Strings of a Latin Summer

Delhi is finally getting closer to the global map. With the increase in expat population, the culture of the city is slowly taking a nicer turn. A lot of them are now settled in the Capital — some for business purposes, some for a job and yet others to create music. Yes, you read that right.

A bunch of musicians from different countries across the globe met in the city and got together to form the Capital’s first Latino band.

Called Negra Pradera, the five-member live Latin group performed at Cheri with the Qutab Minar as the backdrop on Saturday.  

The band performs a diverse repertoire of Latin music including Bossa Nova, Rumba, Tango, Cuban rhythms and Flamenco. On Saturday they mesmerised music lovers with their enigmatic performance.

It all began with the beating of the drums as vocalist Belén Cantos crooned, beautifully blending her voice with other sounds.

‘Negra Pradera literally means black grassland. It’s a kind of utopia. Black grassland does not exist in real life. We are Westerners outside our own grassland living in a foreign country, playing music is a way of keeping in touch with our roots,’ explained Cantos, who originally hails from Valladolid in Spain.

Cantos has been staying in India for a while now.

Before moving to Delhi a year ago, she lived in Kerala for a few years, studying Karnatic music. The other members of the band are also interested in Indian classical music. Guitarists Ignacio Corral and Daniel Rangel are studying the Saraswati veena and Sitar, respectively, percussionist Eduardo Lastra plays the Tabla and flautist Nathalie Ramirez is picking up the nuances of the Indian bansuri.

‘Settled in Delhi, now we now run our own music school in Noida and teach Latin and Indian music to the enthusiasts,’ points out an emphatic Belen.
Anubha Singh

Anubha Singh

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