With opener SpaceyJ (John Sinclair, Liberty Bell High School Student)
Grammy nominated Smithsonian Folkways artists, Cimarrón, travels from a region of Colombia which boasts many regional musical traditions that remain firmly rooted among newer generations. One of these is música llanera, music of the expansive eastern fluvial plains that water the mighty Orinoco River and continue into western Venezuela. Ranchlands stretch across the region, and more than a century and a half of cattle herding has left a mark on the lifeways of its people. Harps, guitars of different varieties (bandola, bandolina, bandolón, six-stringed guitar), violin, maracas, friction drums (zambomba or furruco), and rasps (chácharo and carraca) point to Spanish and perhaps indigenous sources.
Los Llanos Orientales are vast plains that stretch from Colombia into Venezuela. The mestizo people that inhabit these savannahs on the great Orinoco river are descendents of Spanish settlers, African slaves and Indigenous Indians.
This is cattle rearing country where life revolves around country ranches. Music accompanies the daily working tasks such as milking and cattle drives. Most striking is the festive dance music called joropo, a fiercely virtuoso display of rippling melodies played on harp, bandola and cuatro accompanied by bass, cajon and maracas. This rapid and joyous music is sung with high pitched voices reminiscent of Andalusian gipsy roots.
Cimarrón is the most accomplished llanera group in Colombia. A seven piece led by harpist and composer Carlos Rojas, they have been working for over twenty years and have performed in Venezuela, Mexico, Guatemala, Chile, Sweden, France, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Holland, Wales, England and the USA. These musicians are immersed in the sounds of 'los llanos'; they seek to explore and experiment with their rich heritage whilst retaining the essence of the tradition.
Carlos was amongst a group of Colombian musicians who accompanied Gabriel Garcia Marquez to perform at his Nobel Prize giving ceremony in Sweden in 1982. Cimarron's Smithsonian album 'Si Soy Llanero' was nominated for a Grammy in 2005. In 2008 Cimarrón delivered a showcase at Womex to great acclaim from professionals within the industry.