Listen to a new single from an exciting new collective of musicians celebrating their shared heritage, and bridging borders to re-affirm neglected traditions
Rio Mira is a new collective of musicians from Ecuador and Colombia, fronted by Karla Kanora (pictured above). Based in Esmeraldas, Ecuador, the project is committed to recognising the musical history of the area and shifting negative attitudes toward Afro-Ecuadorian music.
Their album Marimba del Pacifico (to be released on July 7) is arranged around the distinctive tones of the marimba, an instrument closely entwined in the stories of escaped slaves who made the region of Esmeraldas, and the stretch of land along the Pacific coast, their home. Over the years, a unique Afro-Pacific identity was formed incorporating traditions, like the marimba, from their West African roots. In 2015, the marimba music of South Pacific Colombia and the Esmeraldas Province was declared by UNESCO to be Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Their recently released second single from the album, ‘Román Román’, pays homage to the intimate connection between the El Pacífico communities and the rivers, and also features a poem by Esmeralda writer Jalisco González. It is a clear example of the enchanting tones of the marimba.