Marimba music from Colombia’s South Pacific region and Ecuador’s Esmeralda province have been declared “intangible heritage” by Unesco, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, a specialized agency of the United Nations system.
According to Colombian newspaper El Heraldo, Unesco stressed that these musical expressions are “part of the social fabric of the community of African descendants of the South Pacific region in Colombia and the province of Esmeraldas in Ecuador.”
This achievement comes on a day in which UNESCO also announced that vallenato, the traditional accordion music from Colombia, is an “Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.”
Via Colombia Reports:
According to the global cultural organization, Vallenato music “faces a number of risks to its viability … notably the armed conflict in Colombia fueled by drug trafficking.”
However, the organization also said that “a new wave of Vallenato is marginalizing traditional Vallenato music and diminishing its role in social cohesion.”
I must highlight a couple of musicians I am fans of to celebrate the addition of marimba music to UNESCO’s all too important cultural heritage designation, and to help preserve Colombia’s vallenato.
Herencia de Timbiquí’s “Amanecé” (Sunrise), which you can read more about via Sounds and Colours.
And to help keep the tradition Colombia’s vallenato alive, listen to fun artists, such as Latin Grammy winner (2014) Jorge Celedón and Silvestre Dangond.
Also listen to New York’s Gregorio Uribe, who puts a big band and jazz spin on things. Uribe will play in Bogotá’s Teatro Colon on the 12th and 13th of December.
His new video for “Cumbia Universal” (the title track off his album) is not a vallenato, but it features the accordion, and more importantly, Panamanian salsa legend, Rubén Blades.