Recreating the Rich Bounty of Central American Folk

Manuel Obregón y la Orquesta de la Papaya

Manuel Obregón y la Orquesta de la Papaya (Papaya Music, 2002)

Manuel Obregón y la Orquesta de la Papaya are leading the way for world music in Central America. Based in Costa Rica, the musicians behind the project have started a label that is releasing great roots music ignored by the major labels in Central America.

The CD by Manuel Obregón y la Orquesta de la Papaya travels across Central America, exposing the sounds of various cultures and ethnicities. They cover the fiery rhythms of Panama and Honduras, the African-rooted songs from Belize, the more melodic sounds of Costa Rica and traditional songs from Guatemala and El Salvador.

The group uses the accordion, Panamanian folk violin, Nicaraguan marimba, electric guitar and piano as leading instruments, with a powerful rhythm section of Garifuna drums from Belize and earthen jugs of Guatemala, as well as other instruments.

The folk violin of Panama, the Garifuna drums of Belize, the marimbas of Nicaragua and the  come together in the most interesting musical experiment on the isthmus.

Manuel Obregón and la Orquesta de la Papaya are carrying out an admirable job and deserve the support of the international world music community.

Get the CDs at: CD Baby or

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for TelevisiĆ³n EspaƱola (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.