(49:01, 44.8MB; S1640 Box 24 Tape 22, S1576 T86-47, T86-24, T86-55)
To celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, this podcast spotlights two talented Venezuelan harp players: José Palmi and Jesús Rodríguez. Palmi and Rodríguez perform joropos and other examples of Venezuela’s música llanera, or music of the plains.
Welcome back to the Florida Folklife Collection podcast series from the Florida Department of State’s Division of Library and Information Services. To celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is September 15 through October 15, this month’s podcast spotlights two talented Venezuelan harp players: José Palmi and Jesús Rodríguez. Both musicians immigrated to Florida and have enriched American culture by sharing their unique traditions through performances and apprenticeships.
The harp was introduced to Latin America by Spanish missionaries primarily during the 17th and 18th centuries. It was adopted into the indigenous music of the continent as both a solo instrument and accompaniment for vocalists and instrumental ensembles. Many varieties of harp thrive throughout Venezuela, Paraguay, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Ecuador and Mexico.
In Venezuela, the celebratory joropo, with its regional variations, is perhaps the most prominent type of traditional music from los llanos, or the plains. Its rhythm is in triple meter like a waltz, but driven by syncopation and a fast-paced tempo—well suited for quick-footed couple dancing. The type of harp corresponding to this region is known as arpa llanera, on which we’ll hear Palmi and Rodríguez play many examples of Venezuela’s música llanera, or music of the plains.
The performances featured in this podcast were recorded on two separate occasions. José Palmi, who we’ll hear from first, was recorded to digital audio tape at his home in Miami on June 27, 1993. Jesús Rodríguez, accompanied by his seven-year-old son Henry on maracas, was recorded to open reel tape at the 1986 Florida Folk Festival.
Colman, Alfredo. Liner notes to Maiteí América: Harps of Paraguay. Various Artists. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings SFW40548. CD. 2009.
Sheehy, Daniel and Carlos Rojas Hernández. Liner notes to Joropo Music from the Plains of Colombia. ¡Cimarrón!. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings SFW40557. CD. 2011.
Sheehy, Daniel and Benito Irady. Liner notes to ¡Y Que Viva Venezuela! Maestros del Joropo Oriental. Various Artists. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings SFW40551. CD. 2009.