Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Viento en Contra, on Pacaya Volcano

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

Viento en Contra
Viento en Contra is one of Guatemala’s most renown music bands.
They play a short concert today on Pacaya Volcano, a very active volcano a short drive from Guatemala City.
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Guatemalan Mariachi

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

I’ve always wonder: Why is always the shortest mariachi who gets to play the largest instrument? Is it a rule?

Guatemalan Mariachi

Guatemalan Mariachi

Festival Internacional de Jazz Guatemala 2014 It’s Almost Over!

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Eliana Burki en Guatemala por Hugo Muralles

A recently created Big Band from Guatemala opened the annual Jazz Festival, a month ago.  This years festival it’s almost over, a few concerts are left for this week, both in Antigua and Guatemala City.  If you are in Antigua today don’t miss Eliana Burki at CFCE (Centro de Formación de la Cooperación Española)  Yesterday we had the chance to see her in a marvelous concert, in the main picture she plays the alphorn.

Serenata

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

This is how Guatemalans start their birthday.
If you ever wondered what was that live music at 5am, it was a birthday serenade.
serenata

Remnants of Rock Culture

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

Rock Culture is dying down here in Guatemala.
In fact, there is no single good Rock radio station anymore, the last one they tell me changed its style more than three years ago; now they play pop music. But there still some loyal young people out here.
By chance I ended up at this autograph signing by Alan Boguslavsky, former guitar player of one of the most renown Latin America rock bands. The Dream of the Dead, by Alan Boguslavsky.
Alan Boguslavsky

Livingston, Izabal

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Livingston, called La Buga by the Garifuna inhabitants.
If you want an escape from the cold U.S.A. or European winters, this is the place to be. Locals are very amicable and fun.
Water is perfect for swimming -not so great for snorkeling; too murky-. I discovered something here: They make a drink called: Coco Loco. Simple: they open up a hole on a coconut leaving its water inside, they pour a good dose of local rum and give it a good mix. They are incredibly refreshing and tasty.
If you like seafood, this is the place too. They use the catch of the day at local restaurants.
I had a lot of fun at the hotel’s pool. I got concierge to get me a long stick and my gringo friends and I were able to bring some coconuts down from some palm trees around the pool. Always carry a machete with you so you can cut them open.
and last: I was exploring the town late at night and I came across this bar. They were playing live Garifuna Music. It called my attention and I entered it. I always ask! Well, the songs they were playing and singing were in the Garifuna language. Many of the song tell the story of how they arrived in Guatemala. When you get here ask locals for this bar, everyone knows it.
Oh, one more thing on a funny note: Our first night there we go to a local “Thai” restaurant. Most of the menu was not Thai, the decor was more Europeanish, they were constantly playing Arab Music. We had a great laugh here. Food was filling and good quality. Stop by if you are around.
Livingston, Izabal

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Festival Cultural de Idiomas Mayas

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

Cultural Festival of Mayan Languages at San Carlos University (USAC)
Lovely time at the University. The only thing that saddens me is a number I hear while holding a casual conversation with one of the Mayan Languages teachers. It turns out that there are less than 200 people taking Mayan Languages classes at the University. Not big deal right? Well, This University holds more than 50% of the entire University Students in the country, and there are more than 150 thousand students here. Less than 0.2% of students find it rewarding learning Mayan languages or culture. Sad..
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A short play of Dia de los Santos (Day of the dead?)

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Signing of Mayan folk songs in Kaqchikel

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Mayan Dance

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El Pabank, grupo de proyeccion folklorica Soel Valdez, Son Ritual de Coban.
I really love this!

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Mayan Play Ratz’um K’iche
Forgive me if I get this wrong, but the play’s dialog was narrated in Q’eqchi’. Let’s see if I got the plot right: Two warriors from different Mayan kingdoms get their kingdoms to fight for a young Mayan princess.

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Son Ritual de Coban

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

Young performer of El Pabank, ritual dance of Coban.
More photos and complete commentary tomorrow.
El Pabank

Jocotenango’s Fair

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

I don’t know much about this Guatemalan Tradition, what I know is: It is not in Jocotenango! Jocotenango is a municipality in the department of Sacatepequez, neighboring La Antigua Guatemala. The image of Virgin Mary, Patron Saint of Guatemala City was brought to Guatemala from Jocotenango, and, well, they celebrate the Assumption of Virgin Mary with this fair. Please, correct me because I know I’m wrong…
Oh, adjacent to the festivities there is a Relief-Miniature map of the entire country. Here is a photograph showing Tajumulco Volcano, the place with the most spectacular view in Central America, 13,845 ft above sea level at the summit.
At the Fair’s entrance; I found this duet playing Guatemalan folk songs. Their music was exquisite.
Feria de Jocotenango, Jocotenango's Fair

Guatemala City: The Streets, 6th Avenue.

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Sexta Avenida or Sixth Avenue has change a lot since I used to frequent the area more than 16 years ago.
When I was young, we used to come here because the cheapest (and one of the few available) cinema was located here. Pizza was cheap here too, you could get two slices for Q2 or $.25 cents and they were very tasty.
The Avenue was a mess; there were street vendors all over, improvised street shops were the only thing you could see. In fact, one was not able to see the buildings, street shops and shacks blocked the view.
Now the street has been rebuilt, the buildings remodel, Cine Lux, the oldest in Guatemala (I think) has been turned into a theater -a fancy one- and classy business have become establish here.
When I used to walked these streets, no one from the upper social classes would dare stepping here. Now they are the ones frequenting this location. Fancy dinning, international brands stores, chain restaurants among other amenities. One can easily mistake this street with Newbury Street, Boston or an European Street.
Sixth Avenue is becoming a cultural magnet (excluding somewhat the lower classes of society); musicians playing at restaurants, playing on the streets too, street artists are abundant.
I stopped to watch this group of kids break-dancing. The choreography became exiting and entertaining; I had to produce my camera and start shooting.
The kids call themselves: The Sixth Avenue Crew.

A thought: Good or Bad? The old Sixth Avenue was a mess, but the lower classes identified with it. Now the architecture is impressive and inviting in the sense that a charming Expensive Store would be. How can we modernize, without loosing the essence of what the entire society encompasses?  Example: How would one feel if traveling to India and finding its streets empty of traditional foods restaurants, no tuc tucs, not thousands of people bumping into you,  no bicyclepacks, etc. It wouldn’t be India: Right?   Well, I think that’s what is happening here. We are changing our architectural style, or foods or clothing, everything that define us as what we are. How can we go into Globalization and Modernization without loosing our cultural identity?
Sixth Avenue, Sexta Avenida

Street Art: Graffiti

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

If I’m not wrong, this graffiti depicts two Zapatistas. What is a Zapatista? Well, I rather have this song explain it to you: Zapata’s Blood.

I found this graffiti at USAC, which is the oldest University of Guatemala, and the only public one too.
Street Art: Graffiti

Convite

Monday, June 10th, 2013

I lived my childhood in Guatemala and I have no memories of “Convites” and I still don’t fully understand the concept, but by chance I found this one close to work last Friday. Its a Parade, a Fair, you can find foods, live music and lots of people. Convite