Cumbia En Marimba

The marimba was exported from Africa around the 16th century and has been popularized by either Western classical concert instruments, jazz/Latin jazz, or as Latin American folk instruments. For some reason or another it was Central America that really embraced it. From Southern Mexico to Nicaragua you can find traditional marimba street musicians in just about every larger city square (almost like the mariachi in Mexico). I’m not sure about South America, but from what I understand it extends down there also. However, the marimba is especially popular in Guatemala, to the point where bands like Marimba Orquesta Gallito have become a national symbol of tradition and culture. These larger marimba bands can incorporate any genre of music from  traditional folkloric songs, mambos, to even a form of big-band Discos Fuentes style cumbias (which is pretty much the focus of this article). Almost like the accordion in Colombia and the guitar in Peru. I threw in a few Colombian cumbia standards for good measure. Also, Marimba Chiapas is from the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, which is just as much geographically and culturally similar to Guatemala than Mexico itself. Enjoy!

Peep the comment section, Sports Casual @ put up a cool ass video of some Mexican kids jamming out to the marimba in the state of Oaxaca. Also he supplied this awesome pick of a marimba band for hire. God I miss Mexico. 

1. Marimba Orquesta Gallito: A La Cumbia

2. Marimba Orquesta Gallito: Barranquillerita

3. Marimba Orquesta Gallito: Cumbia Tropical

4. Marimba Chiapas: La Pollera Amarilla

6 Responses to “Cumbia En Marimba”

  1. 1 Jim December 26, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Brilliant, thank you. Super Sonido continues to slay me with selections and wisdom.

    • 3 josephfranko December 30, 2009 at 9:23 pm

      Yo that video is rad. Well the music is at least (video quality….boo). Yeah the marimba is a real market/center square music. My only question is where do you thing the musicians are from? Are they Oaxacaños, from somewhere else, or both? 1. The state of Oaxaca has a huge indiginous population (Zapotec indians)and its the indian class that seem to embrace the marimba more than others…..but…..2. The city of Oaxaca is kind of on the “hippie” destination, kind of on the “lonely planet” backpacker trail. And from my experience a lot of Peruvians artists (musicians and jewelers) follow that trail from Peru to Mexico. I hear a pan flute in the mix which might lead me to believe. But its just a thought. Anyway, it would be interesting to know where those dudes are from. Amazing stuff and totally totally appreciated. Saludos!!!! Franko

  2. 4 Sport Casual January 3, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Sorry about the vid quality – blackberry related! I’m pretty sure the kids playing were local given how young they were and that they were totally dressed up for the Dia de Muertos events that night.
    I did see storefronts around town that belonged to this or that Marimba band where you can book them for events.

  3. 5 richard January 5, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    The marimba sounds definitely bring some serious Guatemalan memories back to mind. It’s a severely underrated instrument.

  4. 6 Esteb March 24, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Hey! Is there anyway to download this songs? A la cumbia sounds amazing! please! please!

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