To the Children of Iran

Hooshyar Khayam
Amir Eslami
All Of You


01. Our Story - 9:17
02. Cheering - 4:07
03. Strum - 4:27
04. Mourning (Zaar) - 6:12
05. Troubadour - 5:05
06. Illusion - 3:37
07. All of You - 7:14
08. Dawn - 2:23
09. Flowerscatter - 5:29
10. Our City - 10:23
Hooshyar Khayam: Piano
Amir Eslami: Ney


Music for Ney and Piano
 All of you (duet for piano and ney) is in its core an improvisation. Most of the pieces have been performed and recorded only once with no edits or retakes and only some use the technique of multilayer recording to achieve the desired effect. Sonorities heard are all of acoustic nature performed by the musicians and generated on their instruments 
 Born in 5th January 1971 in Isfahan, Iran.
Started Ney (Iranian Flute) from 1986 in Isfahan.
 Hooshyar Khayam (born 1978) is an Iranian pianist and composer. 
He was born in London into a family of artists. His father Massoud Khayam is a novelist, and his mother Pariyoush Ganji is a painter.



Persian Piano

Hooshyar Khayam
Thousand Acacias


Sonnet I - XII
Performed by the composer Hooshyar Khayam (piano) 
plus Amir Minoo-Sepehr (violin) on track 12.




 The instrumental sonnets in this album are ghazals for solo piano resembling a long poem ("The Scent of Petunias and the Acacias That Flow Through Them") by distinguished Iranian contemporary poet Ahmadreza Ahmadi. 

Hooshyar belongs to the new movement of composer-performers in Iran.

He is active as pianist, as composer, and as improvisor and collaborator in the realm of world music. His music has been performed by Hossein Alizadeh, Aram Talalyan, Wayne Foster-Smith, Todd Palmer, and Stephen Prutsman among other artists. His works include music for solo piano, large symphonic ensembles, string orchestra, improvisational works, vocal works, music for film and for theater, and arrangements/revisions of traditional music of Iran.

He has been performed at Lincoln Center, University of Cambridge, University of London, Spoleto, Stefaniensaal Graz, and has hold concerts in Moscow, Tbilisi, Kiev, Berlin, New York, Charleston, Florence, Yerevan, and Tehran. His compositions have been premiered by Naregatsi Chamber Orchestra, Ukraine National Symphony Orchestra, Tehran Philharmonic, and Tehran Youth Symphony Orchestra.

He is the first prize award winner of "Franz Schubert and Modern Music International Composition Competition 2011" for his trio "I Waited for You in Rain".

He holds a doctoral degree from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, and is currently an independent musician.



And the new one is... :-)

Masoud Shaari (Setar)
Arash Mitooic (Electric Guitar)
Hamsaz Ensemble
 In The Shade of The Wind


01 - Hamsaz
02 - Ashin
03 - Hasti
04 - Dar Sayeye Bad


 Masoud Shaari (Setar)

Anthony Ardin (Saxófono)
Darshan Aanand (Tabla)
Arash Mitooic (Guitarra Eléctrica)
Pajham Ajavas (Tombak, Damam)
Mohamad Ali Sajadi (Barbat)
Sina Shaari (Guitarra Acústica)
Tahmineh Shahsavari (Setar)




 In the year 1127, the artist {Abbot Suger} began reconstructing his Abbey Basilica of St. Denis in Paris. Suger's architectural ideas resulted in something never seen before, a "new look" neither classically Greek nor Roman or Romanesque. Eventually Suger's pioneer work led to an influential architectural style known as "gothic." Not knowing what to call Suger's work at the time, the society relied on a Latin name, "opus modernum." Today in the 21st century, in the context of Iranian society, {Masoud Shaari}'s interpretation of the ancient Persian Radiff allows for an "opus modernum" manifestation to occur in Persian classical music. His ground-breaking work, In the Shade of the Wind, intertwines the ancient with the modern age, marrying instruments such as setar to electric guitar, ney to saxophone. Each of the four tracks in this album are a journey to distant lands, where one can imagine Persian merchants offering the world their melodies and rhythms in exchange for nothing else but a sense of mutual understanding.

Shaari has unlocked the dusty box of the Radiff, letting ancient Iranian melodies play catch with the world. In 1978, the band ANCIENT FUTURE was the first ever to coin the term "world fusion music," defining their new style. Shaari’s album In the Shade of the Wind can fall under this category of music as well, where many cultures and sub-cultural musical styles are audibly interacting: classical North Hindustani rhythms and ragas are incorporated, 1950’s American pop-rock comes in and out of improvisatory segments, American Blue-Grass Country guitar is surprising to hear at times, jazz chord progressions harmonize in the background of a massive setar chorus, and psychedelic trance movements create an atmosphere close to that of the Sufi sama' ecstasy. Many of the trance-like sections in Shaari’s music is seriously influenced by the repetitiveness of Indian music and rock music. Through this conglomeration of musical styles and the process of fusion, Shaari unknowingly creates a new musical language that is nevertheless rooted in a Persian accent. The Radiff is still holds amidst the chaos of this fusion, exhibiting to the Western listener a sense of tradition. To Iranians, Masoud Shaari re-energizes the setar, revamping a tradition to adapt and still remain capable and applicable in the 21st century. The new generation of post-modern intellectuals is a movement towards globalization, and in Iran we are beginning to see this global influence in their music.

