The Kennedy Center

La Marvela


La Marvela (wonderful; extraordinary in Latin) was formed in 2017 by Marly Pérez, Velu Ochoa and Alison Caro, three female Colombian artists seeking a more balanced and equal gender representation in music.

Encouraging four other local artists to join and create a learning space of soulful rhythms such as Bullerengue, Cumbia, Fandango e´ Lengua and Chalupa; the band quickly started its journey through the Latino scene in the Washington D.C. area, opening for national and international artists such as Kiko Villamizar and Kombilesa Mi; and Elena Lacayo, Interminable, Son La Lucha, La Chicha de tu Madre, Forces, DeSanguashington, Matizwave, Conjunto Bruja, Laura Love, Proyecto Piquete and Son Jarocho at the local level.

Inspired by other female empowerment groups such as the Network of Female Drummers of Colombia (Red de Tamboreras de Colombia), Banda Didá, Batalá Washington, Nidia Góngora among other artists. The band strives to defend and support domestic violence survivors, as well as opening the dialogue between ancestral music and social causes, bringing awareness of the importance of art as a way of expression to call for social change and justice while honoring the ancestral music from the Colombian Caribbean Coast Region.  

The “verbena” brought to the audience by the hands of Marly, Velu, Amy, Laura, Luisa, Janys and Alison are musical stories of a mixture of African, Indigenous and Spanish influences in the Colombian territory, this time told from a female perspective.

Watch Past Performances

Video 6/21/2019: La Marvela: Pura Verbena

An all-women DC-based bands that highlights the richness of Colombian Afro and Indigenous rhythms.