Thursday, January 20, 2011

De Valledupar con Amor

One of our most recent destinations was Valledupar. Valledupar is a city where one of Colombia's musical identity was born. Music can be a very important part of someone's life and that is just what music is for the students of La Academia de Musica Vallenata. This music school was founded by Andres “El Turco” over 30 years ago. El Vallenato is a type of music where the accordion is the main instrument supported by the guacharaca, which is a thin cylindrical light piece of wood with grooves that you strum with a three pronged metal comb, and a small “tambor” or drum. These instruments combined make the melody of the wonderful rhythm of Vallenato. This genre of music is one of the major symbols of Colombia. It is part of its identity. It includes themes such as love, culture, history, among others. Both men and women participate in the Vallenato world, and we can see this in the Academia. There are no gender barriers in this music school nor ethnic or class barriers. The musicians in this school come from very different backgrounds and all over the world, since the academy is one of the most popular Vallenato schools in the world. The students had the opportunity to play at the White House for Presidents Clinton and Bush. People really connect to the music, especially its musicians. For the students of the Academia, Vallenato is a way to express their sentiments and their lives through their music. It alleviates the soul and is a form of communication for them. For example, one young child who has no sense of sight, is one of the most promising talents of the academy. With more practice and a couple of years of experience, we might see the next best Vallenato player of our times, and we had the chance to meet and interact with him. After talking to other two young students, I learned that one of them has been playing the accordion for ten years and is an amazing player. Another young man plays the guacharaca and has done so for only one year, yet he is great! We saw and met a lot of talented young people. It was a great experience and a great way to connect to the musical part of the culture of Colombia. So, it is recommended that you go and look up some Vallenato music and listen and experience what we are living in the wonderful country of Colombia.

1 comment:

  1. I wanted to experience what you guys are hearing so I googled Vallenato music and got to which is an online radio that plays Latin music. They had a Vallenato Radio station! The song that just finished was so fun! I could hear all three of the instruments; the accordian, the guacharaca, and the tambor. It sounds like it would be so fun to dance too! Is Eric dancing alot? I know he is loving this music! I wish I was there to dance with him! - Mom