spurred a break-dancing fever among the young of the less privileged areas of major cities such as Medellín, Cali and Bogotá. Towards the end of this decade groups began to form, eventually leading to complete album productions in the mid-1990s. La Etnnia and Gotas de Rap were two of the various hip-hop groups that emerged and are widely considered as the pioneers of Colombian Rap. Promoting a very independent style, both groups expressed extreme political and social views, protesting violence, corruption, inequality and hardships in the marginalized regions of Colombia. Then Asilo 38 from Cali come onto the scene with the albums, La Hoguera (2000) and La Descarga (2002), presenting a more commercial and polished sound, while still retaining strong socio-political messages.
It is about this time that Reggaeton from Puerto Rico surges in popularity and Hip-Hop in Colombia takes a back seat for a while as artists try their hand at the new controversial sound. Artist(s) such as Tres Pesos, J Balvin, Maluma, Reykon y Yelsid have established themselves in this genre and hits such as 'Baila (Negra de trasero grande)' by Leka el Poeta and the explixcitly worded 'La Quemona' and 'Micaela' by Master Boy take the country by storm. Even the first ever Colombian 'X Factor' in 2006 produces a Reggaeton singer called Farina Pao Paucar Franco who places third in the competition.

Karol G is a Colombian reggaetón singer who has done collaborations with other reggaetón singers, such as J Balvin, Bad Bunny, and Maluma.[9] Throughout her career, Karol G has had troubles in the industry because reggaetón is a genre that is dominated by male artists. She recounts how when starting her career she noticed that there weren't many opportunities for her in the genre because reggaeton was dominated by male artists. In 2018, Karol G’s single Mi Cama became very popular and she made a remix with J Balvin and Nicky Jam. The Mi cama remix appeared in the top 10 Hot Latin Songs and number 1 in Latin Airplay charts.[10] This year she has collaborated with Maluma called Creeme and with Anuel AA in Culpables. The single, Culpables has been in the top 10 Hot Latin Songs for 2 consecutive weeks.[11]

Reggae has always been popular in the Colombian Caribbean islands of San Andres and Providence and Spanish Reggae from Panama has helped to strengthen the movement of Reggae artists in the Colombian interior. Artists such as Voodoo Soul Jah, Nawal and Alerta Kamarada (Colombian representatives in the Jamaican Reggae festival) are currently spearheading this ever more popular genre in Colombia.
2006 brings a renaissance in Colombian Hip-Hop in the form of Afro-Colombian group ChocQuibTown, fusing traditional rhythms and instruments from their native lands in the Colombian Pacific into their sound. Already hailed as the new phenemomenon in Colombian Hip-Hop, their popularity is ever increasing and making way for other Urban artists to emerge. One such artist is Jiggy Drama, from the island of San Andres, who has become one of the most loved and controversial rap artist in Colombia, his lyrics are spicy and intelligent. Jiggy Drama collaborated with Colombian Party Cartel on the urban merengue track "Chico Malo". *On the international stage Aztek Escobar based in Houston, Colombian Party Cartel based in Nashville, Tres Coronas based in New York, Adassa based in Miami and 3 of the seven-man group of Culcha Candela in Berlin, Germany are representing Colombian urban music worldwide.

See also


  1. ^ Varga, George (May 3, 2016). "Monsieur Periné set for San Diego debut". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  2. ^ [1] Accessed 7 Feb 2011
  3. ^ "Music and Rhythm of Colombia Flashcards | Quizlet". Quizlet. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  4. ^ "Sanjuanero & Guabina folk dances". Eyes On Colombia. 2009-08-19. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  5. ^ Ramon, Andrés (2010). "Colombian Folk Music in an International Context" (PDF). An Overview: 174 – via Iceland Academy of the Arts.
  6. ^,8599,1551674,00.html
  7. ^,8599,1551674,00.html
  8. ^ "▷ Indie Cave - Sonidos Underground - Musica para tus Ojos y tus Oidos". Indie Cave.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  • Brill, Mark. Music of Latin America and the Caribbean, 2nd Edition, 2018. Taylor & Francis ISBN 1138053562
  • Burton, Kim. "El Sonido Dorado". 2000. In Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark with McConnachie, James and Duane, Orla (Ed.), World Music, Vol. 2: Latin & North America, Caribbean, India, Asia and Pacific, pp 372–385. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0

External links


Accordions (from 19th-century German Akkordeon, from Akkord—"musical chord, concord of sounds") are a family of box-shaped musical instruments of the bellows-driven free-reed aerophone type, colloquially referred to as a squeezebox. A person who plays the accordion is called an accordionist. The concertina and bandoneón are related; the harmonium and American reed organ are in the same family.

