Música en mi Primer Idioma: Joe Arroyo

Colombian salsa and tropical music’s famous singer Joe Arroyo and his important legacy.

Considered one of the most important, if not the most important Colombian musician of the 20th century, Joe Arroyo (Álvaro José Arroyo González) is one of the country´s treasures. This Caribbean singer, composer and songwriter had a prolific and extraordinary career, and is imprinted in the popular culture of several generations of Colombians.

Rebelion – Joe Arroyo

One of Colombian salsa´s most famous songs (there are probably 2 other songs that can compete against it, but no more than that) it is an tribute to Cartagena and the way the city resisted and fought against the Spanish. It is the story if a black slave standing up to his master to defend his woman after the slave trader hit her.  It is one of the man´s internationally famous songs and subject to some controversy on whether he wrote it or not, but that does not take away from it that it is a hell of a song and will have me on the dance floor in a second!


Tal Para Cual – Joe Arroyo

Born in Cartagena on Nov. 1rst, 1955 he started singing when he was a young child. He joined several bands and started making a name for himself among musicians early on. In 1971 he signed with Fruko Y Sus Tesos, the most important salsa orchestra in the country, and he was the lead singer during 10 years until he started his solo career. He was a vital part of salsa birth and consolidation in the 70´s, and respected among purists of the style.

Te Quiero Mas – Joe Arroyo

Arroyo had a music style he named “JoeSón” a mix of Cumbia, Porro, Salsa, reggae, Martinican souk and tropical rhythms. His music usually relies on his high, strong voice and the use of horns and percussion. He won different awards in Colombia, and used to tour the country with sold out concerts. He also became a regular, and one of the most anticipated events of the Baranquilla festival /the second largest festival in the world after Rio de Janeiro´s).

La Noche – Joe Arroyo

Joe was a man driven by passion, in his music and in his life. He left an array of children (to o many to keep track of) and several ex wives, and he has drug problems throughout his career. He also had different health issues, and died from multiple organ failure at 55 years old on July 26rh, 20122. Joe´s death was felt throughout Colombia and Latin America. His funeral was an event, with people heading for the streets in what started out as a procession and ended up as a mini.carnival in itself. After his left there have been fights for his inheritance, a soap opera with his life story and the man is still one of those artists played in parties today. He was a man who lived like he sang…on a high note and with flavor, There is something about his songs that channels Cartagena and the Caribbean like no other musician can.

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