Good Music for a “Bad Country”

The group “Malpaís” (whose literal meaning is “bad country”) takes its name from the Peninsula of Nicoya’s most remote shore, a forgotten land where all roads end and the beauty of the Pacific Ocean unfolds.

Since its first appearance in 2001, Malpaís has commanded a musical style with songs that display great maturity and freedom, moving from the city to the traditional roots of Guanacaste folklore, from blues to danzón, from urban loneliness to Caribbean humor.

“Boceto para Esperanza,” “Son Inú,” “Abril” and “La Chola” are some of the themes that have made this group a point of reference for several generations of Costa Ricans.

The musicians of Malpaís have a classical and jazz formation, abundant recording production and solid experience in the National Symphonic Orchestra, Editus and Grupo Experimental, or as composers of music for film, dance and theater. But it is the amalgam of rhythms, instruments and lyrics that has lent them strength as a group.

Malpaís is comprised of saxophonist Fidel Gamboa, bass player Jaime Gamboa, violinist Iván Rodríguez, pianist Manuel Obregón, percussionist Carlos “Tapao” Vargas and Gilberto Jarquín on drums.

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