Feature: Chamamé

Tango? What’s that? Up here it’s all about chamamé, one of the country’s most intoxicating musical forms. Rooted in the polka, introduced by European immigrants, it's also heavily influenced by Guaraní culture. Its definitive sound is the accordion, traditionally accompanied by the guitar, guitarrón (an oversized guitar used for playing bass lines), the larger bandoneón (accordion) and the contrabajo (double bass). Of course, a conjunto (band) is hardly complete without a singer or two.

Chamamé is a lively dance for a couple, except when the man takes his solo zapateo (tap dance). Corrientes province is the heart of chamamé and therefore the easiest place to find a live performance. Check out Spanish-only website www.corrienteschamame.com.ar for upcoming performances and online tunes to introduce you to the genre. Corrientes holds a fortnight-long chamamé festival in early January. Super Disco specailizes in Corrientes chamamé CDs.