Sunday, July 31, 2011

My visit to the "Porro-music" Festival in San Pelayo (Cordoba, Colombia)

About a month ago, while in Colombia, I had the chance to go to the Porro-music Festival ("Festival Del Porro") in the town of San Pelayo, Corodoba. It was a unique experience to see, listen and dance to dozens of Porro bands and to share with local friends!

Porro bands ("Banda de Porro") are large ensembles of about 15 musicians that consist of snare drum, cymbals, bass drum, trombones, euphoniums ("bombardinos"), clarinets and trumpets (I personally find much similarity between Porro music and Porro bands and New Orleans "Second Line" music). For this festival many bands come from all over the country to participate in the contest, but the best part is the something called "La Alborada":

After a night of partying and dancing, at 4am all of the bands that will take part in the festival gather around the town's main square ("Plaza"). Here everybody starts drinking and lighting candels that are held up in the air while dacing and then the "Fandango" begins with EVERYBODY going towards the Festival stage in a very unique mixture of dancing/walking/drinking/shouting/candle-holding! This last for about an hour or two (Not that I was checking my watch but by the time you get to the Festival Stage it's already daylight) and then all the bands get up on the stage and play together some classic Porro tunes (the most famous one being "Maria Barilla") and the party simply keeps going for a few more hours.

Anyway, here's some footage that I took while I was there so you can get an also includes footage of the kind family and friends that where generous enough to let us stay with them during the festival (there are no Hotels in San least to my knowledge). Maybe you'll start planning your trip so you can witness this unique cultural expresion of the "Sinú" region of Colombia for your selves. Check it out:


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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Latin music icon Joe Arroyo died today

Today a great icon for Latin music past away and I want to share one of his most famous songs with those of you who are not familiar with his music. Although he's known for many of his Salsa hits ("La Rebelion", "En Barranquilla me quedo", "Tania") he was constantly inovating and creating a unique sound to the extent that, today, musicians use the term "Joe Son" to define his unique blend of cumbia, soca, salsa and other caribbean rhythms (for examples of this check out: "Te Quiero Mas", "Tal Para Cual", "Musa Original", "Centurion de la noche"). As a musician I will always be inspired by his music and legacy and I'm sure many of you will dance to his music at some point in your lives...that is, if you haven't already done so. Viva el Joe!!!

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Gregorio Uribe Big Band - "Caramel" (Featuring Banda Magda and Juan Andres Ospina)

As part of our monthly residency at Zinc Bar (the first Thursday of every month), on Thursday July 7th 2011 we invited multi-talented singer and composer Magda Giannikou (leader of Banda Magda - and composer and big band arranging extraordinaire Juan Andres Ospina to perform Ospina's orginal arrangement of the popular french song "Caramel". Enjoy!

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Colorado Radio Interview - TODAY! (Hear it online)

Today (Monday July 11) I will be interviewed on radio show "Un Dia Sin Fronteras" from Colorado! For those in the Denver Metro area you can hear it on 1150 AM and for those anywhere else in the world you can listen to it online by going to and hitting the sidebar "On Air" for direct internet feed. The interview will air at 2pm (Easter Stadard Time) / 12noon (Mountain Standard Time).

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Gregorio Uribe Big Band @ Zinc Bar - TONIGHT - Special Guest: BANDA MAGDA!!!

Hey folks,


Great news! We have a new special guest tomorrow at our monthly show at Zinc Bar. Here's the info and don't forget to wear a funky tie!!

 Gregorio Uribe Big Band and Banda Magda combine their musical forces in a rare and long-awaited collaboration under the creative wing of big band arranger-extraordinaire, Juan Andres Ospina. Members of Banda Magda and the Gregorio Uribe Big Band will perform Magda's original French song "Caramel" a mixture of brazilian baiao with french lyrics. "Caramel" will be featured in Banda Magda's upcoming album, so come along and take a ...sneak peak of the french hit, BIG BAND-style! a

Gregorio Uribe Big Band @ Zinc Bar -  Special Guest: "Banda Magda" (

DATE: Thursday July 7th (First Thursday of Every Month!)


TIME: 10pm - 1am


LOCATION: Zinc Bar (

                    82 West 3rd Street

                    New York, NY


COVER: $10




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