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2019, Sat, Jul 20

Louis Towers, Maria del Rosario

Louis Towers | Photo: Alfredo Torres

Louis Towers | Photo: Alfredo Torres

Louis Towers was in the thick of it in Colombia when the passion for styles like the soukous from the Congo region and the Ghanaian highlife gave birth to the Champeta. In the 1960s and 1970s, so-called picós – mobile sound systems – were established in the Caribbean region of Colombia, especially in the city of Cartagena de Indias. Similar to Jamaica or block parties in the Bronx, a hybrid sound was created that mediated between West African roots and the reality of South American life. Towers, a hyper-productive producer and singer, has traveled the world as the “golden voice of Champeta” since the 1990s. As one of the leading representatives of the genre, he’s never stopped enriching it with a variety of influences, from reggae to rap to more recent forms like Afrobeats. He will exhibit his enduring energy and stage presence today on Colombia’s Independence Day.