Accordion player Carmelo Torres is the leading torchbearer of the legacy of cumbia sabanera, the rural roots style from the Montes de Maria region of Colombia’s Caribbean north. It’s a defiantly celebratory sound, springing from a turbulent history and continuing struggle. Torres learnt the accordion and the secrets of cumbia sabanera from the legendary King of the Cumbia, Andrés Landero. When Landero died in 2000, Torres vowed to continue keeping the sound of the savannah rhythms alive, although no longer fashionable.
In 2006, at the age of 65, he was sought out by tropicalista mastermind, Mario Galeano of Frente Cumbiero, who invited him to record with his Los Toscos project, bringing the sound of sabanera to a younger generation. Fashionable once more, Torres is on the road taking his raw roots cumbia to the world.
Carmelo Torres Mendoza - accordion, lead vocals
Orlando Landero Garcíaconga - guacharaca
Jose de la Encarnación Movilla Buelvas guacharaca - caja
Raúl Eduardo Molina - bass
Urian Vladimir Sarmiento Obando - cowbell, conga
Rodrigo Rogelio Salgado Gaviria - conga, llamador