A World Music Magazine


Live from the Orinoco River

Cimarrón is a Colombian group playing llanero joropo music, the music of Colombia’s north-eastern plains (los llanos). It was founded in the 1980s by harpist Carlos Rojas, and were soon travelling abroad; I first saw and was excited by them in the 1990s during the Colores de Colombia festival at London’s Barbican.

Ana Veydó became their singer in 2000, and the line-up has evolved as younger musicians have joined. Carlos Rojas died in January 2020, shortly after retiring from the group.

Their instrumentation includes cuatro, harp, maracas, bass and also Peruvian-flamenco cajón, Brazilian surdo and Afro-Colombian tambora, with percussive zapateando dance.

They’ve played in many major festivals all over the world including WOMAD and WOMEX. Their albums, which include 2007’s collaboration with Welsh harpist Catrin Finch, have received awards and twice been nominated for Latin Grammies. The most recent is 2019’s Orinoco.

Not only is this video mightily impressive musically and visually, but it might not be immediately apparent that the excellent sound is live, via unobtrusive radio mic systems. - Andrew Cronshaw

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