Monday, September 22, 2008

2008 Chico World Music Festival

The world music festival at Chico state was a multi-cultural event in the beautiful setting of a northern California central valley town. On Sunday September 21, 2008 the weather was perfect for this exciting event, as I walked down the streets to the Chico state campus a light breeze rustled through my hair.
The campus was full of vendors selling various items from cloths to jewelry to different kinds of food.
I partook of some Indian cuisine as we all waited for the next musical group to take the stage. At about 2:00 p.m. the Venezuelan Music Project took the stage. I sat back amongst the other onlookers waiting for the music to start. It came as a pounding drum beat that could be felt through out the body.
Then my view was obstructed by the multitude of people getting up to move with the music. The throng of people moved and pulsed with the drum beat. The vocals came out and reached into your soul even if you can not understand the language that they were being sung in. The whole crowd of dancers expressed themselves with their bodies.
At one point an impromptu conga line snaked it's way through the mass of dancers collecting more and more people as it went.
These two gentlemen formed a limbo pole with there arms under which several dancers dared to go low. As the group preformed Calypso style music.
A little back ground information about the Venezuelan Music Project.
The Venezuelan Music Project was founded in 1997 by musical director Jackeline Rago, to share the sounds and cultural traditions of Venezuela in the San Francisco Bay Area and the continental United States.
Combining the Indigenous-Venezuelan, West African and Spanish-European influences, this project emerges as a dynamic ensemble full of vitality, energy and color. (
Among the many styles showcased, the group performs Calypso del Callao, Parrandas, Tamboreras, Sangueos, Golpes de Tambor, Tonadas de Quitiplás, Tambor Redondo, Gaitas, Joropos, Merengues, Fulías and spiritual chants inspired by the daily life of the Venezuelan countryside.
I would encourage everyone to go to their web page and experience the unique music that they create.
It was well worth the time I spent going to the festival to see this preformance. I was struck by their energy and vivaciousness. I can not express in words the feelings the music brought to me as I got up and danced with the many other people there.

All images taken by Dianna J. Redmond
Information about the band found at the following web site:

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