The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is often referred to as a “museum without walls.” As an “encyclopedia of sound,” Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian, cherishes this unique opportunity to bring music out of the jewel cases to the National Mall, face-to-face with the listeners. This year’s Smithsonian Folkways evening concerts will celebrate the music from its Tradiciones Latino music collection.
Come indulge in the summer evenings with Quetzal and La Sardina de Naiguatá on Friday, June 29 and Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano on Friday, July 6! Both concerts will take place at the Justin S. Morrill Performing Arts Center (performing tent of the Campus and Community program).
Be prepared to get inspired musically, as well as intellectually! In line with the Festival’s efforts to nourish grassroots culture, the two concerts feature artists who have adapted traditional musical genres to engage their own transforming communities.
Quetzal is an East LA Chican@ rock group driven by its social, cultural, political, and musical consciousness. Particularly influenced by the struggles of marginalized people in the early 90s, the group creatively and expressively explores the societal problems affecting the local community while combining Mexican música ranchera, salsa, Chicano rock, R&B, and international popular music.
La Sardina de Naiguatá draws from the unique musical tradition that developed through the intricate cultural exchanges occurring in Venezuela since colonial times. Their musical style is influenced by the country’s popular music, especially those that are African-derived such as the fulía and central Venezuelan parranda, calypso, and drum-jam beats.
In the second week of the Festival on July 6, Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano will continue this cultural dialogue from the same concert stage, joined by Mariachi Aztlán from University of Texas. Mariachi music developed during the great urban migration in early 20th century Mexico, and overtime it became emblematic of Mexican music and was featured in such legendary films as Santa (1932) and Allá en el Rancho Grande (1936). Mariachi Los Camperos, founded in Los Angeles in 1961, translated mariachi into a stand-alone, concert-stage performing ensemble while honoring its traditional roots. The founder of the group, Natividad “Nati” Cano, received the National Heritage Fellowship of the National Endowment for the Arts in 1990. Los Camperos have released several albums with Smithsonian Folkways, including GRAMMY-winning Amor, Dolor y Lagrimas: Música Ranchera in 2008.
Quetzal and La Sardina de Naiguatá
Friday, June 29, 6 p.m., Justin S. Morrill Performing Arts Center (Campus and Community)
Watch a video showing Quetzal in the recording studio.
Watch a video about La Sardina de Naiguatá.
U.T.-Pan Am Mariachi Aztlán and Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano
Friday, July 6, 6 p.m., Justin S. Morrill Performing Arts Center (Campus and Community)
Watch a video of Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano performing at the 2004 Folklife Festival.
Other Related Events:
Thursday, June 28, 6 p.m., Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage
La Sardina de Naiguatá
Thursday, July 5, 6 p.m., Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage
Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano: Conversation & Concert
Saturday, July 7, 11:30 a.m., Mexican Cultural Institute
Joan Hua is an intern with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. During her internship, she has primarily been helping to process and manage the production of a world music collection acquired from UNESCO. She is a recent graduate of University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.