Palenque de San Basilio is one of the most uniques places in Latin America, a corner of Africa in Colombia. Founded by fugitive slaves more than three hundred years ago, Palenque has preserved its African roots over the centuries: music, traditional medicine and even a language that mixes Spanish with African languages. In 2005, UNESCO proclaimed Palenque “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.” We had the chance to record in Palenque in 2010, while recording a Song Across Colombia, and in 2012, during the recording of “United,” a music video created for the UN’s 7 Billion Campaign.
We recently worked for the MDG Achievement Fund by creating and directing social and musical initiatives in 4 different countries (South Africa, Thailand, Democratic Republic of Congo and Colombia) to support musicians in their craft to help make this world a better place through music. Palenque immediately appeared as a ideal place to host of one of the projects. The main idea behind this project was to be able to offer the opportunity to amazing roots musicians to record some of their music and help promote their work and culture on a larger scale. We hired a local film and recording crew, who went to Palenque for a week to capture it’s unique music and provide the palenqueros with the recordings and videos.
This video features one of the main expressions Palenque’s roots music, El sextet Tabalá, a band who has evolved through generations since its formation in the 30’s.
The production team in Colombia:
Allan Kassin: Production
Lucas Silva: Music producer
Gabriel Bocanegra: Sound engineer
Luis Fernando Barbosa : Camera operator and film direction
Nicolas Cabrera: Camera operator
Juan Martinez & Rodolfo Camino: Assistants sound and camera
Luis Ender Caáte Martinez: Sound engineer assistant