An old LP cover dug out of the Concertzender archives. Sonora dinamita.
On the cover a drawing of a man and a woman that are dancing on the beach. What are they dancing to? Well, cumbia music from Colombia. This is the group La Sonora Dinamita who introduced the cumbia to the world and also countries in Latin America. The cumbia is a mix between Indian and African (slave) dance music traditions from Colombia with influences from Europe. In the meanwhile the genre became very popular in the whole of Latin America, with regional variations in countries like Mexico, Peru and Argentina. The original orchestra La Sonora Dinamita led by Lucho Argaín only existed for three years, from 1960 to 1963, but apparently the idea kept itching because in 1975 the orchestra was set up again, this time led by Julio Ernesto Estrada "Fruko" Rincón, artistic director of the Discos Fuentes record label. In 1981 Mélida Yará, better known as "La India Meliyará", became lead singer of the group. During her period at La Sonora Dinamita the orchestra made its most successful recordings, like the classic "Mi Cucu."In the meanwhile Mélida Yará has left the group and the musicians are liable to change, but they always make sure they have a strong female voice as counterpart to the 10-men-strong horn section. The band also knew an international version, La Internacional Sonora Dinamita Show, that went on a world tour led by Kiko Vargas. Of this formation is the LP that we will play today. They still perform in the US under the name La Internacional Sonora Show, with band leader Kiko Vargas Jr, the son of the founder of the international version. Que viva!