credit: Itzel Alejandra Martinez
Rooted in Colombia and based in New York, Combo Chimbita lives in the future. After playing together for years, these first-generation New Yorkers—powerhouse vocalist Carolina Oliveros, synth and bassist Prince of Queens, guitarist Niño Lento, and drummer Dilemastronauta—began experimenting with different traditional musical styles during their late night residencies at Barbès in Brooklyn. Exploring the connections between visual identity and improvisational long-form trips, Combo Chimbita came together as a four-piece band after they started encouraging more vocals by Carolina Oliveros, who tightens the rhythm with her guacharaca. Although their backgrounds are in heavy rock, metal, and psychedelic funk and soul, they gleefully fuse elements from cumbia, 70s funaná from Cape Verde, kompa from Haiti as well as salsa & reggae, mixing the Guacharaca and futuristic-yet-retro synth sounds.