Cuentos Colombianos: The roots of Palenque

“When the music ends, everything ends… that is why we teach. So that the music never stops”

Our friend and filmmaker Danny Concha visits one of the first free towns in the Americas, San Basilio de Palenque, to discover more about the very essence of Afro-Colombian music and culture. Founded by brave cimarrones (runaway slaves), it’s inhabitants remained isolated for centuries from the rest of Colombia but somehow maintained their cultural and spiritual bonds with Africa, speaking their own creole language: palenquero, a mixture of African dialects with Spanish and Portuguese; and creating a rich variety of musical styles.

Danny meets one of the figureheads of the style Rafael Cassiani Cassiani – legendary lead vocalist of “Sexteto Tabalá” – as he takes us on a musical journey through his community’s Afro-Colombian roots…


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