Alé Kumá


01. Etelvina Maldonado - Se quema el monte (fandango de lengua)
02. Gloria Perea - La choca (aguabajo)
03. Martina Camargo - Una canción en el magdalena (cumbia sentá)
04. Benigna Solís - Oiaymeló (currulao)
05. Etelvina Maldonado - ¿Por Que Me Pegá? (bullerengue sentao)
06. Martina Camargo - Las olas del mar (tambora golpiá)
07. Gloria Perea - Meme, neguito (canción afro)
08. Benigna Solís - Ronca Canalete (juga)
09. Etelvina Maldonado - Negro mirar (bullerengue)
10. Gloria Perea - El moro (abozao)
11. Benigna Solís - A,B,C,CH (bunde)
12. Martina Camargo - Volá pajarito (guacherna)
13. Etelvina Maldonado - Llorando te coge el día (chalupa)
14. Benigna Solís - Berejú (afro-berejú)
15. Martina Camargo - Berroche (berroche)
16. Martina Camargo - Calabazo (berroche)
17. Etelvina Maldonado, Martina Camargo, Benigna Solís, Gloria Perea - Carambantúa (tradicional)

Musicians include:

Etelvina Maldonado: Cantaora
Gloria Perea: Cantaora
Martina Camargo: Cantaora, coro
Benigna Solis: Cantaora, coro

Freddy Henriquez: Piano, coro, bombo, cununos, guazá, totuma
Leonardo Gomez: Contrabajo, marimbula

Paolino Salgado: "Batata" Tambor alegre, coro
Rodny Teherán: Llamador
Jorge Aguillar: Maracón, coro
Nataly Leal: Coro
Juan Carlos Puello: Tambora
Emeris Solis: Cununo hembra, coro
Colombian folklore at its nuanced best.
Featuring the vocalists Etelvina Maldonado, Gloria Perea, Martina Camargo, and Benigna Solis, Alé Kumá fuses soulful singing with driving percussion in the styles of fandando, aguabajo, cumbia, currulao, bullerengue entao, tambora golpiá, canción afro, juga, abozao, bunde, guacherna, chalupa, and berejú.
Highly Recommended. (BP, 2009-03-10)

Alé Kumá's name comes from a traditional Colombian dance, whose origin is indigenous (Guahibo community, located at the east of Colombia) and symbolizes the familiar union that could be translated as "union without rupture". Since its creation, Alé Kumá, has called to collaborate with some of the most interesting Colombian musicians. The greatest afro-Colombian percussionist, Paulino Salgado "Batata III" from San Basilio de Palenque, who already passed away, gave a big contribute to Alé Kumá's project.

The work of Alé Kumá explores the different musical styles from African influence that are largely played  along the Pacific and Atlantic Colombian coasts, as for instance cumbia, fandango, bullerengue, currulao, aguabajo, tambora, paseos, porros. Leonardo and Freddy (piano player) met veteran country cantaoras that have been making circulate the songs from woman to woman and from generation to generation and a lot of  master country percussionists who play this music. Their songs are full of regionalismos and what Leonardo and Freddy have learnt from them is not just its rhythms but its aesthetic and different ways of interpretation that change from one village to another.

What Alé Kumá does is pick up all the different styles of this music, traditional instruments and some of the best representative cantaoras from both Atlantic and Pacific Coast and join harmoniously in the piano and contrabass. The result is traditional compositions arranged with a contemporary touch. The unusual instrument combinations, the clear and pure choral styles and the deep and feisty cantaoras' voices give a magic soul sound that is the key to the success of Alé Kumá.

The experience, sensibility and respect of both traditional and urban musicians became the springboard for Alé Kumá's reinvention of the afro-Colombian musical style. In the Colonial period the Spanish brought European instruments that little by little were introduced into the traditional formats. Some of them as the guitar and the harp were transformed. Some others as the accordion, which later was introduced into vallenato music, and the piano remain intact but adopted the rhythms, melodies and modes from the music to which they were incorporated. The piano and contrabass never before have been introduced into afro-Colombian music but when the musicians and the cantaoras Etelvina Maldonado, Martina Camargo, Benigna Solis and Gloria Perea listened to Freddy's piano and Leonardo's contrabass they were charmed by their sound. All of them were opened up to this new format and immediately aware that they were going to sing and play in a not strictly traditional way.

Alé Kumá's music can't be marketed under the umbrella of straight traditional afro-Colombian music, despite the fact that it preserves the typical elements of the popular tradition. Alé Kumá is the result of a collective criterion, where each one of its experienced members furnishes ideas to the arrangements, which are based on the spontaneity and expressivity of these musical traditions. Alé Kumá is very much their own style and sound. 
It is the Colombian's soul music!

Alé Kumá have recorded till now two fantastic productions. The debut album Cantaoras, declared the best year's traditional production by Colombian weekly magazine Semana, was a highlight of afro-Colombian music in 2002, selling in Colombia more CD's than any other traditional production. It got the gold album, becoming the first time that in Colombia a traditional work was awarded with a such prize.

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