In 1996, Lucas Silva, also known as DJ Champeta Man, began Palenque Records, named after the Colombian village of Palenque, which was formed by escaped slaves in the 16th century. The Afro-Colombians of Palenque have preserved their African roots for centuries. The village is also home for the band Son Palenque. The group has worked closely with Palenque Records, recording the sounds of the Afro-Colombian village and sharing it with the world.
Palenque Records has pioneered the production and visibility of Afro-Colombian music and culture. In Colombia, there are around 11 million Afro-Colombians and almost 25 percent of Colombia’s population is black. Champeta music is rooted in African and Afro-Colombian music and is the core of Palenque Records. For this week’s Global Notes segment, Silva joins us to discuss the historical and cultural importance of Afro-Colombian music and his efforts to preserve the culture.