Over 50 different Colombian groups kick-started the Festival d’Ile de France on Sunday, one of France’s most important annual cultural events.
The Festival d’Ile de France takes place every year between September and October and hosts over thirty concerts of classical and contemporary world music attracting approximately 25,000 spectators.
For this year the organizers chose Colombia as guest of honor due to its international stature thanks to the talent of its artists and composers. On Sunday September 7, the opening day of the festival, a varied sample of Colombian sounds was presented. In previous years the guests of honor have been: South Africa, New York, the French region of Brittany and Argentina.
|“This is the first time we’ve been at a festival where all genres of Colombian music are represented. Something we have not even seen in Colombia.”|
In total there were 54 Colombian artists who are participating in the Festival d’IIe France, representing the best of the rich musical culture from Colombia. Groups such as Cimarron Group, Aparto Rancho, Sidestepper, La 33 and Alvaro Meza were some of the Colombian representatives present.
Cimarron’s director and harpist Carlos Rojas expressed his thanks, saying “We are very grateful to the Paris region for [asking us to] participate in this event. It is the first time we’re at a festival where all genres of Colombian music are represented. Something we have not even seen in Colombia,” according to French Radio Station RFI.
Over 6,000 people danced and enjoyed the opening afternoon concert for the month-long festival. Olivier Delsalle, the event’s organizer told RFI “I am very happy with this journey. I think it has been a great success. There was a variety of people in the crowd from France and Colombia. I think everyone could appreciate the diversity of culture and Colombian music, which was my first goal: a trip from the Caribbean coast to the Pacific coast, showcasing traditional music as well as the new Colombian scene.”