Zenén Zeferino and Radio Jarocho

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Centro Cultural Barco de Papel presented on a sunny spring Sunday, Zenén Zeferino, recognized as one of the best Veracruzan decimistas and verse-writers in Mexico, accompanied by dancer and singer Julia del Palacio and musician Juan Carlos Marín. The joyful musical event offered a varied repertoire of the music of Veracruz, Mexico, its rhythms and history. Zenén improvised the décimas (four-line stanzas) on the spot, while Juan Carlos was on the requinto guitar and Julia tap danced on the stage box that accompanies their set.

Zeferino answered the attendees’ questions about the origin, evolution and rediscovery of this rich musical tradition and its embrace in the United States. The  May 29, 2016 event introduced attendees to the philosophy and objective of the book that Zeferino wrote, Zóongoro Bailongo de Zeferino, a work written for the younger generations, aiming to preserve traditions as well as transmit the message to be ecologically responsible for the animal world and the environment.

Zeferino prepared a fun afternoon of fandango for the whole family where the public sang/repeated verses of the chorus of improvised songs. A fandango is a musical celebration celebrated by the son (sound) Jarocho where the tarima is the center of the party. Musicians, dancers and poets circle the tarima. The traditional rhythms of fandango are bomba, the cascabel, the morena, the zapateado, the aguanieve and the sisquisiri. Some of the songs were from his book where instruments are the protagonists of the story, imitating the language of animals while dancing to the rhythm of sones like La Iguana, the Colás and La Bamba. Photos of the event can be found on our Facebook page.

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Zenén Zeferino

Zenén Zeferino Huervo is a well-known and respected interpreter and promoter of son jarocho. He comes from a family of poets and son dancers. Zenén has dedicated more than 20 years of his career as a jaranero, singer and decima improviser, with equal time dedicated to the labor of speaking about the importance of speaking about this musical genre for it is one of the greatest cultural legacies of Mexico. In his role as cultural promoter, Zenén won the National Radio Prize in Mexico for his program, El Sonoro Sueño, which consisted of interviews with traditional musicians from all over the world. As author, Zenén has written an endless collection of verses for traditional sounds, at the same time contributing to that repertory with sones of his own creation, many of them for children. In 2012, he published the book Zóongoro Bailongo de Zeferino, which was recently included in Mexico’s official reading list for elementary school children. Zenén was co-founder of the groups Chuchumbé y Quemayama, collaborates with Tembembe Ensamble Continuo and musician Jordi Savall. He is currently in New York City for a few months working with the local group Radio Jarocho. Zenén Zeferino keeps his followers up-to-date on all his latest activities that he is working on in New York through his website.

Julia del Palacio

Julia del Palacio is a well-known son jarocho dancer and cultural promoter, is founder of Radio Jarocho, a musical project that promotes and preserves the musical traditions of the Veracruz state of Mexico. Julia is also a singer and dances tap.

Juan Carlos Marín

Juan Carlos is a musician specializing in Veracruzan folkloric music. Juan Carlos sings and interprets the requinto guitar.

Celebrating the Month of Love: ‘Samy la Voz Hispana’ and Ruben Isola

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Samy e Isola Barco de Papel NY

Two musically gifted artists from the local scene united their talents to provide an entertaining musical evening on February 27, 2016 at 7 p.m. at Centro Cultural Barco de Papel in celebration of the Month of Love and Friendship.

“Samy, the Hispanic Voice” renowned entertainer, emcee and singer partnered with guitarist and percussionist Ruben Isola, offering a pleasant cultural evening filled with music and musical anecdotes. From his early days as  singer and host in radio stations and concerts at his native Colombia to his days as a well know master of ceremonies of the local clubs of Jackson Heights during their ‘golden era’, Samy complemented his songs with funny anecdotes of his experiences and interaction with artist luminaries of Latin America. Sammy sang traditional love boleros and ballads, with the musical arrangements of Isola, who played acoustical guitar, electric guitar and requinto.


Jesus Alvarez presents his ‘Kaja Chu” (Cu)

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Jesus Alvarez and Katherine Lacey presenting the Kaja Chu
Jesus Alvarez and Katherine Lacey presenting the Kaja Chu

Cuban musician Jesús Álvarez, a proud promoter of Changüi, Nengones, Regina y Kiribá, ancient musical genres of his homeland in eastern Cuba, interpreted these rhythms in a warm soirée at Centro Cultural Barco de Papel on Friday, November 20. The main motive for the musical gathering was the presentation of his musical instrument, who he fondly named “Kaja Chu”, which is a take of the Cuban marimbula.


Margarita Laso (Ecua)

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Ecuadorian poet and singer Margarita Laso accompanied by Pablo Valarezo, her husband, a recognized percussionist formed in George Dima conservatory of Romania and Ruben Isola (seated) Argentinian gitarrist and arranger.