Tuesday, May 27, 2008

YouTube video and articles on the Gaita Zuliana, from western Venezuela

The state of Zulia in western Venezuela is in the area surrounding
Lake Maracaibo, the main source of Venezuela's oil fields. Zulia's
northern border is the Caribbean Sea and the state borders Colombia on
its western side. The principal rhythm of this region is called a
"gaita." It is sometimes called "gaita zuliana" which distinguishes it
from the bagpipes played in northern Spain, also called gaitas. There
is also a flute and corresponding rhythm on Colombia's Caribbean coast
called gaita, but this is distinct from the Venezuelan rhythm.

YouTube video of Sabor Gaitero: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLAxEXpZx58
(There are several YouTube videos of Sabor Gaitero)

A short article in Wikipedia on the gaita zuliana:

Wikipedia article on the state of Zulia, with maps, flag, coat of arms
and list of municipalities: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zulia
(There is a more detailed Wikipedia article in Spanish on the state of
Zulia at http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zulia)

An article called "La Gaita Zuliana: The Best Christmas Music You've
Never Heard Of":

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Link to YouTube video on San Basilio de Palenque, Colombia

The town of San Basilio de Palenque in Colombia, founded by runaway
slaves and home to a fusion of African languages and Spanish called
Palenquero, is featured in this news clip from CNN.

CNN video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgzOlTAze3Q

Wikipedia article on San Basilio de Palenque and links to other
articles: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Basilio_de_Palenque

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Palo de Mayo (May Pole) traditions in Bluefields, Nicaragua

The European May Pole dance combined with African traditions in Bluefields, a town on Nicaragua's Caribbean coast, to create a unique cultural blend. The May Pole Dance as celebrated in Bluefields during the month of May derives from African devotions to Mayaya, the goddess of fertility and maternity. It is believed that Mayaya taught the art of agriculture to the Africans. In some cases the songs or portions of the songs are performed in other parts of the Caribbean.

Musicians playing a May Pole song in Bluefields "as part of the forthcoming documentary by Bluefields Sound System which explores the struggle, survival and throbbing pulse of three generations of music from the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua": http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=7O4FJc8mlTc

The website on the Bluefields Sound System: http://www.bluefieldsound.com/

A report in Spanish on the Palo de Mayo dance traditions: http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=GJhNuQ9AQu8

An article in Spanish from El Nuevo Diario in Nicaragua on May 7, 2008 regarding the May Pole traditions in Bluefields: http://www.elnuevodiario.com.ni/opinion/15122

Friday, May 9, 2008

Links to YouTube videos: malambo from Argentina

In the early 80s I made friends with a group of Argentinians. Back then the Argentinian community in Philadelphia was very active, holding social events and featuring performances from local or visiting artists. I attended one event featuring a performer from New York named Juan Carlos Salazar, "El Super Gaucho," who dazzled the audience with his dancing, playing of the bombo and mastery of the boleadoras, which he banged on the stage in perfect rhythm. The audience, myself included, exploded in applause.

The Argentinian malambo can refer either to a guitar rhythm or to a dance of the gauchos. The dance is not accompanied by song lyrics and is primarily composed of the rhythm of the footwork or zapateo, though it sometimes is accompanied by a guitar or the bombo (drum). The feet
rarely touch the ground and feature lively movements and elaborate tapping with the soles, the heels, and other parts of the boot.

A brief description of the malambo dance:

A demonstration of the malambo rhythm on guitar:

The malambo as a solo dance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzNUImwU1-k

A modernized version of the malambo that adds the boleadoras or
lariats for stage performances:

An article in Wikipedia regarding the bolas or boleadoras, as used by
the gauchos: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolas