Musical Traditions of Palenque

In this audiograph, I interview Afro-Colombian singer La Burgos, Alegres Ambulancias de San Basilio de Palenque. She tells me about her family traditions, the funeral of her mother, the iconic Colombian cantadora and tamborera from the Batata dynasty, Graciela Salgado Valdés who passed away in 2013. She even sings me the song Graciela Apaga la Luz, a song composed by Dolores Salinas as a farewell to her friend. In Palenque, when someone dies, they sing, dance, and drum in memory of the dead person.

Many of her songs are a mixture of African dialects with Spanish and Portuguese. The groups are the main keeper of Lumbalu songs, the Afro-Colombian funeral tradition. Later in the interview, she talks about what she sings while cooking local sweets, following her mother’s oral traditions, and even end up with an Arrullo Palenquero (Lullaby) and a Bullerengue.

Enjoy this episode as we explore the most fascinating roots of the musical traditions of San Basilio de Palenque.

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