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Soukustek was born under the gaze of the Caribbean Sea surrounding the Colombian coastal city of Cartagena de Indias. The Toronto-based group combines the rhythms and sounds of guitars that arrived from Africa in the 1970s and seamlessly blends them with the flavour of the Colombian Caribbean. Soukustek is all about dance, joy and history: it is Africa in Colombia!
The Soukustek project started in 2000 when Cartagenero guitarist and producer Tury Morey and master guitarist Claro Torres from Baru Island in Colombia decided to form a band to recreate those African sounds.
Morey recalls, “When we were kids, on weekends, we’d fall asleep and awaken the next morning to the same thunderous beat and those African guitar melodies blasted out by powerful machines popularly called “Picos” or “Pickups.” So were the African rhythms that influenced our culture since the beginning of Black History in Colombia.”
In late 2010, after a decade of living in Toronto, Morey returned to Cartagena with a commitment to resume his life project – recreating the sounds of the old “Pico.” He proceeded to make it a reality. Soukustek’s debut album, Asina Jue, is a production that combines Caribbean rhythms with the band’s unique Afro-Caribbean flavour. The lyrics are in Palenquero, a language that endured throughout the Maroons’ fight against enslavement. (The Maroons are descendants of Africans in the Americas who formed settlements away from slavery.)