University of Vermont

University Communications

High-Energy Afro-Colombian Ensemble to Perform at UVM

The high-energy Afro-Colombian group Explosión Negra will be in residence at UVM Oct. 1-3.

The group, whose music mixes traditional sources with hip hop, dancehall and reggae, will give free concerts on Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the UVM Recital Hall and at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 3 at the UVM Honors College.

The group’s principal players are from Choco on the Pacific coast of Colombia, and the musical traditions they draw on combine African influences with rhythms local to that area, such as the bunde, chirimia and currulao.   

“Afro-Colombian music from the Caribbean coast is more well known,” said Alex Stewart, director of UVM’s Jazz Studies department. “Music from the Pacific coast of the country has been overlooked not only in world music circles, but even within Colombia.”

The music is very much worthy of attention, Stewart said, and Explosión Negra’s high octane contemporary overlay makes for an entertaining blend of styles.

Members of the group, who are traveling with a translator, will also speak in several UVM classes about the music and culture of the Pacific coast region of their country.

The concert is sponsored by UVM’s Chief Diversity Office and by Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Romance Languages Department and the Music Department. 

The group’s U.S. tour is sponsored by the Colombian government and the U.S. Department of State.