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  • Now Available: Canta con Venezuela by Serenata Guayanesa

    Serenata Guayanesa is much more than a music group: For over 40 years, it has been a cultural and social force in Venezuela. Smithsonian Folkways presents Canta con Venezuela, a selection of newly recorded classics that exemplify why Venezuelans embrace Serenata Guayenesa and its music as part of themselves.

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    On Canta con Venezuela the group performs in a variety of Venezuelan musical styles, from boleros (“Desesperanza”) and calypsos (“Calipso de El Callao”) to the ear-catching 5/8-meter of Venezuelan flag song “El papagayo” and a traditional song entitled “Símon, Símon” that praises the efforts of Venezuelan liberator Símon Bolívar. The album also features enriching liner notes from Smithsonian Folkways director and album co-producer Daniel E. Sheehy.

    Serenata Guayanesa’s traditional lineup of musicians—tenor voice and cuatro guitar player Miguel Ángel Bosch Cárdenas, countertenor and percussionist Mauricio Castro Rodríguez, bass voice and percussionist César Pérez Rossi, and baritone and cuatro guitar player Iván Pérez Rossi—gained national attention in 1973 with “El Sapo (The Toad),” whose unique Afro-Caribbean calypso edged out the international pop smash “Killing Me Softly” for the top spot in the Venezuela hit parade. Since then, the group has established themselves as celebrators of the Venezuelan identity and invaluable cultural icons. In 2011, the Venezuelan government honored them on the occasion of the group’s 40th anniversary by declaring Serenata Guayanesa a treasure of living national cultural heritage.

    Canta con Venezuela is the 41st release in the Smithsonian Folkways Tradiciones/Traditions series since 2002. The series, a co-production with the Smithsonian Latino Center, showcases the diverse musical heritage of the 50 million Latinos living in the USA.

    For more information about Serenata Guayanesa, visit:


    1. El sapo – The Toad
    2. A la una – At One
    3. Polo de la soledad – The Polo of Loneliness
    4. Símon, Símon – Simon, Simon
    5. El papagayo – The Kite
    6. Easter Morning
    7. Viajera del río – River Traveler
    8. Golpe y estribillo
    9. Danzas zulianas: “Soberana, “María Cecilia,” “Maracaibera”
    10. El norte es una quimera – The North Is a Fantasy
    11. Tardes guayanesas – Guayana Afternoons
    12. Calipso de El Callao – Calypso of El Callao
    13. Desesperanza – Despair
    14. Qué bonita – How Pretty
    15. San Rafael guayanés – Guayanan San Rafael
    16. Corre, caballito – Run, Little Horse
    Now Available: Canta con Venezuela by Serenata Guayanesa | Smithsonian Folkways Recordings