EFENassau

Colombian musical trio Chocquibtown is set to perform for the first time in the Bahamas on Friday night, looking to connect with thousands of people at the Junkanoo Carnival.

"We were invited to the carnival and obviously you're not going to say 'no' because Bahamas is a destination that has a lot of goodwill," Chocquibtown singer Carlos Martinez, better known as "Tostao," told Efe in an interview.

Tostao and his bandmates, siblings Gloria "Goyo" and Miguel "Slow" Martinez, say their one-hour set at the Music Masters concert will make an impact on Bahamians.

"It seemed a good opportunity to measure how well our music will be received here, since it is not far from the region's own sounds," Tostao said.

Chocquibtown's music includes elements evoking popular Caribbean genres such as soca and calypso.

"If they like dancing, the music will say what needs to be said," according to composer/producer Slow.

The band's latest album, "El Mismo," mixes traditional rhythms of the Colombian Pacific, including currulao bunde, bambazu and aguabajo, with other Latin American and Caribbean genres such as salsa.

"'El Mismo' is an album that collects all our experiences throughout these 15 years. It is an album that has all the sound and the essence of us, but we add what we have learned during all this time," Slow said.

The band sings in Spanish and the main language in the Bahamas is English, yet the Chocquibtown members don't see that as a problem.

"I believe that language is not a barrier to reach out to any public," Goyo said.

Besides Chocquibtown, the Music Masters concert will feature Bahamian bands Tingum Dem and Visage, Trinidadian artist Neil "Iwer" George and Haiti's Djakout # 1.

The Junkanoo Carnival event culminates Saturday with the main masquerade on the streets of Nassau.

Chocquibtown, a group founded 15 years ago in Quibdo, the capital of Colombia's northwestern Choco province, won the 2010 Latin Grammy for Best Alternative Song with "De donde vengo yo."

The band, which combines folk rhythms with electronic music, hip-hop, funk and reggae, released its first album, "Somos Pacifico," in 2006, followed in 2008 by "Paris-Bogota" and "The Bombo."

"Oro" was released in 2009, while "Eso es lo que hay" came out in 2011.

Chocquibtown plans a series of concerts in Colombia to promote "El Mismo" before embarking in July on an international tour that will include dates in Spain, Argentina and the United States, Tostao said.