Colombian big band Siguarajazz got its start in the neighborhoods of Medellín and now, 22 years after their inception, have arrived in unexpected places in the world. Forceful compositions, honest lyrics as well as strong, well-syncopated rhythms have made them one of the most outstanding groups in their field and a cultural jewel in Antioquia (Colombia’s Capital Department).

Under the direction of Juan Fernando García, aka Juancito Trucupey, these musicians dedicate themselves to the exploration of Afro-Caribbean rhythms, especially 1970s style salsa brava (dura), merging them with Colombian styles like cumbia, but without ever leaving aside the nuanced harmonic expressions of Latin jazz. Their sound is the perfect combination of tradition and modernity.

Siguarajazz is, above all, the musical creation of a city – in particular, the northeastern comuna (neighborhood) of Manrique, Medellín where the three García brothers grew up playing congas and drums – encompassing its rich heritage of grandparents and friends; its constant, day-to-day transformations; its lively street rhythms; and its most colorful characters.

Although Siguarajazz have played many memorable dates, one of their proudest was an appearance at the 2009 Medellín International Jazz and World Music Festival, where they opened for the famous bongo player of the Fania All Stars, Roberto Roena. The band recalls, “It was a total success, people (identified with us as) the group from their city.”