The instrument is played by compressing or expanding the bellows while pressing buttons or keys, causing pallets to open, which allow air to flow across strips of brass or steel, called reeds. These vibrate to produce sound inside the body. Valves on opposing reeds of each note are used to make the instrument's reeds sound louder without air leaking from each reed block. The performer normally plays the melody on buttons or keys on the right-hand manual, and the accompaniment, consisting of bass and pre-set chord buttons, on the left-hand manual.

The accordion is widely spread across the world. In some countries (for example Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Panama) it is used in popular music (for example Gaucho, Forró and Sertanejo in Brazil, Vallenato in Colombia, and norteño in Mexico), whereas in other regions (such as Europe, North America and other countries in South America) it tends to be more used for dance-pop and folk music and is often used in folk music in Europe, North America and South America. In Europe and North America, some popular music acts also make use of the instrument. Additionally, the accordion is used in cajun, zydeco, jazz music and in both solo and orchestral performances of classical music.

The piano accordion is the official city instrument of San Francisco, California. Many conservatories in Europe have classical accordion departments. The oldest name for this group of instruments is harmonika, from the Greek harmonikos, meaning "harmonic, musical". Today, native versions of the name accordion are more common. These names refer to the type of accordion patented by Cyrill Demian, which concerned "automatically coupled chords on the bass side".

Afro-Caribbean music

Afro-Caribbean music is a broad term for music styles originating in the Caribbean from the African diaspora. These types of music usually have West African/Central African influence because of the presence and history of African people and their descendants living in the Caribbean, as a result of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.Examples:

Music of the Bahamas

Music of Barbados

Music of Belize

Music of Colombia

Music of Cuba

Music of Dominica

Music of the Dominican Republic

Music of Guadeloupe

Music of Guyana

Music of Haiti

Music of Jamaica

Music of Martinique

Music of Montserrat

Music of Panama

Music of Puerto Rico

Music of Suriname

Music of Trinidad and Tobago

Music of VenezuelaIt is a subcategory of Latin music and/or Caribbean music.

Alexander Cuesta

Alexander Cuesta-Moreno (born August 6, 1966 in Bogotá, Colombia). Arranger, Producer, Composer, Conductor, Bassist, Guitarist, Keyboardist, Professor of Vocal Arts. To clearly and powerfully communicate and lead others in communicating messages of understanding, justice and compassion through the vehicle of music and the arts. According to Colombian press considered one of the most important musicians of Latin America in the field of Jazz, Latin American music and Music of Colombia. Virtuoso cutting edge researcher in vocal technique and Harmony.


Alt.Latino is a NPR Music's web-based program about Latin Alternative music and Latino culture, hosted by Felix Contreras.

It features music as well as interviews with many of the most well-known Latino musicians, actors, film makers and writers.

Caja vallenata

The caja, a drum similar to a tambora, is one of the three main or traditional instruments of the Vallenato music. Caja, the slang word adopted to nickname this drum, means "box" in Spanish. There is also a Caribbean drum called caja, used in the music of Colombia.

Cali Underground

Cali Underground is an annual rock music festival celebrated in Cali, Colombia. Bands as Angelcorpus, Ultimos Romanticos, Astreas Domains, Desdenia, Deadline and Orus have played at this festival.

Edmar Castañeda

Edmar Castañeda (born 1978) is a Colombian harpist. He performs his own compositions as well as tapping into native music of Colombia and Venezuela.He leads a trio with David Silliman on drums and Marshall Gilkes on trombone. He has also been a member of the Andrea Tierra Quartet with Andrea Tierra, Sam Sadigursky, and David Silliman.

