The hot band Toto la Momposina (click on this link to hear their great music) from Colombia, South America, opened for Lila Downs last night at the Auditorio Guelaguetza in Oaxaca. Lead singer Sonia Bazanta Vides, who has been dazzling audiences with her voice for over 50 years, announced this was her last concert (if I understood correctly).
Front row seats meant a ringside treat to the dancing, hip swaying, and throb of the bass from the speakers. The beat was definitely cumbia, salsa, tango and with Afro-Caribbean drum accompaniments. Totally a hand-clapping, toe tapping experience. Exuberant and joyful.
Sonia’s voice was only equal to the energetic dancing by the performer in the bright floral blue, yellow and red dress. Both offered visual insight into the music and dance traditions of Colombia. Plus, the band included African and indigenous instruments — flutes, drums, and rattles — that added spice to the performance along with the electric guitars.
Nominated for a Latin Grammy, Sonia Bazanta Vides has performed for over 50 years throughout the world, representing the rich and complex music of Colombia and especially the islands where she was raised. She studied music, voice and composition at the Universidad de Colombia and at the Sorbonne in Paris. In 1983, she accompanied Gabriel Garcia Marquez to accept the Nobel Prize in Literature.