La Cumbiamba eNeYé is an ensemble that performs concerts and workshops with traditional instruments from the African diaspora in Colombia, as well as indigenous and European, all of which are blended together in the traditional musical styles that developed throughout the colonial era, and continue to evolve. The group has the versatility to perform in a quintet format, for reduced-space events, or a 10-piece band format for large events.
La Cumbiamba eNeYé was created in the summer of 2000 by a group of musicians who share an enthusiasm for investigating, performing, and advancing musical expressions emanating from the mix of African, Native Indian, and European cultural contributions in the Americas. Initially, La Cumbiamba eNeYé began performing a repertoire of cumbia-related rhythms outdoors in different public areas of New York. The group adopted "cumbiamba" from the cultural vocabulary of the northwestern Caribbean coast in South America. In Colombia, "cumbiamba" is a familiar word, carrying the meaning of an outdoors celebration with live cumbia music, or the bands that perform in such events. La Cumbiamba eNeYé evokes this lively atmosphere with every performance and has also extended them into different cultural venues throughout the city and beyond.
La Cumbiamba eNeYé's musical work and development is shaped by traditional styles that emanate from the popular coastal traditions in which music is just one of the various artistic manifestations. The group takes coastal music as a departing point and source of material not only because of the musical background of some of the members, but because coastal traditions in Colombia, as in other regions of the Caribbean, are inexhaustible fountains of artistic traditions.
La Cumbiamba eNeYé's approach to music is investigative. However, from the styles, genres, rhythms, and melodies explored, the group is inspired to create new arrangements and even entirely new compositions that, although traditional influenced, may have eclectic characteristics in texture, harmony, or rhythm. This aspect of La Cumbiamba eNeYé can be seen as the result of being a New York–born and –based group, where interactions and continuous contact with musicians from different places around the world generate new possibilities.
The La Cumbiamba eNeYé concert is hosted by ZUMIX.