Cumbia fans listen up! Diego Ibáñez (aka Sonido Desconocido II) is finishing an epic, informative radio series dedicated to Cumbia history. It broadcasts Friday nights on Mexico City’s UNAM radio, and is available as podcast/stream… Lots of information: songs, a breathy female narrator (very cumbia), interviews… In total, a whopping 22 hours of cumbia infosharing!

En Español, claro, pero the musical selection alone offers breadth and depth (and accurate playlists). Your personal cumbia canon will be expanded! I’m particularly excited by episode 10, on Andean cumbia. The breathy lady begins: “I am cumbia andina mexicana, I’m saya, I’m huayno… I’m Peruvian, Ecuatorian, Chilean… I’m synthesizer, mandolin, and harp, I’m the integration of folklores…”

Introducing the entires series, Diego writes:

Esta serie abordará diversas trayectorias de la cumbia, desde sus inicios en el continente Americano, el proceso en que empezaron a implementarse instrumentos electrónicos en dicha música, desde guitarra eléctrica y órganos melódicos de los 50´s – 60´s hasta el uso de sintetizadores y procesos digitales del presente, trazando cronologías con relaciones geográficas y describiendo algunos de los sucesos que revolucionaron este género y sus diversos subgéneros.

This series will trace various cumbia pathways, from its South American origins, the process by which it embraced electronic instruments – from electric guitar and organs of the 50s & 60s to the current use of synths and digital FX, mapping timelines to geographies and describing some of the events that revolutionized la cumbia and its many subgenres. (“translation” mine)

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4 thoughts on “SU MAJESTAD: LA CUMBIA”

  1. This post has incredibly good timing. I am guest lecturing at Hunter this week, and I am talking about cumbia. Thanks!

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