Doors at 6:30 pm; Dance Lesson with Juan Souki at 7 pm; Show at 8 pm
Tickets are $30 Day of Show / $25 Advance / Free for Kids Under 12 / $15 Dance Lesson
Venezuelan singer Betsayda Machado leads a colorful and uplifting concert of her music that is also part of our Global Cultures for Kids series, where all ages and especially families are encouraged. It’s a full concert with Machado and her band La Parranda El Clavo including singers and dancers presenting the Afro-Venezuelan and Afro-Caribbean tradition. New York Times music critic Jon Pareles wrote that Machado and ensemble are “The kind of group that world-music fans have always been thrilled to discover: vital, accomplished, local, unplugged, deeply rooted.”
Along with clarion-voiced Machado, La Parrando El Clavo is dancer-singer Nereida Machado, dancer-percussionist Jo Gomez, singers Adrian Gomez and Oscar Ruiz, and percussionists Youse Cardozo and Blanca Castillo.
In its first visit to Ashkenaz, the band is on a brief U.S. tour (this is one of only two California concerts) celebrating its new CD, “Loe Loa,” subtitled “rural recordings under the mango tree.”
The music includes folk roots, traditional fare and contemporary songs, some written by the band, in the costal Venezuelan Afro-soul genre called tambor, a spirit-shaking percussion and voice fiesta, said to make dancers float. As joyful as the music is, the lyrics are often pointed political drawing on their heritage as descendants of slaves who worked the cacao plantations around the village of El Clavo, where Machado grew up, before moving to Caracas and gaining fame for her artistry.As joyful as the music is, the lyrics are often pointedly political, drawing on their heritage as descendants of slaves who worked the cacao plantations around the village of El Clavo, where Machado grew up, before moving to Caracas and gaining fame for her artistry.
For Machado’s National Public Radio appearance, the network website explained, “For generations, these musicians have been able to hold onto certain elements of their African and uniquely Afro-Venezuelan heritage, especially in their music-making. And the music of this band, La Parranda El Clavo, has helped keep their community strong and proud of their traditions. The group has been playing together for nearly three decades, primarily at town festivals, holidays and funerals. But it's only now that they've begun touring North America — and making their singular, passionate and purposeful voices reverberate in the wider world.”
This engagement of Betsayda Machado y La Parranda El Clavo is made possible through Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America, a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.