I was recently exposed to a very interesting project aimed at preserving the music traditions of indigenous peoples in Latin America. The name of this project is Choco Jungle Project and its scope is that of documenting and recording small groups in remote areas of Central America in order to create a platform for music and cultural traditions that run the risk to disappear forever.
Choco Jungle Project is directed by Mathew Mulholland, an independent filmmaker, editor and music producer whose work has been featured in media sources such as the BBC, History Channel and Discovery Channel. Originally, the project started in El Valle, Colombia, and involved the recording of a group of Afro-Colombian funeral singers. Mulholland was able to secure the release of their music with a record label helping the singers to improve their lives with the proceeds resulting from the sales of the CDs.
Following the success of that first experience, Choco Jungle Project is about to venture into Central America with the goal of finding, recording, preserving and exposing the local and indigenous music traditions of that area. In order to do that, Mulholland is currently running an online campaign to fund this initiative. If you want to find out more about Choco Jungle Project, you can visit the project's official site.
In the history of Latin music, indigenous expressions are at the bottom of many of the wonderful sounds that have flourished throughout the region. Giving a voice to the songs and traditions of indigenous peoples in a world dominated by mainstream and commercial music is a valuable and refreshing option we should all embrace.
Photo Courtesy Matthew Mulholland