Latin/World group ¡Bomba! is led by three artists of contrasting cultural and musical backgrounds- drummer Mario Allende originally from Chile, bassist Rubim de Toledo of Brazilian descent, and keyboardist Chris Andrew from Vancouver Island. Taking different routes to the same destination, they landed in Edmonton, Canada and banded together to share one vision.
These three are a new generation of musicians well schooled in traditional Latin music forms from timba to rumba, to son, salsa, songo, as well as North American popular music and jazz. On each project, from their 2001 debut CD “lo que ¡bomba! te dá”, to 2003’s “A Mí Me Gusta”, and 2005’s “Entre Sol y Luz”, the core members of ¡Bomba! have teamed up with different players and singers. This musical transculturalization makes for many interesting fusions and innovative forms of expression.
This collaborating assists ¡Bomba! in delving more deeply into the roots of their music and draws a direct line between South and North America. The band’s repertoire is amassed by devising a heady draft of classic styles, interspersed with contemporary flourishes of their own. They turn tradition inside out, setting the music free and fusing one of the freshest and most erudite explorations of Latin music in some time, conspicuous for its musical intelligence and passionate presentation.
As with any ¡Bomba! incarnation, the various and diverse rhythms are embraced and performed with the assurance, communal joy, virtuosity and spirit long characteristic of Allende, Andrew, de Toledo, and their artistic compañeros. They remap the multiple tributaries of Latin expressive traditions in revelatory fashion.
¡Bomba!’s lively, lusty love affair with Latin music is evidenced by their performances. Live and on record, they perform artfully, imaginatively, and with conviction.