Colombian “tambora” artist Martina Camargo has begun her world tour. The singer from Bolivar is representing Colombia in Europe and the Middle East to mark the bicentenary of her country’s independence.
The singer from San Martin de Loba in the Bolivar department has embarked on a journey which will take her to Barcelona, Cairo and Beirut. She was selected by the Ministry of Culture to represent Colombia on the world stage with her traditional brand of “tambora” music. Her tour is part of celebrations to mark the bicentenary of Colombian independence.
“Tambora”, derived from the Spanish word “tambor” (meaning drum), is a folkloric musical style which originated in Camargo’s home town San Martin de Loba where its lively rhythms can be heard in every street corner. Much like the Venezuelan Gaita and Colombian Cumbia, “Tambora” is punctuated by the rapid beating of hands against drums made from the skin of goats or deer. These percussion instruments were introduced to the Carribean region by African slaves brought there by the Europeans.
Camargo fell in love with music at a young age. Her father Cayetano Camargo, also a famous “tamborero”, would sing to her as he rocked her and her five brothers in their hammocks. In 1987 she took to the stage with the “tambora” outfit Ale Kuma. Success was quick to follow for Carmago who went on to win the Tambora Festival in San Martin de Loba in 1988 with her “Las olas de la mar” – her favorite song and a composition of her father.
Later she worked with Aterciopelados-members Andrea Echeverri and Hector Buitrago, but her breakthrough came in 2009 when the magazine “Semana” ranked her album “Canto, palo y cuero” in the ten most important productions of the year.
Carmago, who has already toured in Italy and Mexico, is anxious to see how this international audience will respond to her traditional folkloric music which, she claims, makes Colombians themselves feel more Colombian. “I want to make them shiver, I want to make them feel,” she told El Espectador. “We are going to whip up a huge party with our drums.”