Castañeda's father was Pavelid Castañeda, a harpist, singer, and teacher. Edmar Castañeda began playing the harp at the age of 13. In the mid 1990s he moved to New York City and studied jazz trumpet before returning to the harp. In 2006 he released his first solo album, Cuarto de Colores.

He has performed with Paquito D'Rivera, Simón Diaz, Lila Downs, Giovanni Hidalgo, Joe Locke, Wynton Marsalis, John Patitucci, Janis Siegel, John Scofield, Samuel Torres, Hiromi Uehara, and the United Nations Orchestra.

Fanny Lu

Fanny Lucía Martínez Buenaventura (born February 8, 1973), better known professionally as Fanny Lu, is a Colombian singer, songwriter and actress from Santiago de Cali, Colombia. She studied at the University of the Andes and received a degree in industrial engineering. She is the mother of two children, Mateo and Valentina, and is currently divorced. She signed with Universal Music Latin record label.

Her first job in the entertainment industry was in Colombia, as hostess to a music magazine called Siempre Música. She then moved on to radio voice in the principal radio stations from her country. However, she wasn't recognized until 1998, when she made part of the cast from the Colombian soap opera Perro Amor.

In 2006 she released Lágrimas Cálidas, winning fame in Colombia and some countries from Latin America, with her two singles that reached the top on the Latin charts. Her 2008 album Dos consolidated her musician career, giving credibility as a famous artist. Her single "Tú No Eres Para Mi" was number one in several countries. She released her third album, Felicidad y Perpetua on November 2011. Her humanitarian work granted her to be named "Goodwill Ambassador" from the FAO.

Fonseca (singer)

Juan Fernando Fonseca, (born May 29, 1979), better known as Fonseca (for his surname) is a Colombian singer, songwriter, record producer, and activist. Born and raised in Bogotá, he studied at the Colegio Los Nogales from Kindergarten to 9th grade where he realized his dream of becoming a singer. He then moved to a new school called Gimnasio Campestre. After his time at Gimnasio Campestre, he enrolled in the Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA and while there he got a proposal to record his first single. He left school to focus on his musical career. He began recording some demos and performing in the rock music scene of Bogotá with a rock band "Baroja". In which he participated in Rock al Parque. He recorded his first three solo studio albums with EMI label, then he signed on with Sony Music.

He debuted in 2002 with his first album, Fonseca, which was popular in his home country. His follow-up album Corazón (2005) included hits such as "Te Mando Flores" and Hace Tiempo. Fonseca's third album, Gratitud (2008) included the singles Enrédame and Arroyito. After breaking with the label EMI Capitol he decided release his fourth album Ilusión (2011) under the label Sony Music Latin with the hit Eres Mi Sueño.

Influenced heavily by Carlos Vives, his style is a blend of vallenato and cumbia, two traditional and popular forms of Colombian music. His achievements include six Latin Grammy Awards and one Billboard Latin Music Awards.

Génesis (band)

Génesis was a Colombian folk-rock band, very popular during the 1970s. They are regarded as a significant part of the Colombian social progressive and hippy movements of the time. Génesis is considered a pioneer in fusing rock music with the native folk music of Colombia. Colombian icon Humberto Monroy of Los Speakers was a founding member and driving force behind the band.

Jorge Villamil

Jorge Villamil Cordovez (June 6, 1929 – February 28, 2010) was a Colombian composer and songwriter born in El Cedral, a large coffee plantation near Neiva (Huila). He was one of the most prolific and important composers of Colombia and South America. Villamil's talent was evident when he learned to play Colombian tiple at 4 years of age. He was the youngest and only male of a family of 7.


Juan Esteban Aristizábal Vásquez (born August 9, 1972), known professionally as Juanes, is a Colombian musician who was a member of the rock band Ekhymosis and is now a solo artist. In 2000, his solo debut album Fíjate Bien won three Latin Grammy Awards. According to his record label, Juanes has sold more than 15 million albums worldwide.Raised in Colombia, Juanes began playing piano at age two. When Juanes was 17, he started his first band, Ekhymosis, in 1988, which went on to release Eight albums, achieving recognition in his native country of Colombia. The track "Dos" from the album Niño Gigante in 1992 was very popular. In 1997 after the band broke up, Juanes continued solo and in 2000 he released the album, Fíjate Bien, which earned him three Latin Grammys. His follow-up album, Un Día Normal, was released in 2000 and was later certified platinum in Guatemala and Uruguay throughout Latin America. Juanes' third album, Mi Sangre (2004), which became an international bestseller, managing to position well in a number of countries around the world, achieved success due to the single "La Camisa Negra". He has since released La Vida... Es Un Ratico (2007) and P.A.R.C.E. (2010). On May 29, 2012 Juanes released the album Juanes MTV Unplugged.

