Bazurto All Stars
The very festive Bazurto All Stars got started in the bars of the seaside city of Cartagena, Colombia. At the demand of tourists who wished to hear Caribbean music, the group introduced more African sounds in its compositions and moved toward champeta, a very energetic style from the coastal region.
In its early days, the group did not really have a name, until the day in 2009 when the owner of a bar near the Bazurto market suggested that they take the name of the market, a colourful musical epicentre of Caribbean traditions. Thus were born the Bazurto All Stars, inspired by the joyful, energetic ambiance of the working-class districts of Cartagena and taking up the African beats of Congolese soukous.
Although they are now great representatives of champeta, the seven musicians in the collective found their musical inspiration in very different genres, from American hip-hop to Colombian vallenato and including reggae and rock. They even found a specific name for their blend of Caribbean and African beats: champeta muffin.
Bazurto’s seven members – Aníbal Hernández (guitarist and leader), Fredy Harel (lead vocalist), Jason Guerrero, known as “Fromx” (rap singer), Pierre Magallanes, known as “El Negro” (drummer), David Ruíz, known as “Calilla” (saxophonist), Lucho Hernández (bass player) and Nando Ávila (percussionist) – are recognized as stage animals who immediately instil a party atmosphere in the audience.
Their career took off in 2015 with the success of their hit “El Bololó,” a retake of the track “État major” by the Congolese group Extra Musica, followed directly by another hit, “La Pupileta,” chosen as the official music of the Barranquilla carnival in 2016.
It was also in 2016 that they won their first prestigious Congo de Oro award from the Barranquilla carnival, regarded as one of the world’s greatest. Immediately adopted by the carnival city, their track “Vacílatela con Fefi” was the carnival queen’s official theme in 2017.
They again won the Congo de Oro in 2018 and 2019, and they toured in Europe and the United States with soukous groups, in particular the Soukous All Stars and the legendary Zairian group Zaïko Langa Langa, with which they shared the stage in the famous New York club SOB’s in January 2019. They were even invited to Zaïko Langa Langa’s 50th anniversary festivities in Kinshasa.
Bazurto All Stars launched the track “Coroné” in April 2019 with the famous vallenato singer Felipe Peláez, a new hit in the making, and they prepared to conduct a major tour in Europe and North America, with their first appearance in Canada.