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New vision of Fandango brings unique musical crossover from Caribbean coasts

Top musicians from Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia will present a new vision of the Fandango traditions on November 2 with a tapestry of sounds integrating Mexican folk dance music with African chants, Andean melodies, Spanish flamenco and a piano quintet, bringing audiences an exciting and refreshing Latin American musical journey.

"A New Vision of the Fandango Traditions on the Caribbean Coasts" is one of the programmes of the Latin Passion Festival organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. It will be staged at 8pm on November 2 at the Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall.

Grupo Chuchumbe from Mexico will reinterpret the Fandango traditions by combining traditional instruments such as Guitarra de son (Mexican Lute), Leona (Mexican Bass Guitar) and Jarana (Mexican Guitar), with vocals, poetry and dance. Sharing the same stage is the Piano Llanero Ensemble from Venezuela, founded by Colombian pianist and composer Claudia Calderon.

Well known for her exciting rhythmic piano, Claudia Calderon has collected the best "Joropo" works for traditional harp and bandola from the Andes and the Llanos, the great plains of the Orinoco and Amazon Basins. She has carefully transcribed these original pieces for her instrument and her ensemble. By combining the familiar voices of piano and double bass with the surprisingly colourful performance of the Maracas, the Venezuelan Cuatro (four-string guitar) and the Colombian Tiple (twelve-string lute), the ensemble reveals to audiences the musical world that spans from the Eastern tip of the Venezuelan Coast to the Southernmost parts of the colossal Colombian Andes.

Founded in 1990, Grupo Chuchumbe has devoted itself to perpetuating the Son Jarocho traditions that originated in its home city of Veracruz. The genre is derived from old Spanish melodies and harmonic structures, which were strongly influenced by African rhythms and songs passed down among the slaves in colonial times. A marked reminder of the Spanish flamenco is also present in the "Zapateado", a percussive dance on a wooden platform displaying fiery energy and passion. It gradually evolved into the Fandango, an informal ritual gathering where audience members participate in a dance and jam session. Dedicating itself to the diffusion and teaching of Fandango traditions, the troupe has performed throughout the world and is hailed as a true ambassador of Mexico.

A specialist in performing music from the Venezuelan and Colombian traditional sources, as well as classical, romantic, contemporary piano repertoire, Claudia Calderon also often performs her own compositions. She has passionately studied the Joropo music from the plains and coastal areas of Venezuela and Colombia. She has also produced the first complete set of transcriptions of Joropo music from different historic ethno-musicological recordings, setting a new standard in the studies of this relatively unknown genre.

Along with the performance, two lecture demonstrations will be organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Departmant. Admission is free and seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Details of the demonstrations are as follows:

1. Joropo, Fiesta and Concert Music - Venezuelan and Colombian Traditional Music from the Great Plains of the Orinoco Basin
Date: October 29 (Saturday), 8pm
Venue: Recital Hall, 8/F, Hong Kong City Hall High Block
Speakers: Claudia Calderon (In English)
Demonstration: Piano Llanero Ensemble

2. Fandango and Son Jarocho; Ritual and Fiesta; Traditional Music from Veracruz, Mexico
Date: October 31 (Monday), 8pm
Venue: Recital Hall, 8/F, Hong Kong City Hall High Block
Speakers: Patricio Hidalgo Belli, Felix Jose Oseguera Rueda, Rubi del Carmen Oseguera Rueda, Claudia Calderon (In Spanish with English translation)
Demonstration: Grupo Chuchumbe

Tickets for "A New Vision of the Fandango Traditions on the Caribbean Coasts" priced from $120 to $280 are available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for full-time students, senior citizens, people with disabilities and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Group booking discounts are up to 20% off.

Programme brochures of the Latin Passion Festival are available at URBTIX outlets or at the website,

For programme enquiries, call 2370 1044. Telephone reservations can be made on 2734 9009.

Ends/Tuesday, October 25, 2005

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