Sunday, December 13, 2009
Maracaibo 15 - Amparito
Feliz Navidad and a Very Merry Christmas to all those who have supported this blog over the last two years by regularly popping in to listen to the songs and watch the videos.
To celebrate another yuletide I give you Maracaibo 15's Christmas classic "Amparito", a nostalgic, modern gaita created by Ricardo Portillo.
Venezuelan gaitas, originating in Zulia state, are unique to Venezuela and are played exclusively in the run up to Christmas, giving the artists only a few short months to get their new songs on the radio and TV and build up a following.
That's why the golden oldies of gaita such as "Amparito" from 1977 and other songs such as Maracaibo 15's "La Negra del Tamunangue" and Astolfo Romero's "Una Florecita" still get played every year at Christmas parties, alongside Nestor Zavarce's New Year tearjerker "Faltan Cinco Pa' Las Doce".
I started this site after trawling through Youtube for hours to find music that reminded me of Venezuela and thinking how much easier it would be if I could go to a place where I could guarantee I'd find good quality videos of my favourite Venezuelan artists and some information about them.
There wasn't such a place so I decided to make one.
Unfortunately, many of the best old songs don't have good videos to accompany them and there is precious little material in English about the great artists of Venezuela, which is a shame.
How else are the Youtube generation going to find out about these songs?
For those who do understand a bit of Spanish I include a short video biography of Ricardo Portillo made by students of the UNICA in Maracaibo: