Center For Arts & Equity

Kombilesa Mi

Born from the rich musical and historical heritage of San Basilio de Palenque, Colombia (the first free Black town in the Americas), Kombilesa Mí (“my friends” in Palenquero) fuses the traditional sounds of the community with urban pop. The band's nine members experiment with the instruments created by their ancestors (and introduced to them when they were young) by layering them between new sounds. Over traditional percussion, metal handmade drums of their own design, and marímbula, Kombilesa Mí rhymes and raps in Spanish and the traditional Palenquero language, a fusion of African Bantu, Portuguese, French and English. During the performance, you'll hear them call their music "RFP," which means Rap Folklórico Palenquero, a combo of cumbia, son de negro, mapalé and son palenquero.The group has toured abroad, establishing rap folklórico palenquero not just as a musical genre, but a broader social movement connecting past to present for audiences both inside and outside Palenque.

Bombyx Appearances

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