About this Recording
76003-2 - COLOMBIA - Diego Marulanda and Pacande: La Verraquera!

From Colombia's sweltering Atlantic coast comes an irresistible dance mix of cumbia, son, mapale, fandango and other percolating Latin rhythms from the newest global Latin star Diego Marulanda & Pacandé.

La Verraquera! in Spanish means something 'great' or 'awesome' and that pretty well sums up this release. The disc is a succulent mix of original songs based on Colombian folk rhythms accentuated by vibrant Afro-percussive elements, a fiery brass section and soulful vocals. The rootsy blend of infectious grooves includes Colombian staples like cumbia, fandango and mapale with other Latin styles like son, all skillfully performed. The result is a searing set of traditional rhythms put in a contemporary context.

Born in Bogota, Colombia 1965, during an especially vibrant cultural period, Diego Marulanda made music his focus by the time he was ten years old. He taught himself to play guitar and started composing songs based on the Colombian rhythms surrounding him. He emigrated to Canada 12 years ago, and since then has established himself as one of the premier Latin music performers in North America. With his band, Pacandé- a diverse mix of Latin and non-Latin artists - Marulanda has been able to concentrate on music native to the Colombian Atlantic coastal region.

The mix of his top-notch group is indeed a testament to the eclectic variety in Canada. All the members live among the rich diversity of races and nationalities that make up downtown Toronto. Opera-trained singer (and band sparkplug) Lisa Lindo is of West Indian heritage but Latin and Jazz music are her main loves. Other players - like trombonist Yannick Malboeuf, trumpeter Bob Rice and others - come from a jazz background and they add a musicality to Pacandé that beats most other Latin groups hands-down. Alex Russell is a classical flautist. Another member Shameema Soni, is South-Asian. Then there are Latin natives like Wilson Acevedo and Richard Morales who give the sound its authentic constitution. These are definitely not Buena Vista Social Club members!

The band was formed in 1995 and since then they have toured throughout Canada extensively. Leader Marulanda also composes for theatre and dance. La Verraquera! is his first release. His second independent album was nominated for the Best Global Music Album for the 1998 Juno Awards, Canada's version of the Grammys. Diego Marulanda & Pacandé's success extends to its live show which has burned up stages from Toronto's backstreet cramped clubs to the world renowned Montreal International Jazz festival and the Winnipeg International Folk Festival, performing in front of crowds over 30,000 strong.

Now, with the international release of La Verraquera! on the World Music division of acclaimed budget label, Naxos, Diego Marulanda & Pacandé are ready to take their music even farther and to face even larger audiences.

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