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Smithsonian Folklife Festival
Las Americas

Maestros del Joropo Oriental

In 2008, Smithsonian Folkways recorded a select group of some of the best joropo oriental musicians in Venezuela. These all-stars have again come together to present this distinctive regional variant of Venezuela's national music. The joropo oriental style of joropo music is centered on the region around the eastern city of Cumaná on Venezuela's Caribbean coast and nearby Margarita Island.

  • Aquiles Báez, guitar
  • Luis Beltrán Márquez, vocals
  • Remigio Fuentes, bandolín, maracas
  • Roberto Carlo Koch Fernández, bass
  • Julián Laya, caja
  • Hernán José Marín, vocals
  • Mónico Márquez, cuereta, vocals
  • José Dionision Martínez Jiménez, maracas
  • Alfonso José Moreno Muñoz, cuatro
  • Maríalejandra Orozco Veliz, dancer
  • Jesús Enrique Rengel, bandola, bandolín
  • Alberto José Valderrama Patiño, bandola

Left: Remigio "Morocho" Fuentes is a master bandolín player, traditional to the regional style of joropo known as joropo oriental. Anchored in Sucre state and Margarita Island on Venezuela's Caribbean coast, joropo "is a fiesta where music accompanies dance with song," according to Morocho, "a collective celebration of eastern Venezuela."
Right: Mónico Márquez plays a cuereta, or button accordion, traditional to joropo oriental, the regional style of joropo anchored in the area around Cumaná and Margarita Island on the eastern Caribbean coast of Venezuela. Photo by Daniel Sheehy, Smithsonian Institution