Grupo Rebolú is a New York Afro-Colombian band that plays Tropical dance music inspired by the traditions of the Colombian Caribbean coast.
- Grupo Rebolu plays plays Afro-Colombian Tropical dance music at the Esplanade Plaza in Battery Park City on Saturday, July 23, 2022 at 6pm. 🇨🇴
Once you cross the U.S. southern border, you discover that Indigenous and African Diaspora traditions live on. It’s really striking. The traditions bring people together. They come from the time before phones, internet, television, radio and even books.
The band’s music is rooted in Gaita (Indigenous Colombian flutes) and Bullerengue, which derives from Afro-Colombian women’s puberty traditions from San Basilio de Palenque, which is recognized as the first Free African Diaspora town in the Americas.
Grupo Rebolú’s music is a blend of all this. It’s not really Cumbia. It’s not really Salsa. There’s a lot of 2/2 rhythm, but it’s not really Merengue. It sounds like Afrobeat to us (Ghana/Nigeria), but Colombian style. Whatever it is, Grupo Rebolú will make you dance.
Grupo Rebolú is Pure Colombian Energy
The core of the band is Ronald Polo (vocalist/gaitero), Morris Canate (folkloric percussionist), and Johanna Castaneda (vocalist). Castaneda is from a musical family. Her brother is another amazing musical Colombian New Yorker Edmar Castañeda.
Colombia is a very multicultural country. Rebolú is Afro-Colombian, but with an Afropop sound. You might call it salsa, but it really isn’t. It has the energy of mapalé, one of Colombia’s roots African music and dances.
Rebolú makes African music with Native American influences sung in Caribbean Spanish in New York City. How about that?
Singer-songwriter Ronald Polo plays the gaita, a native Colombian flute. Compared to the United States, it’s amazing how much Indigenous culture part of the popular culture of Colombia. You can even hear some Andean melodies in the group’s music.
It is difficult to label Rebolú. The only thing certain is that their high-energy delivery will make your body move. They will make you dance ~ even if you can’t. That’s the traditional purpose of music and dance, to get you out of yourself. If you open your heart, Grupo Rebolú will definitely get you out of yourself.
Grupo Rebolú Albums
- Tiempos Buenos (Good Times, 2020)
- Next Stop (2015)
- Abriendo Caminos (Open Roads, 2009)
“Que paso?” Release
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 ~ Rebolú releases “Que paso?” the first song and video from their upcoming album “Tiempos Buenos” (Good Times).
The song is about something many of us can relate to. Guy shows up late to his first date. The girl asks, “Que paso?” (What’s going on?). Would love to hear the answer to that one. 🤔
Notice how the song ends with children singing, “Queremos Paz pa’ Colombia” (We want peace for Colombia)? We need to make peace for them, the children of Colombia.
The song is a champeta which is one of Colombia’s African rhythms. There are really cool YouTube videos of kids dancing champeta in Colombia. Look at those moves. Shuffle dance is champeta. Look at how the kids battle each other like rappers. There is nothing new under the sun.
Past Grupo Rebolú Shows
Grupo Rebolu celebrates the release of their “La Sorpesa” single of Afro-Colombdian Tropical Music at Terraza 7 in Elmhurst, Queens on Sat, May 14, 2022 at 10pm. $15. 🇨🇴
Rebolú plays Colombian Caribbean jazz at Drom in the East Village on Sat, Sep 18 at 7:30pm (7pm doors).
Rebolú plays Colombian Caribbean dance music at the Queens Theatre outdoor Summer Stage on Sunday, August 1, 2021 at 4pm. FREE
Rebolú joins many of New York City’s leading Colombian musicians for a benefit concert in memory of Colombian Pacific Coast Marimba Master Diego Obregon on Flushing Town Hall’s Facebook livestream on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at 7pm.
Thursday, April 9, 2020 ~ Rebolú plays Ginny’s Supper Club at the Red Rooster in Harlem, NYC. The show was cancelled to keep New Yorkers safe during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Saturday, March 28, 2020 ~ Rebolú plays Wild Birds in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. The show was cancelled to keep New Yorkers safe during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Friday, February 21, 2020 ~ Rebolú plays Terraza 7 in Elmhurst, Queens at 10pm. $15
Monday, October 28, 2019 ~ Rebolú plays Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg, Brooklyn at 8pm. $8
Saturday-Sunday, October 21-22, 2017 ~ Rebolú plays the ColombiaFest IV Cultural Trade Fair at Penn Plaza Pavilion in Chelsea, Manhattan.
Saturday, February 25, 2017 ~ Rebolú plays a Carnaval de Barranquilla party at Caballeros de Colon at 2312 Summit Ave in Union City, NJ, at 8 pm.
Saturday, February 18, 2017 ~ Rebolú plays SOB’s in Tribeca at 8 & 10 pm.
To learn more about the artists, visit GrupoRebolu.com