Thursday, September 21, 2006
Son de Madera has found their own way in the traditional Son Jarocho music movement. Their avenue: giving the traditional a healthy helping of international spice.
Son Jarocho is an old Latin-based sound from the southern part of Vera Cruz, Mexico. The sound is characterized by bright fluttering sequence from a small guitar called a “jarana.” But the sound is only half of the entertainment, as a dancing accompaniment combines with the perpetual improvisations of the singers and musicians to create a more striking sensorial experience. The dancers keep it respectful and traditional while the singer is at work, but at the instrumental segments of the song, the dancers work into a frenzy of expression, layering the scene with flavor.
CSUMB World Theater 2006-07 Show Schedule
Theater schedulers have fully embraced the season’s theme, “Welcome to the World,” booking a range of performances from all over the globe.
TH. OCT. 26: Josephine Baker: A Life of Le Jazz Hot! Grammy-nominated Imani Winds and jazz singer Rene Marie are featured in a multi-media performance and salute to controversial performer Josephine Baker.
TH. NOV. 9: …about Anne Poet Anne Sexton’s satirical writings about marriage, children, parents, obsession, God and godlessness are explored in a solo performance by actress Salome Jens.
WED. NOV. 29: Compagnie Tchetche This all female dance troupe has emerged as a symbol of power and passion for women.
TH. JAN. 25: The Clown Princes Silent film’s greatest stars—Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, and Charlie Chaplin—are presented with live music by the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra.
SAT. FEB. 24: Slanguage Combining traditional theater, poetry, rap, and storytelling, Slanguage mixes language and culture from the streets of America.
WED. MARCH 7: Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company Travel to where East meets West as the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company approaches ideas shaped by the immigrant experience through modern dance.
TH. MAY 3: Andes Manta The cultural heritage of the Incas rings loud and clear as these musicians bring music from the tops of the Andes to a Seaside stage with the lyrical sounds of the quena, or Andean flute, and six-foot-long pan pipes.
Through it all, Son de Madera, who play the World Theater this Thursday, Sept. 21, aren’t so much interested in what the Son Jarocho movement has become, but rather what it’s becoming.
“Son de Madera has their own sound and works on breaking away from the older sound, but still keeping with the traditional parts,” says Son de Madera bassist Juan Perez.
Anchored by singer Ramon Gutierrez Hernandez and jarana player Teresa Vega Hernandez, who have been playing together since the age of 13, Son de Madera has revolutionized the music scene in Veracruz.
“Ramon and Teresa have paved the way for the next generation,” says Perez, “down there, Ramon is the Jimi Hendrix of the scene.”
Son de Madera has been on tour in the United States since their last album Las Orquestas Del Dia was released in March, and American audiences’ familiarity with the band continues to grow, as evidenced by their recent collaboration with former Rage Against the Machine front man Zach de la Rocha and the beyond-sold-out show that resulted. The de la Rocha-Son de Madera combo is tentatively scheduled to head into the studio next year.
Perez attributes much of the band’s success in the states to the band’s musicianship. “The tenacity of Ramon and Teresa’s ability to play and play differently catches a lot of attention.”
Much of the band’s ability to create their own style within the parameters of a traditional sound is created by a dash of folk sensitivity in their music, and the utter openness to new genres. On Las Orquestas Del Dia, the band experiments with haunting baroque-oriented sounds on “La Marea,” and the song entitled “El Pastaro Cu” provides a melodic harmonizing of multiple vocals that help create a thick textural type of music.
Son de Madera has further separated itself from the pack by resolutely refusing to do a song the same way twice—adding another way that they keep making the old and traditional new and relevant.
SON DE MADERA plays CSUMB’s World Theatre, located at 100 Campus Center in Seaside, Thursday, Sept. 31, at 7:30pm. $25/general admission; $10/CSUMB students. 582-4580.