Carlos Vives Performs 21-Minute Set as Part of NPR Music’s Tiny Desk At-Home Concerts

Carlos Vives is putting his desk foot forward…

The 59-year-old Colombian singer-songwriter is the latest artist to appear as part of NPR Music’s Tiny Desk at-home concerts, bringing his Colombian flavors to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.

Carlos Vives

During his 21-minute set earlier this week, during which he was joined by a seven-member band, including his longtime backup vocalist and gaita player, Mayte Montero, Vives kicked off things off with his 1995 hit “Pa’ Mayte,” showcasing the spirited champeta dance.

He then performed one of his newer records, “Cumbiana,” dedicated to the diverse community of Colombia, his Shakira-assisted bop “La Bicicleta,” and the infectious “No Te Vayas,” released earlier this year — all while dancing barefoot in the comfort of his own home.

“On this Tiny Desk during this quarantine, we have written most of the songs for our new album, Cumbiana Vol. 2, next to our producer Andres Leal and Martin Velilla,” says the six-time 2020 Latin Grammy nominee during his performance.

Vives is confirmed to speak at the 2020 Billboard Latin Music Week taking place October 20 to October 23. He’ll be joined by internationally renowned Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel, music and artistic director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, in an enlightening conversation on the power of music and the arts as a global agent of change for a better society.

 

The new Tiny Desk (home) concerts, which have featured special guests like Billie Eilish and BTS, are “the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.”

Carlos Vives Launching “El Mundo Perdido de Cumbiana” Documentary in Partnership with Grammy Museum

Carlos Vives is celebrating Colombia’s indigenous roots in music in a special way…

The 59-year-old Colombian singer-songwriter is launching a special documentary, El Mundo Perdido de Cumbiana, this Friday, August 21 on the Grammy Museum’s digital museum.

Carlos Vives

In May, Vives released his 14th studio album, Cumbiana, which married Colombia’s past with the future. The album shed light on the indigenous roots of Colombian music in a 10-set production that includes collaborations with Jessie Reyez, Alejandro Sanz, Ruben Blades and others.

Vives decided to bring his extensive research and musical exploration to the masses via the documentary, which is directed by Carlos Felipe Montoya and produced by Isabel Cristina Vasquez from Mestiza Films.

Vives spotlights the history of the amphibian universe to better understand the origins of cumbia and vallenato music, the ancestral spirits that inspired his latest production, and the environmental challenges the Magdalena River ecosystem is facing.

“I discovered a lost world. That’s the truth,” Vives previously told Billboard.

“We’ve always spoken about our African heritage in music. We’ve always thought that the most uplifting elements of our music came from Africa or from European rhythms like polka. But it turns out it comes from Andean or indigenous music. This album highlights the joy of the fusion of African, European, and indigenous music.”

El Mundo Perdido de Cumbiana, which also elaborates on the creative process of Cumbiana, will be available at 1:00 pm PT on Friday, August 21 at the Grammy Museum website for 72 hours only.

Following the screening, Vives will attend an exclusive conversation with NPR Alt Latino’s Felix Contreras to further discuss the documentary.

Carlos Vives Releases Indigenous Roots-Inspired Album “Cumbiana”

Carlos Vives is going back to his roots…

The 58-year-old Colombian singer-songwriter has released his latest album, Cumbiana, a search for the indigenous roots of Colombian music. 

Carlos Vives

The album has been described as “exuberant, soulful, beautiful and important without ever sounding overbearing,” by Billboard.

The album features duets with Jessie ReyezRuben Blades and Alejandro Sanz,and ittreads that line between what’s commercial and what’s artistic.

“I discovered a lost world. That’s the truth,” Vives simply states, speaking from his home in Bogota, where he’s been in lockdown for the past two months.

“We’ve always spoken about our African heritage in music,” he adds. “We’ve always thought that the most uplifting elements of our music came from Africa or from European rhythms like polka. But it turns out it comes from Andean, or indigenous music. This album highlights the joy of the fusion of African, European and indigenous music.”

Marrying Colombia’s past with the future, Cumbianahas already delivered a chart hit with “No Te Vayas.” Edgier still is current single “For Sale,” a mix of traditional beats with reggaeton, a touch of rap and Sanz’s flamenco strains. Of course, Vives wrote the rulebook for Colombian fusion.

His 1994 album, La Tierra Del Olvido, where he marries Colombia’s most traditional folk beats — vallenato, cumbiaporro— with rock guitars and drums and pop sensibility, is the original blueprint of the sound that would later define the work of acts like JuanesFonseca and even Shakira at times.

But Cumbiana expands its realm. So much so that this is the first of a three-album project.