By Marcy Stamper
Cumbia is the most widespread music in South America, with intriguing variations in almost every country on the continent. Now Cumbia’s infectiously danceable beat and appealing melodic lines have come as far north as the Methow Valley, in a concert by the Cumbia All Stars on Friday (Oct. 9) at 7 p.m. at the Winthrop Barn.
The eight-member group from Peru features musicians on vocals, guitar and bass, plus four percussionists — on drums, congas and bongos — to keep the lively beat.
While Cumbia originated in Colombia, it was reinvigorated in Peru in the 1970s. The Peruvian version, which combines mesmerizing melodies and syncopated beats — and even a kind of psychedelic surf-rock — became wildly popular, from the Lima suburbs to the Amazon jungle, among both native Peruvians and immigrants.
The musicians in the Cumbia All Stars have kept this unique music alive, adding new melodic ideas but remaining true to the original danceable beat. Part of Cumbia’s popularity comes from its two-step foundation, making it easy for anyone to dance.
The Cumbia All Stars have performed around the world, from England to Belgium to Chile.
Tickets are $15 in advance and $19 at the door; $5 for students ages 5 to 18. Reserved seats are available in advance for $25. Advance tickets are available through brownpapertickets.com and at the Methow Arts office in Twisp. Call 997-4004 for reservations or more information.