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Grupo Cabrestero

Grupo Cabrestero was formed specifically to perform at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. They chose their name, which refers to the lead cattle herder, because they hope to lead their listeners into the heart of llanero culture through their music. The group includes a lead singer, three musicians who play bandola, cuatro, and maracas, and a dance couple. Joropo music is part of the llanero lifestyle, which revolves around cattle ranching. When Felix Chaparro is not working as a ranch hand, he is a music teacher at Casa de la Cultura and in many other schools. He comes from a family of musicians and plays the bandola and makes maracas. Victor Espinel is a singer and bandola player in the traditional joropo style. Since the age of nine, he has been singing these songs which are often milking tunes, cowboy tunes, or tunes to sing to the cattle. Arnulfo Pinto and his partner Magdalena Plaza dance joropo criollo, which he considers to be the most traditional style of joropo. He describes his knowledge of this dance as innate, and because he did not formally learn it at an academy, his style may not adhere to the norms and rules of joropo criollo.


  • Félix Chaparro Rivas, musician (bandola), Aguazul
  • Cristian Rafael Rosillo Gutiérrez, musician (maracas), Yopal
  • Víctor Cenón Espinel Sánchez, singer, Maní
  • Freddy Calixto Ladines Porras, musician (cuatro), Aguazul
  • Arnulfo Pinto García, joropo dancer, Cumaral
  • Magdalena Plazas Lugo, joropo dancer, Cumaral

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