Colombian Vallenato and Cumbia from the Texas hill country, with fiery accordion, syncopated bass lines, dynamic percussion, soaring vocals.
In the wildly eclectic musical scene of Austin, Texas, the band Cerronato is building an avid following presenting an authentic yet innovative version of traditional Colombian vallenato and cumbia. Their poignant and energetic music draws a diverse fan base of young and old—including recent South American immigrants, Mexican-Americans, and long-time Americanos of all ethnic persuasions—many of whom dance enthusiastically to Cerronato’s lively, captivating sound. That sound’s instrumentation revolves around ornate, tantalizing melodies from the accordion, combined with rumbling and quirky bass lines, the eccentric syncopation of the guacharaca or scraper, the steady beat of the caja or small vallenato drum, and the frenzied flourishes of the bongo. High, plaintive cries punctuate the poignant and passionate four-part harmonies of Cerronato on a mix of traditional and original tunes.
True to its musical roots deep in Colombian history, Cerronato creates music for people who live their lives passionately, treasuring every moment—especially those spent celebrating. Every time they perform, Cerronato strives to recreate the fervid spirit of the Colombian parranda (translated as revel or jam session). Cerronato has taken their music to surprising new places, appearing twice on national television (on a Food Network show on barbecue and the Oxygen Network’s reality show Real Weddings which featured new guacharaca player Gus Manzur’s Jamaican wedding). Cerronato was invited to return to the Texas Folklife Resources-sponsored Accordion Kings festival in Houston, which featured multiple Texas-based accordion musics. In recommending Cerronato’s performance at a huge, monthly First Thursday celebration, the Austin American Statesman described their music as “hot Colombian Tex-Mex.” A further accolade for the group was their inclusion in a broad survey of Texas accordion music in Texas Highways magazine. In 2004 Cerronato achieved third place in the “Latin Traditional” category of the Austin Chronicle's annual music poll.