This extraordinary 12-piece creates an eclectic mix of Afro beats and traditional Colombian music.
Born in 2001, with the intention of expanding Colombia’s African roots, La Mojarra Electrica is conducted by musician Jacobo Vélez. Firmly rooted in traditions specific to Colombian coastal towns and regions, from the ‘bullerengue’, the ‘chalupa’, and the ‘aguabajo’ from Guapi, Timbiqui and Turnaco on the Pacific side, through the region of Cauca to towns with a rich musical history on the Atlantic coast, such as San Basílio de Palenque. The unique aquatic element of La Mojarra’s sound is produced by the ‘marimba de chonta’, a traditional instrument passed-down over generations.
La Mojarra also fuse elements of Afro-American music: the jazz of Coltraine & Miles Davis, James Brown’s funk, and powerful salsa hits from New York, with their Colombian tapestry.
In 2002 La Mojarra Electrica won the ‘Best Fusion Band’ award, given by Shock Magazine and chosen according to audience vote. During the same year the TV Channel CITY TV also considered La Mojarra to be the ‘Best Fusion Band’.
In 2003, La Mojarra Eléctrica produced and launched its first record, named Calle 19th (19th Street), which has received acclaim from critics, audiences and the music industries of Colombia and Latin America.
In October 2006, Mojarra Electrica and MTM released Race (Raza), which became one of the top 10 records of the year and their record Calle 19th was said by Avianca Magazine to be one of the top 10 records of Colombian musical history. In February 2007 Mojarra Eléctica were nominated in the Nuestra Tierra RCN Awards, in the category of ‘Best Folkloric Band’. Recently the music of La Mojarra has been selected to feature on two film soundtracks: the song El Hueco (Hollow) from the album Raza, can be heard in the film Paraíso Travel, and Calle 19th can be heard in Looking for Miguel. Through the combination of diverse elements, La Mojarra eléctrica create rich pastiche, which is full of passion and evokes the sound of a modern -yet traditional - Africa. In an increasingly globalised world, which is at the same time increasingly segregated, La Mojarra eléctrica are radical; they want Poder para la gente (Power for People), they urge unity among the human Raza in the Calle 19th of any town throughout the World.
“Music is our universal language and it makes us more human. If we allow the music to talk, the human community will move towards a new age of peace and love’, as the Beatles said in the ‘60s, or Manu Chao in Casa Babilon.” Jacobo Velez. (Director, composer and arranger.)