The Colombian Pacific coast has always been one of the most forgotten regions of
Colombia: ninety percent of the population are of African descent and ten percent
indigenous peoples and mestizos. It's a region of dense tropical rain forest and the
second rainiest place on earth. It borders Panama to the north and Ecuador to the
south. Most of the population live around the urban centres like Buenaventura, Quibd ,
Guapi, Timbiqu and Tumaco. Colonised late, after several failed attempts by the Spanish
who were thwarted by the impenetrable jungle and climate of the territory.
Two or three centuries of slavery filled the Pacific coast with the most prestigious
African dynasties. These men and women brought their musical instruments with them
and all their baggage of beautiful melodies and ancestral harmonies which would find
new life in the New World.
In the department of Choc in the north Pacific, Afro-descendants reinterpreted the
military drums brought in by the colonisers, creating the chirim a style, combining side
drums with the sounds of the clarinet and euphonium, a jazz fanfare from the
Colombian Pacific. The Pacific coast is home to a wealth of musical styles: apart from
the currulao and chirim a, there's a host of other genres including tamborito, abozao,
aguabajo, jota, bunde, torbellino, juga, bambuco, alabaos, chigualos and gual es and many
other we know about or are yet to discover.
The black population integrated as soon as they arrived with the native Indian
cosmogony, enriching their cultural baggage with shamanic traditions and sciences of
the local community. Meanwhile, in the city of Buenaventura, the urban centre of the
Pacific and the biggest port in Colombia, orchestras and bands flourished. Cuban hit
records reached these shores from Puerto Rico and from across the Spanish-speaking
The earliest recordings date back to the beginning of the sixties, from the cities of Cali
and Buenaventura, but for music from the Pacific there was a long and winding road to
go down before it emerged from anonymity in a country dominated by cumbia and
Caribbean beats, which ignored its regions, especially regions as poor and marginalized
as the Colombian Pacific.
The music of the Colombian Pacific is one of the greatest treasures of Colombia and its
African past, but not many people remember the songs recorded on anthologies, which
are largely a forgotten chapter of Colombia's musical history. This album aims to revisit
these formats and recording styles so that new generations of musicians can reconnect
with this heritage and these wonderful musical gems can see the light at last, as they are
immortal aspects of Afro-Colombia and its culture.
This compilation includes recordings by artists like: Gertrudis Bonilla, Peregoyo y su
Combo Vacan , Markitos Micolta, La Sonora del Pac fico de Cachito Vidal, Juli n y su
Combo, Buscaj . in an outstanding selection of songs that covers the early 70s
through the 00s.