Early in March, I received an invitation from my ambassy for a special concert of Latin American music. The place: Konserhuset, Stockholm’s main house for classical concerts. It called my attention the fact that young students from Lilla Akademien were going to perform in such event.
Lilla Akademien offers a first class education in western art music and is one of the leading musical institutions in Scandinavia. Young students from this institution regularly win international and national contests. Also, there’s a great interest among international music students to attend Lilla Akademien.
The program included music from different countries: Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil. We went from classical pieces played with different arrangements (i.e. for saxophone and piano), to outstanding versions of typical caribbean music (i.e. “Bambuco”, “Camino del Barrio”), and also going through the always classic tango by Gardel and Piazzola.
The big surprise of the night was Samuel Torres, a very famous Colombian percussionist and composer who supported Lilla Akademien students making a fantastic musical ensemble. Even though very important people attended to this concert, I can tell you that more than one looked like wanting to break the ice and dance with the rythm of the authentic Latin American beat.
Because this music is viral. It is contagious. Wherever we are, whatever it is we’re doing, when we, Latinamericans listen to this beat, we can’t help it. We have to follow the rythm, with a tic or move, but we have to feel it!