When: Sun., April 28 2013
FONSECA Judging Colombian singer-songwriter Fonseca by the company he keeps, he is a certified superstar. The Bogota-born wunderkind began composing at age 12, drawing on Colombian national treasure Carlos Vives’ ground-breaking hybrid of pop and vallenato — the accordion-accented folk music of the country’s Caribbean coastline. Adding merengue and cumbia to Vives’ rich legacy, Fonseca perfected his brand of “tropipop,” a catchy mix of pop and tropical genres. Fonseca soon attracted the notice of international idols and fellow Colombians Juanes and Shakira, who both shared stages with the up-and-coming crooner, giving him crucial exposure. When Fonseca broke stateside in 2008, it was with “Estar Cerca De Ti,” a collaboration with yet another legend, the sublime American salsero Willie Colón. Drawing on his mentors, Fonseca connected to a worldwide audience with exotica-tinged pop that is both jaunty and sensual. Yet, Fonseca’s pursuit of smooth romance has taken him far from the vibrancy of Vives, toward the slickness of George Michael. As a result, the compositions are more interesting for their grace notes and settings than the singer or the songs.