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  • Colombian Joropo Music & Dance

    Join us at the Folklife Festival for some joropo music and dance from Colombia! Ranching people of the Colombian plains, with their love of cattle, horses, music, and dance, created joropo music, also known as música llanera.

    Drawing from Spanish, African, and New World musical traditions, joropo ensembles include harp and bandola as melodic and harmonic instruments and use maracas and cuatro for rhythm and percussion. In the words of the program curators, “This music expresses, with forceful rhythms and energetic intensity, the strong character of the plains cowboy.” Singers take turns improvising verses competitively, while instrumentalists come forward with rhythmic improvisations. The joropo dance boasts intricate footwork to the rhythm of the small four-stringed cuatro guitar.

    Traditional joropo singing, romanticizing the plains and its cattle ranchers, performed by Grupo Cimarrón Credits: Courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways

    Bringing kids or students to the Festival? Use free Smithsonian classroom resources to talk about joropo music.

    Performances, workshops, and demonstrations related to Plains culture and joropo music are occurring each day of the Festival. Cimarrón performs today at 3p.m. on the Al Son Que Me Toquen Stage with El Pueblo Canta.

    Van Luong is the festival blogger for the 2011 Folklife Festival. 

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