Black Atlantic: Cimarrón (Colombia)
Born along the Orinoco River plains of eastern Colombia and western Venezuela is the region's crown jewel: joropo. Energetic and infectious, joropo is "the Colombian answer to bluegrass," comprised of tribal whistling, cuatro guitar, maracas, Peruvian-flamenco cajón, Brazilian surdo, Afro-Colombian tambora, and percussive stomp dancing (Chicago Reader). Best capturing the genre's distinctive global fusion is Cimarrón, a collection of dancers, vocalists, and musicians founded in 1982. Cimarrón's impressive ability to entrance contemporary audiences while retaining its roots is best demonstrated by its reclamation of the Gipsy Kings' iconic cover, "Bamboleo." Billboard calls the tribute to the Venezuelan country song - originally titled "Caballo Viejo" - a "raw and infectious acoustic version of this Pan-Latin classic." Cimarrón's blend of Andalusian, Indigenous American, and African roots has won the Colombian folk stars a GRAMMY nomination and an Independent Music Award for Best Latin Album - solidifying their position as leaders of modern joropo.