Colombian music is an expression of the culture it comes from. Popular Colombian songs have their roots in the blending of African, indigenous and Spanish influences.
Today, mainstream pop music is commonly heard throughout the country albeit with a Colombian twist. Cumbia is a popular music that has made its way out of Colombia and can now be heard (and danced to) all over the world. The cumbia originated as a courtship dance along the Colombian coast near the border with Panama and has since been exported to other countries which have adapted both the music and the dance.
Vallenato is another type of popular music originating from Colombia. This style of music which means "from the valley" comes from the Caribbean coast of Colombia. A fusion of Spanish minstrel music and West African "griots" sung by local farmers, this music had gained in popularity during the 20th century.
Today, thanks to its widespread popularity, the Grammy Awards now have a category for Best Cumbia/Vallenato. Other popular folk music like the porro, pasillo (a Colombian waltz) and the currulao have been recognized by the UNESCO as Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.Salsa, reguetón, and merengue are other Colombian musical styles that you are sure to hear in nightclubs wherever you go along with world-famous artists like Shakira and Juanes who have helped promote the music of Colombia all over the world.