Monday, February 6, 2012

Music of Costa Rica


Music is an integral part of most Latin American cultures and Costa Rica is no exception.

Costa Ricans enjoy Latin,American and British contemporary rock, and have a special affinity for tunes from the 70's and 80's. However, when it comes to dancing, most prefer the traditional Latin rhythms of salsa, merengue, cumbia, lambada and so ca.

On the weekends, discos and dance halls are packed, as the typically conservative locals let loose and flirt wildly while dancing the night away.

Costa Rica is home to a diverse musical scene. From classical to calypso, music is everywhere-in the streets, homes, restaurants, bars, discos and theaters.

Classical Music
The Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional has received international acclaim under the direction of its current conductor, Chosei Komatsu, and is considered one of the major orchestras of Latin America. San Jose's National Theater hosts a variety of concerts, from classical guitar to solo pianists and grand symphony orchestras.

Other venues of interest include the Teatro Mozart and the Costa Rican and NorthAmericanCultural Center.

Folk Music
The African-derived marimba is a very popular instrument in Costa Rican folk music. Groups like Cantares bring authentic Costa Rican folk music to the world. As they come across interesting stories, recipes, nicknames, anecdotes, tongue twisters and old customs, they transform them into the most genuine form of Costa Rican folk music.

Several jazz cafes and restaurants in and around the Escazu and San Jose area are excellent options to watch new musicians play acoustic and jazz sets.

On the Caribbean coast, the music is rooted in African rhythms with steel drums and reggae beats. Calypso is a particular style of Afro-Caribbean music which originated in Trinidad with slaves who used the music as a means to communicate and tell stories. Walter Ferguson of Cahuita,Costa Rica is a popular Calypso musician. His songs include anecdotes about his childhood in poverty stricken Panama and are an excellent illustration of Afro-Caribbean culture.

Contemporary Costa Rican Musicians
Malpais is a Costa Rican band that blends traditional folk music with contemporary rock and jazz, to create a unique sound that is popular with all ages. Their music reminisces about Costa Rican small town life and denotes a general longing for the past.

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