PIONEERS OF NEW COLOMBIAN MUSIC
“This Band Thinks Global and Acts Local”
@CamiAlvarez7 - Fusion.net
“Curupira, a Colombian sextet formed by musicians with a long-haul into the jazz, pop, colombian rock, who have decided since long ago to stand up for our national folk music, but, from their own perspective.”
@mayolito - Shock.co
The most recent album of Curupira, La Gaita Fantástica, (2015) benefits from the collaboration of some of the most relevant New York’s musical scene figures as Lucía Pulido, Sofía Rei, Jason Lindner, Anat Cohen, Pheeroan Aklaff, Shanir Blumenkranz, Ari Hoenig, Rafi Malkiel, Pavel Zuzaeta, Diego Obregón y Will Pantoja. The album was recorded in Nueva York at the East Sound Studios under the production of the well-known producer and engineer, Marc Urselli, who has worked with John Zorn, Lilla Downs y Lou Reed among others.
For 2017, Curupira is presenting an international tour project called “What’s your cumbia”. Through this project they want to express the musical spirit that has always characterized Curupira: this means that, based on their own feelings, they want to reconcile the urban music with the traditional one. Curupira, take the instruments and the traditional Colombian rhythms and make them their own. Curupira represents the energy, the openness and vitality of the large city of Bogota, where they have formed and experimented but their feet are always rooted in the tradition. The same way as the Curupira, the spirit of the jungle, who inspired the name of the band and which, according to legend, it walks with one foot onward and the other backward.
“What’s your cumbia" is a Curupira’s vocal repertoire selection, where traditional airs of both Colombian coasts are approached from a contemporary urban perspective. The singer for this project is Wil Pantoja, a special guest born in Maria La Baja, a very musical village located on the Atlantic coast. Wil Pantoja represents the tradition of the bullenguera music, a rhythm and dance from African origin.
Curupira started in 2000, when an eclectic group of experienced musicians from Bogota, united by a strong sense of brotherhood, has been gathering together under the direction of the composer, producer, and bassist Juan Sebastián Monsalve.
They began, however, to put together a few traditional-sounding songs and composed several original pieces. They soon fell in love with their creations, continued rehearsing every day, and in three months had the music ready for their first album. This is how Curupira began their musical career and launched their first independent production titled "Pa'lante Pa'trá " (2000) in the Colombian market.
Curupira’s music is based on the folkloric tradition of the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, and on the eastern plains of Colombia (Llanos Orientales) with rhythms like those of the gaita, the chalupa, fandango, puya, champeta, currulao, and the joropo. They integrate these rhythms with contemporary urban genres like jazz, rap, rock, funk, and classical Hindustani music.