Colombia - 5

Heartbeat of Vallenato

Music Voyager is on a Colombian journey from the ranches and farmlands of Valledupar through the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range and on to the Caribbean coast. The small city of Valledupar is the cradle of vallenato, which is a rustic, folksy and distinctly Colombian music style. There, we meet up with Fonseca, one of Colombia’s biggest stars, who has incorporated the vallenato style into the tropipop sound for which he is famous. We meet with the Rey de Reyes (King of Kings) of the accordion, attend a wild street party, visit a restaurant that serves unusual wildlife, and join the adorable Los Niños de Vallenato for a performance in the city’s main square. Next, Music Voyager travels to a small coastal village to meet with a former paramilitary soldier turned vallenato singer, who serenades us in a fishing boat in the picturesque harbor. Finally we end up in the port city of Barranquilla, where steamy, tropical Afro-Colombian beats dominate the music scene. Singer Erika Muñoz takes us to a rehearsal for Barranquilla’s famous carnival and gives an impromptu performance of her African-influenced sound. Colombian legend Joe Arroyo performs with his full 14-piece band in a commandeered library. It’s a journey that reveals the amazing diversity of Colombia's geography, culture and music.