Tag Archives: Guatemalan music

Mayan Cumbia Reggae

Doctor Nativo – Guatemaya

Doctor Nativo – Guatemaya (Stonetree Music, 2018)

Doctor Nativo is the artistic name of Guatemalan vocalist, songwriter and world traveler Juan Martinez. His music is inspired by Guatemalan folk music and spirituality and the steady, hip-shaking dance beats of Afro-Caribbean cumbia reggae.

Stylistically, Doctor Nativo delivers songs similar to the mestizo sounds of Manu Chao and Che Sudaka with a tropical Guatemalan flavor. He has also introduced Mayan-language rapping in two songs.

The lineup includes Doctor Nativo on lead vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion, and sound effects; Danilo Rodriguez on marimba, trombone, bass, cuatro, charango, harp, chirimilla, and backing vocals; Ivan Duran on electric guitar and bass; Guayo Cedeño on lead electric guitar; Carles Estruch on sousaphone; Sebas Sax on saxophone; Chela Torres on backing vocals; Rosa Bermudez on backing vocals; José López on backing vocals; Joshua Arana on Garifuna drum & maracas; Eli Levinson on samples and programming; Eduardo Santella on drums; Tzutu Kan on Maya rap vocals; El 20 and Zion M.C.H.E on rap vocals; Al Ovando on Maya guitar; and Juan Chacaj on shirin.

Buy the digital download version of Gutemaya or the CD/vinyl from doctornativo.bandcamp.com/


Artist Profiles: Magda Angelica

Magda Angélica

Award-winning Magda Angélica was born in Guatemala and her childhood was formed by two Mayan women of the cackchiquel ethnic group.

Since she was a little girl, Magda Angélica had a deep interest in music and art, so she started to learn vocal technique, theater, and composition. Her work in music, started in the studio with a live presentation.

In 1996, she recorded her first album Inner Garden (Jardin interior), a pop album. This record included compositions by Magda Angelica and other Guatemalan artists. For this album, she was honored with prizes given by important institutions in her country.

In 2001, she released her second album Clay Angels (Angeles de Barro), an acoustic rock project. All of the songs were written by Magda Angelica and talked about her vision about daily life themes.

In 2002 she moved to Mexico.

Changing her music style, in 2005, Magda Angelica created her third album Dream Weaver (Tejedora de Sueños). All the lyrics are based on the Mayan and Mexican spirituality with a fusion of electronic and pre-Hispanic sounds.


Jardin interior (1996)
Angeles de Barro (2001)
Tejedora de Sueños (2005)
Venerable Cielo – Ilhuikatzin (2007)


Artist Profiles: Lenín Fernández

Lenín Fernández

Drummer, composer and producer Lenín Fernández joined the influential Guatemalan rock group Alux Nahual in 1986, making five recordings. In 2001 he approached potter Carlos Chaclan, creator of the tonajas, a type of indigenous percussion used by the Mayans in ancient times. Lenin became a master at playing these ceramic drums and singing about the dramatic destiny of Guatemala’s indigenous population.a

Her recorded with artists such as Magda Angélica and Tavo Bárcenas. He also joined La Orquesta de la Papaya, a multinational band featuring 14 Central American musicians; as well as the Sonidos de la Tierra collective, together with Carlos Chaclán and Ranferí Aguilar.

Lenín Fernández died on February 25, 2018.