Sneak Preview: ¡Parranda! Venezuelan Carnival Music
Smithsonian Folkways will release ¡Parranda! Venezuelan Carnival Music by the group La Sardina de Naiguatá (The Sardine of Naiguatá) on June 19. The collection, part of the Tradiciones/Traditions series, is the definitive statement from this pioneering 13-piece band led by visionary Ricardo Díaz. Díaz has pursued a 27-year quest to fuse traditional Venezuelan parranda music with more diverse and progressive instrumentation and has revolutionized and reinvigorated the genre.
Venezuela’s Caribbean coastal town of Naiguatá is home to one of that country’s most celebrated Carnival musical traditions. In the 1970’s, Díaz augmented the local legacy of Afro-Caribbean drumming traditions with brass, electric bass, keyboard, and women’s chorus to create La Sardina de Naiguatá, the musical group that drives the town’s annual cycle of public celebrations, including Carnival, Corpus Christi, and St. John the Baptist. ¡Parranda! brings us the contemporary, joyous sounds of the pre-Christian rite of “burying the sardine” to promote an abundant harvest of fish and crops.