"Gabriel Garcia Marquez is our inspiration."
That's what Juancho Valencia of the Colombian band Puerto Candelaria says. And when you hear their music, I gotta say, their sound does appear to leap off the pages of Gabo's writing.
I met Juancho a couple months ago at a World Music Expo in Spain. Valencia told me, "Puerto Candelaria is the sound of Macondo," the imaginary town in "One Hundred Years of Solitude."
He says the band's is a "crazy sound." And he admits their music can come across as innocent, even naïve. But Puerto Candelaria is very much connected to the real world. They're from a city once dubbed the most violent place on Earth: Medellin, Colombia.
So in their music, they've been able to pull off their own kind of "magical realism."
There's the magic of creating carefree and fun music. And the reality of living in a place where violence is common.
But Juancho Valencia doesn't see the band's music as escapism.
"Our music isn't an escape, but a solution," he says. "The solution is the happiness. The solution is the humor. It's the dance. No fight. Come and dance."