Martes de Música: Marisol

On today’s Martes de Música, we visit a powerhouse cumbia voice belonging to the one, the only, Marisol. It is quite simple to recognize a Marisol song, one because she screams her name, but also because she has a very distinctive, powerful voice, that you can’t help but take notice of.

Marisol is quite popular, and regularly travels across the country belting out cumbia, and the occasional Huayno classic. In fact, at the beginning of June she was hired by Caraz’s largest school, Micelino Sandoval Torres, to perform during their anniversary celebration.

On a side note, anniversaries are very important here in Perú. While in the States, we usually only seem to celebrate the “important” anniversary years such as the ones ending in 0s and 5s (25th, 30th, 50th, etc.), in Perú, anniversaries are celebrated EVERY year. And anniversary celebrations are not a 1 day affair, oh no. Anniversary celebrations, especially for schools, tend to consist of a week long schedule of activities including sports tournaments, food fairs, several parades, masses and religious ceremonies, nice lunches, and of course, a final, big, all-out party (if they can afford it). While anniversaries are extremely fun, they do tend to disrupt classes, which isn’t so fun. Fortunately I have had the opportunity to witness and participate in several anniversary events here in Perú, and I can imagine I will be witness to several more before my service comes to an end a year from now.

Given the fact that I am a big cumbia fan and also work on environmental issues in the school, I of course attended the concert, which happened to be the day before my birthday. She blew the roof off the place, and even wished me a happy birthday thanks to the sneaky intervention of my friends. Well, I guess she didn’t exactly wish me a happy birthday since she said, “Felíz Cumpleaños al gringo que tiene un corazón caracino” (Happy Birthday to the gringo with a Caraz heart). Either way, it goes without saying that Marisol and her orquesta gave me a good start to my birthday.

Today’s song is essentially a break-up song. In it, Marisol sings about how she misses her love, how even seeing a photo of them together makes her cry, how listening to their songs pushes her to drinking; she wants to move on, but her heart won’t let her forget. If you can’t tell, it is a tad melodramatic, but such is the story of many Cumbia songs here in Perú.

So without further ado, here is Marisol singing Gitana, for your listening pleasure.

Hope you enjoyed the music and be sure to look out for 2 more posts this week since I missed out on my Foto Friday from the last.

Until next time,

MGB

Martes de Música: No Te Vayas

This week’s Martes de Música, or rather Miércoles de Música since I’m a bit late, goes out to the Cumbia group, Grupo Ráfaga, which is actually from Argentina, and not Perú. The group found its start way back in 1994, and has been going quite strong, having produced over 14 different albums throughout the years.

However, despite having originated in another country, the group and their songs are quite popular here in Perú; you would be hard pressed to attend any cumbia concert here in Perú and NOT hear one of their popular songs, such as No Te Vayas or their recent hit, Una Cerveza (this will be shared for another time).

Today, I am spotlighting No Te Vayas (Don’t Go or Don’t Leave Me), again one of my favorites here in Perú and a staple of many “copy groups” or other Cumbia groups here in Perú. This song is essentially about love and heartbreak; a man telling his girlfriend not to leave him because she is “who fills him with passion, is his light, and his whole world”. Check out the lyrics here, and feel free to give them a good old Google translate.

Without further ado, No Te Vayas by Grupo Ráfaga!

Hope you enjoyed the music!

Until next time,

MGB

Martes de Música: Corazón Serrano

For today’s installment of Martes de Música, we return to the genre of Cumbia. This time, we will hear a song from one of Perú’s most popular Cumbia groups, Corazón Serrano, which means Sierra Heart or Heart of the Sierras.

The group originally formed in 1993 in Piura, a departamento (state) along the northern coast of Perú near the border with Ecuador. For the first 15 years, the group focused their concerts, image, and music around the northern coast of Perú. But around 2010, with the introduction of some new singers to the group, they became a “mainstream” hit in Perú, and quickly grew to widespread acclaim across the whole country.

Like most cumbia, the songs of Corazón Serrano are quite catchy, have a happy beat, and revolve around themes of love and alcohol. While most cumbia music sounds very similar, there is one easy way to recognize a Corazón Serrano song: a high pitched musical shoutout of the name, Corazón Serrano.

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to attend a Corazón Serrano concert in Huaráz with two other Peace Corps Volunteers, where we had a great time singing along to our favorites such as the song I present today. For our first introduction into Corazón Serrano, I present to you all one of their classics “¿Cómo Pude Enamorarme?” (How Could I Fall in Love?). The song is essentially about a woman struggling with heartbreak after her boyfriend left her for another woman.

Enjoy!

Until next time,

MGB