Cumbiamba, My Lord

An e-town taping is always a two-way street between the performers and the audience, with participatory cues and a behind-the-scenes feel that are nothing but fun. It makes you wonder why e-town doesn't host family shows more often, tailor-made as it is to the kiddie constellation. Of course, when a kids' show is on the bill, it's a whopper — like today's, which features musical guests Dan Zanes and La Cumbiamba eNeYé.

Now, if you're any kind of hip parent at all, you already know about former Del Fuego Dan Zanes and how he turned his fast-lane rock-star life around to become a children's entertainer of substance after settling down and having a daughter. Any opportunity to see Zanes locally is a good one; his shows are famous for their appeal to kids and adults alike, with well-performed, real music that's not the least bit sappy. But add a bit of Afro-Colombian party music to the mix, and you'll have everyone dancing in the aisles to the folksy Latin-American beat.

That's the specialty of La Cumbiamba eNeYé, an emigré collective of musicians led in part by Martin Vejarano, an ethnomusicological whiz kid who's traveled to remote regions of Colombia searching for new rhythms and instruments. Named for the cumbiamba, an all-night celebration with bonfires, the ensemble translates the spirit of those dance parties to the urban streets of America. Just what el médico ordered!

The e-town family show gets an early start, at 5 p.m. at the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th Street in Boulder; for tickets, $15, call 303-786-7030 or go to
Sun., Jan. 14, 5 p.m.