Costa Rica Dream Music PDF Print E-mail
Musical Pioneers at Beach

The musical culture of Central America is rich but under explored terrain that has started since 2002 to get more international exposure thanks to Orquesta de la Papaya, a 14 member band from countries around Central America. The record label Papaya Music was born as a means diffusing their music.

What characterizes much of Costa Rica�s music is that it does not belong to a specific genre because it refers to the musical traditions of various communities and races, fusing indigenous, European and African cultures. This is why you can find rhythms that span jazz to pop, rock to blues, reggae to bolero, and traditional to urban on the newly released record Musica Para So�ar (Music to Dream) produced by Bar Zouk Santana.

Manuel Obregon
Pianist, composer, producer, and founder fo Central America�s first record company, he is a member of such recognized Costa Rica Bands as Mal Pais and la Orquesta de la Papaya.
How did the idea of creating Papaya Music come about and what are the goals of the company?

Manuel Obregon Costa Rica
Manuel Obregon
Papaya Music was born as part of Orquesta de la Papaya. After we recorded our first live album, we saw the need to spread Central American music to other places. My personal goals and traditions, and especially to document the work of artists such as Ray Tico who have never been recorded before.

What is necessary for Central American, and Costa Rican music in particular, to flourish?

I believe in projects that are honest, original, and passionate. That is the only way to gain more recognition. Also not being afraid of failure and being patient and consistent.

Costa Rica�s most successful band in terms of sales and concert attendance. It has captured the essence of comtemporany music by assembling six of Costa Rica�s most talented musicians. Bassist Jaime Gamboa is songwriter of many of the band�s lyrics.
Do you feel that performing around the country and to foreign audiences is a challenge?

Malpais Costa Rica
We really like to get out of San Jose and to get closer to diverse audiences that might nor be so familiar with our music. For us it is a challenge because people are genuine and express sincerely what they feel towards our music without any intermediary. We like to face all kinds of audiences and see what are the different reactions to our work. We always learn something from each person that listens to us.

Is this a good moment for Costa Rican music?

The music in my country is going through the best time in its history, with bands like Editus that have achieved international recognition, or with the success of artists like Humberto Vargas at the Vila del Mar festival. What we lacj in order to have a greater presence on the international music market are improved production mechanisms so that we can organize more tours and distribute our records in other countries.

Amarillo Cian y Magenta
This is a band of original instrumental music, formed by young musicians with experience in different styles from classical to popular genres. Glendon Ramirez is the keyboarder of the band.
Do you think events like the one organized by Caf� de Playa contribute to spreading Costa Rican music as much to tourists as to locals?

Amarillo Cian y Magenta Costa Rica
Amarillo Cian y Magenta
Costa Rica�s cultural scene is very focused on the capital and for us is it very gratifying to share our work with audiences from other provinces and to see that they appreciate and value it. Any opportunity that allows us to bring our work to as many people as possible is very good for us. Also we have always had a very good response from foreign audiences in general, whether they are North American, Latin, Asian or Europea; this is because our project offers them a point where all cultures meet.

Which projects do you have lined up for 2007?

We are finishing the recording of our first album so all of our projects right now are related to its release, performance, and diffusion.

Manuel Monestel
Sociologist, lecturer, and musical producer he has conducted in depth research on Costa Rican calypso, a Caribbean musical style that mixes jazz with Afro American roots.
�One Pat Man� is the theme you interpret in Musica para So�ar compilation. Does it have any special meaning?

Manuel Monestel Costa Rica
Manuel Monestel
It has a double meaning as part of this record. On the one hand it is one of Walter Ferguson�s � who is a great Costa Rican calypso artist � most famous compositions. On the other, this is the song with which Manuel Obregon and I started to experiment with calypso from Limon accompanied by New Orleans style piano.

Is local music gaining more international recognition?

This is one of the grat moments for Costa Rican music. There are a lot of top-notch musicians capable of high quality performances. To reach the international stage we can mention the need to be more original in our compositors and to be more committed to the features that identify us. As for external elements, there is the attention from the international music industry towards what we do and taking adequate advantage of new sources of diffusion such as the internet.
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3.26 Copyright (C) 2008 / Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

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