12 O'Clock Track: La Sardina de Naiguatá: "Volveré" | Bleader

12 O'Clock Track: La Sardina de Naiguatá: "Volveré"


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No matter how many years I spend digging for new sounds, I can still get hit sideways with something unexpected. Lots of countries on this side of the Atlantic have rich musical traditions associated with Carnaval, and I recently discovered that Venezuela is no exception. La Sardina de Naiguatá, led by trumpeter Ricardo Diaz, hail from the Caribbean coastal town of Naiguatá and play a modified modern version of the festival music called parranda, using both brass and electrified instruments (originally parranda groups featured just hand percussion and a cuatro). The band's name comes from a Carnaval ceremony called the Burial of the Sardine, or Entierro de la Sardina—it's an Ash Wednesday procession that includes cross-dressing and other subversions of sexual roles as well as the mocking of civil and church authorities. On June 19 Smithsonian/Folkways will release ¡Parranda!, a terrific album that features La Sardina ripping through various high-energy Afro-Caribbean rhythms. Aside from all the percussion, the band's sound is dominated by twin trombones and a trumpet, piano parts reminiscent of son montuno, and effusive group vocals.

Today's 12 O'Clock Track is one of the album's best cuts—it's an example of a song form called "fulia," where solo singers alternate with choral exhortations. La Sardina will perform at the Old Town School of Folk Music on July 11.

La Sardina de Naiguatá, "Volveré"

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