Colombia Music Fest Returns

By: Ashmar Mandou
Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News
After a successful debut in 2010, the Chicago Colombian Music Festival returns to kick off the summer season with a diverse scene of international and local artists spanning several generations. “The goal of the festival has always been to showcase the richness and diversity of Colombian music and culture,” said Leo Suarez, co-founder and program director of the festival. “The music of this country is currently experiencing a global boom in popularity and we want to make sure Chicago residents are able to get in on the fun.”

This year is no exception. Everything from traditional and folkloric music to Salsa, Colombian Cumbia, Colombian Hip-Hop and even electronic music will be found at this year’s festivities. And will feature more than 20 different events all over the city, with Grammy winners ChocQuibTown as the headliners. The diverse calendar of first-rate Cumbia, Vallenato, Hip-Hop, Electronica/Dance, Salsa/Son, and Folklore will bring out music lovers of all ages and ethnicities.

“The highlight of this year’s festival by far is Chocquibtown, the 2010 Latin Grammy winners and 2011 Grammy nominees. They are the hottest band in Colombia at the moment and we are very proud to debut them in Chicago. The rest of the festival is filled with lots of free and family-friendly events, featuring top talent in Colombian music from around the U.S. and Chicago,” said Suarez.

Also debuting at this year’s Colombian Music Festival is Nicole Suarez, star of Univision’s Nuestra Belleza Latina 2011, as Master of Ceremonies. “I’m so excited to be involved in this year’s Chicago Colombian Music Festival, I can’t think of a better way to share Colombian music and culture with this global city and it also gives me a chance to interact and spend time many local Latinos who supported me during the Nuestra Belleza Latina competition,” said Nicole Suarez. The Chicago Colombian Music Festival is one of the largest and longest celebrations of Colombian music and culture outside of Colombia. The Colombian Music Festival kicked-off June 23 and will continue through July 23. For more information and a complete listing of scheduled performances around the city, visit Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local NewsChocQuib Town
ChocQuibTown is a Colombian hip-hop group whose name derives from the group’s hometown of Quibdo, the capital of the state of Choco on the Pacific coast of Colombia. They are on the cutting edge of urban Latino music blending elements of Colombian folkloric music, afro-beat, reggae and salsa with hip-hop for a unique sound that earned them a 2010 Latin Grammy Award and a 2011 Grammy nomination.

Sixto Silgado
Sixto Silgado was born in 1939 on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. He comes from a long line of gaita and is the best example of the ‘black’ tradition of the gaita, as opposed to the style of Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto which represent the indigenous gaita style. At 72 years of age, he still works as a construction laborer to make ends meet in his hometown of La Isla Grande, an island situated some kilometers off the coast of Cartagena in the Caribbean Sea.

Grupo Rebolu
Directly from New York City, Grupo Rebolu specializes in the traditional sounds of the Caribbean coast of Colombia. Founded by childhood friends Morris Ca~nate and Ronald Polo, both of whom have toured the world playing Afro-Colombian folklore since childhood, Grupo Rebolu features original compositions set to traditional rhythms with a completely original flavor and dance ability.

Juvenato is a Chicago based group that plays an authentic yet innovative version of Colombian Vallenato, Cumbia, Merengue, Paseo and son. Their poignant and energetic music attracts a diverse fan base of young and old, who dance enthusiastically to the African based rhythms.

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