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Not Your Run-of-The-Mill Latin Beat

Updated: Mar 7, 2021

Can you guess what Latin Music beat crosses over many geographical and stylistic borders, has been featured in hit TV shows and films like CSI, The Mentalist, Bones, The Bridge, The Good Wife, Heroes, Medium, and Prison Break, and used for transitions, establishing shots, bar scenes, party scenes, and much more???

You guessed it…CUMBIA!

Latin music incorporates many important elements such as African rhythms, Renaissance Spanish melodies, Moorish motifs, Native-American instrumentation, and more. In its origins, traditional Cumbia was derived from two main musical categories – percussion and wind. The well-known sound of the accordion in Cumbia was popularized by a later form of Cumbia called Vallenato, which integrated the accordion as its primary melodic instrument.

Whatever it’s particular evolution, Cumbia has made itself just about as ubiquitous as a musical style can be, crossing several national borders in the process.

Cumbia may have started in Colombia, but it’s infectious beat and universal appeal caused its popularity to spread first to Panama and then beyond, notably to Peru, Ecuador, and Mexico— with Argentina and Chile also joining the trend. No doubt each country and culture has added its personal touch to the genre, creating several memorable blends.

One characteristic of the cumbia rhythm is its ease in mixing with other grooves and sounds. The birth of more contemporary Cumbia variations springs from fusions with Hip-Hop, Electronica, and Rap. All these new exciting blends have exposed and converted millions of new generations of fans to the magnetic beat of Cumbia.

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