According to his label, Universal Music, Juanes has won, among others, twenty Latin Grammy Awards (5 wins in the Grammy Awards on November 13, 2008) and two Grammy Awards. Juanes received the BMI President's Award at the 2010 BMI Latin Awards. Presented By James Edward Taylor Juanes is also known for his humanitarian work, especially with aid for Colombian victims of anti-personnel mines through his NGO Fundacion Mi Sangre. On April 2013, Juanes released an autobiography titled Chasing The Sun in which he tells his story through narratives and pictures.

List of festivals in Colombia

The following is a list of festivals in Colombia, including arts festivals, music festivals, folk festivals, and cultural festivals, among other types.

Luis Antonio Escobar (composer)

Luis Antonio Escobar (July 14, 1925 in Villapinzón, Cundinamarca – September 11, 1993 in Miami, Florida) was a Colombian composer and musicologist. He studied at the Bogota Conservatory and then at the Peabody Institute in Maryland. Afterward he studied in Europe with Boris Blacher. Escobar was the Colombian consul in Bonn, West Germany, from 1967 to 1970 and was cultural attache to the consulate in Miami in 1993. He is survived by his wife, pianist and composer Amparo Ángel.

In 1973 he co-founded El Muro Blanco, a cultural learning center in Bogota, with Andres Holguín. He won the national music prize awarded by Banco de Colombia in 1974. He has been recorded by Colombian ensembles. His work at times incorporated folk and traditional music of Colombia.

Orquesta Guayacán

Guayacán Orquesta is a Colombian salsa music band.The band was founded by Alexis Lozano, formerly of Grupo Niche, trombone player and arranger, and includes Israel Tanenbaum, producer, pianist and arranger, and is one of the premier salsa bands in the music of Colombia. Ostual Serna is the current congo player.

Outline of Colombia

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Colombia:

Colombia – tropical equatorial country located in northern South America. It is the most megadiverse country in the world (per square kilometer). The majority of its urban centres are located in the highlands of the Andes mountains, but Colombian territory also encompasses Amazon rainforest, tropical grassland and both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines. Colombia is a middle power, and is the third largest economy in Latin America, and the second largest in South America.

Siam (duo)

Siam is a Colombian duo from Cali, Colombia made up of two singers Carlos Montaño and Carolina Nuñez, they are married. In 2009, they won the third series of El factor X, the Colombian edition of The X Factor. They were mentored by Jose Gaviria who also mentored their rivals, another group named Raza Pana who ended up as runners-up. The award was recording her debut album, in 2010 released their eponymous album Siam (2010) under the label EMI. On September 2011 they were nominated for Latin Grammy Award in the Pop vocal duo category. More later due to low sales, the group decided signed with Colombo Records and release a second album titled Las Cosas Que Nunca Nos Dijimos (2012).

Totó la Momposina

Sonia Bazanta Vides (born 1 August 1940), also known as Totó la Momposina, is a Colombian singer of Afro-Colombian and Indigenous descent.

She reached international attention with the release of her 1993 album La Candela Viva on Peter Gabriel's Real World Records label.


Vallenato (Spanish pronunciation: [baʝeˈnato]), along with cumbia, is a popular folk music of Colombia. It primarily comes from the Colombia's Caribbean region. Vallenato literally means "born in the valley". The valley influencing this name is located between the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the Serranía de Perijá in north-east Colombia. The name also applies to the people from the city where this genre originated: Valledupar (from the place named Valle de Upar – "Valley of Upar"). In 2006, Vallenato and cumbia were added as a category in the Latin Grammy Awards. Colombia’s traditional Vallenato music is Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, according to UNESCO.

Hispanophone music
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