While Venezuela’s devastating political crisis continues to deepen, it’s important to remember the country’s extraordinarily rich culture, an intricate skein of musical traditions embodied by this double bill. A rising force on the world stage, powerhouse Afro-Venezuelan vocalist Betsayda Machado y La Parranda El Clavo and her percussion/vocal ensemble Parranda El Clavo play tambor, a celebratory tradition that evolved to accompany parties, parades and processions. Hailing from a central coast village founded by people escaping slavery during the colonial era, their lapidary harmonies flow over thickly textured rhythms tracing directly back to Senegal. Caracas-born, Oakland-based Jackeline Rago, a master of the four-string cuatro, opens with her VNote Ensemble (and special guests), a group with an intoxicating fusion of Venezuelan styles and jazz, reflecting new Bay Area-cultivated roots.
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