Hailing from the port city of Tumaco in the southwestern corner of Colombia, Bejuco augments traditional hometown música pacifica with various global sounds, especially afrobeat. The band chose this name because it represents Bejuco’s strong connection to nature, to territory, and to ancestry.
The trend of mixing elements of Pacific music with other genres is not an entirely new concept. Bands like Herencia De Timbiqui and Grupo Bahía have created fusion styles that they’ve taken not only to wider audiences in Colombia, but internationally as well. Originally intending to follow in the footsteps of its contemporaries, Bejuco ultimately decided to go in a different direction, concocting a tasty new style that they call bambucobeat.
Afrobeat, a musical style made famous by the great Nigerian artist Fela Kuti, has become synonymous with the global African diaspora. The African connection has always been a vital component of música pacifica, not only as a musical foundation, with elements like call and response and percussion rhythms that are tied to the African continent, but also as a way to re-articulate Afro-Colombian identity within the wider social and political sphere of Colombia. The struggles associated with black music worldwide are not unlike the struggles faced by Colombians in the Pacific. Now, Bejuco are musically expanding Fela Kuti’s Pan-Africanism to opposite sides of the globe, representing the myriad of cultures within Afro-Colombia as well as the entire diaspora.