La Descarga is the forerunner of Colombian tropical roots music in Australia. Born in 2010 in Melbourne, Australia, it is a tribute to the traditional rhythms of the coasts of Colombia and a preserver of its cultural heritage.
Originally performing traditional drums, marimba, gaita flutes, with cantadores y cantadoras (traditional singers) and folkloric dancers, its traditional sound has merged, throughout collaborations with Australian musicians, with psychedelia, electronica and dub, expanding in 2018 to it’s the Electropical Orchestra format.
La Descarga has played in many of Australia’s most beloved festivals including MOOMBA, Port Fairy Folk Festival, Darwin Festival, Brunswick Music Festival, Australian Multicultural Festival, White Night Melbourne, Reservoir Stomp, Frankston Ventana Fiesta and Darebin Music Feast.
La Descarga has released several singles including 'Eliminala', 'Alla en el rio', 'Ten mucho cuidado', and 'Corre' and will release it’s first LP in 2023.
The band performs in two formats:
Feel like sitting on the beach, in the Colombian coast, at sunset, and the town has started a night of celebration.
La Descarga is the traditional format of the band resembling the original ensembles of the coasts of Colombia. Where artists perform folkloric music and dance.
LA DESCARGA & THE ELECTROPICAL ORCHESTRA
Feel like being in a festival or ball room, in a city in Colombia, with a full orchestra, mixing traditional and contemporary sounds, and everyone is dancing to a tropicalicious time.
La Descarga & The Electropical Orchestra is a fresh, contemporary and exciting take on Colombian coastal rhythms. While blending the traditions with the electric and electronic sounds, it brings original tunes as well as old time retakes of the golden tropical days of Colombian music.
La Descarga is led by interdisciplinary artist Jorge Leiva and features award-winner producer Oscar Vargas, Melbourne’s leading gaita players Felipe Paz and Andres Carreño and recognised dancer and choreographer Kathleen Gonzalez, with Maria Paula Espinoza on percussion and Camila Gonzalez on bass. The Electropical Orchestra, the extended family of La Descarga includes Dandelion Jackson on saxophone (Mr. Manifold and the Resolution, The Pirateska Rebellion), Lauren Mullarvey on clarinet (The Cactus Channel) and Stefano Ioele (The Pirateska Rebellion) and Mat Robb (Miss Colombia, Nardia) in guitars psychedelia, electronica and dub to the Caribbean and Afro-Colombian grooves.
"La Descarga is rhythmic exchange, the convergence of cultures through music." Samson McDougall, The Music
"La Descarga celebrates the universal history of travelling cultures, fusions and Melbourne's own mix of converging sounds and traditions." Jess Fairfax, Easey
“La Descarga and The Electropical Orchestra bring an exquisite, colourful and exotic blend of traditional and contemporary Colombian tropical music and dance. Their performances deliver a colourful and joyous feast for eyes and ears. If you get the chance, check them out! Dancing guaranteed."
Urban Art Games, urbanartgames.com
“Melbourne-based La Descarga & the Electropical Orchestra skilfully blend traditional Colombian coastal sounds with psychedelia and dub to create something completely fresh that is both danceable and delightful. I dare you to sit still while listening to their music. It won't happen! You can’t resist to dance to the grooves of their exotic pacific and caribbean grooves”
Emma Peel, PBS FM, Reservoir Stomp
"La Descarga & The Electropical Orchestra is a unique, fun, vibrant and engaging Melbourne based band characterised by the excellency of its artists and performances. La Descarga is versatile and always up to embark in new commissioned community festival projects and ideas, such as educational workshops, Caribbean inspired street and beach parades, opening performances with special twists and on-line activities, to mention a few. A performance not to be missed”
Carolina Aguilera de Snow, Ventana Frankston Festival
"La Descarga is rhythmic exchange, the convergence of cultures through music."
Samson McDougall, The Music
La Descarga also explores these traditions through diverse workshops mixing education, team building, music, dance and cultural expression. La Descarga holds workshops at educational institutions, festivals, community events and corporate events.
Check out La Descarga music and sign up to the mailing list to keep in touch!
Thanks to Juanjo Menta, Alexandre Saraiva Carniato, Mohamed Sarim and Elina Sazonova from Pexels for the photos.