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:


marialerondon said...

I'm from Venezuela but I live in Australia :(, whenever you need I'll find/translate anything related to music to you. I'm a big fan of music!

Russell Maddicks said...

Hola Mariela,
K bueno! Si conoces algun video de musica Venezolana k puedo poner en el blog avisame aqui:

Anonymous said...

dLapa said
hola, Soy un Vzlano en Londres (Chigwell) desde hace 12 años.
Una pequeña correccion a este post: Las gaitas se cantan en casi todo Vzla en Navidad como ya lo digistes, pero en el Zulia (de donde vienen), y en el estado Falcon, se escuchan todo el anho. Yo como caraquenho no sabia esto, pero despues de vivir 6 meses en Pto.Fijo (Edo. Falcon), me quedo claro.
Gracias por tu blog

Unknown said...

I really love your site. I spent two years in Venezuela back in 80-82. I spend time in Cabimas, Merida, Maracaibo, and San Cristobal. I miss the people and the music. So this site is very special. thanks for taking the time to put it together.

Joe, US

Anonymous said...

oh my gosh...this is so....touching....specially now...this interview was just...too much....
i can't coordinate my thoughts any better...
para ser un video captado por alguien tan foraneo a la cultura venezolana..y especialmente a la maracucha.....este senor russell...hizo un trabajo super extraordinario!!
muchisimas gracias por valorizar estas nuestras tradiciones!!