Afro Colombian traditional music at his best
Son Palenque is a legendary afro-Colombian band, founded in the beginning of the 80’s in the city of Cartagena (Caribbean coast), by the singer and composer Justo Valdez. Since then, this 7th people band has recorded 8 LP's of traditional Afro music, mixed with African and psychedelic influences. All their members come from San Basilio de Palenque, a very important village in the history of afro-Colombia.
Palenque de San Basilio was founded by black maroons (running away from slavery), and has preserved many African traditions, as an Afro-Hispanic Creole language, the only one existing today in the Americas. The musical traditions of Palenque are very close to the music of central Africa, and the Bantu area (Congo, Angola, Cameroon).
The music of SON PALENQUE has been reissued in the last years in Europe, in many compilations of Colombian and tropical music, as their music is very much appreciated by collectors and music lovers around the world. ( see the compilation “Palenque Palenque”, on Soundway label)
The band plays rhythm as cumbia, chalupa, Bullerengue, lumbalu (played for funerals and other rituals), Son de Negro, and a huge variety of african rythms. The band concerts are like a journey through the history of afro-colombian music and culture, and the history of all the musical exchanges between Africa and America, during centuries of colonial history.
Justo Valdez, lead vocal and composer, comes from a prestigious musical dynasty. He’s the son of “Ataole”, one of the best tambour players from Palenque, and was also part of the Batata family, the Valdez Salgado. The band recorded their first single in 1982 for the record label Orbe and were considered pioneers since most of their songs were sung in Palenquero. Ataole died, but the group continued and recorded two LPs for Felito where they incorporated percussion from Palenque with influences from Africa, the French Caribbean and soukous from Congo. Here we find three songs “El Sapo,” and “Palenque Palenque” (with Michi Sarmiento on Sax!!) recorded by Eduardo Dávila, and “Dame un Trago”. These two LPs opened a new path for Afro-Colombian music that the group has continued to explore until today.
This is the latest project of Palenque Records (label that gave an international scope to the Creole Champeta at Tabalá Sextet at The Jolly Ambulances, and produced the posthumous album Paulino Salgado "Batata"), whose goal is to promote knowledge and transmission of the popular traditions of Afro-Colombia in Europe. The new album of SON PALENQUE would be released in 2011 by Palenque Records.