During the 1970s heyday of Colombian champeta, Abelardo Carbonó was the greatest champeta star of them all. Champeta was the Latinized response to African music styles imported to Colombia. Abelardo Carbonó was a one-time policeman who sang rough, spirited versions of songs from Haiti and the French Caribbean. "I liked doing strange things, I guess," says Carbonó. "I mixed African music with rock, even Chinese or Arab music. I like to play like I'm not from Colombia."
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