It must also be mentioned that other artists in Tehran are exhibiting the same ideological tendencies. A musician like {Mohsen Namjoo} has remained loyal to the emotional spirit within the Radiff, while creatively uplifting their Iranian musical heritage. In the case of In the Shade of the Wind, Shaari bears the weight of his artistic creation on developing the mastery of the Iranian setar. For example, in track one, "Hamsaz," one can not only hear but feel the many different new techniques Shaari has incorporated in his style of playing. Besides technique, his melody in the Nava modality still abides by bare structural laws of the Radiff, but the actual melody is something unheard of. This compromise between abiding by the structure of the Radiff but not the Radiff melodies set’s Shaari completely free in the creating process of melody, and distinguishes his musicianship from other fusion artists.

Fared Shafinury - TehranAvenue.com

 Yes, Massoud Shaari again ... :-)

In recent years he has dedicated himself to opening musical dialogue with different cultures, playing with various non-Iranian musical instruments to experiment new feelings and expressions in music, while keeping the main essence of Iranian music.


Maestro of Setaar

Ostad Sa’id Hormozi
Setar (2)
Persian Music Heritage


01. Dastgah-e-Shur - 7:44
02. Avaz-e-Dashti - 16:15
03. Avaz-e-Bayat Tork - 15:09
04. Avaz-e-Abuata - 11:31
05. Avaz-e-Afshari - 8:54
06. Avaz-e-Shooshtari - 10:33 



Saeed Hormozi 

(1897-1976) the prominent Iranian musician, the great radif master and virtuoso tar and setar player, the son of Mirza Hoseyn Khan Seqat-ol-Saltaneh, was born in Sangalaj quarter of Tehran. He showed his interest in music from an early age and grasped playing music despite the objections made by his family. He first began to play and practice music by himself and from 16 he learned tar from his brother Abolfatah Mirza who was a direct pupil of Aqa Hoseyn-Qoli. Afterwards he went to a pupil of Darvish Khan, Mahmud Ruhbakhsh, and then for a while he was accepted by Darvish Khan himself to study tar and setar and also the radif of Persian classical music. Soon Darvish Khan awarded him with the medal of the "Golden Hatchet," which he used to give to his prominent pupils. After the death of his great master, Hormozi studied the version of radif of Aqa Hoseyn-Qoli and Ali-Akbar Khan Shahnazi and also a repertoire of precomposed pieces with the latter. In 1928 he began his teaching career by founding a school of music in Shapur street in Tehran. However, because of his major responsibilities in Sepah Bank - where he had been employed - he had to abandon the teaching career for a certain period of time. Upon the foundation of the Center for Preservation and Propagation of Persian Music, he cooperated there as an ostad of setar and radif and trained numerous pupils. Sa`id Hormozi was a committed musician who was fervently engaged in teaching and preserving the tradition of Persian music. On December 27, 1976 while teaching at the "Center" Hormozi slipped into a deep coma and did never come back. He died at the same night in Tehran.
Saeed Hormozi a very great master of Persian setar.
 Some invaluable recordings have been preserved of him. In terms of performance techniques one can find traces of his ostad Darvish Khan in Hormozi’s style. His phrasing is mostly influenced by that of Aqa Hossein-Qoli.
 Two of his most important students are Mohammad Reza Lotfi and Hossein Alizadeh.



Master of Setar

Massoud Shaari
Setar & Tombak 


01. Pishdaramad Esfahan - 4:34
02. Daramad - 2:27
03. Jame Daran - 1:51
04. Chaharmezrab Saba - 3:21
05. Bayat Raje - 1:45
06. Ouj - 0:38
07. Chaharmezrab Hormozi - 4:08
08. Sooz O Godaz - 1:52
09. Masnavi - 2:12
10. Chahar Mezrab - 3:44
11. Pishdaramad Segah - 3:56
12. Daramad - 0:54
13. Kereshmeh - 2:01
14. Zang E Shotor - 1:20
15. Zabol - 0:54
16. Chaharmezrab Zobol - 0:58
17. Mooyeh - 1:13
18. Mokhalef - 2:58
19. Zarbi Mokhalef - 1:46
20. Maqloob - 0:30
21. Naghmeh Maghloob - 0:41
22. Zarbi Maghloob - 3:39
23. Hazin - 1:05
24. Mooyeh - 1:10
25. Zang E Shotor - 2:24
26. Samani - 1:32
27. Bahar Mast - 1:02

Setar: Massoud Shaari
Tonbak: Kushan Yaghmaee




 Massoud Shaari

Massoud Shaari was born in 1961 in Tehran , Iran. From the very childhood, he was deeply attached to Iranian music and started learning Santur at the age of thirteen, taught by the lost artist Manijeh Ali-pour.  After a while, he turned to learn Setar, monitored by Dariush Talai and has continued playing it ever since. In 1982, he begun learning Tar, taught by Mohammad Reza Lotfi, through  whom he became acquainted with the art of Iranian traditional music systems (Radif) and its mysteries. In the meantime, he was honored to be trained by master Bahari and spent a while playing old pieces with him.

Great interest in Setar lead him to Hossein Alizadeh, and in fact his artistic promotion is indebted to this valuable master of Iranian music. As to the fact that, in his childhood, he had also been trained by some outstanding masters such as Hormozi and Forutan, managed to become fully familiar and accustomed to Iranian classical music and discovered its delicacies and beauties. Shaari has always tried to reconstruct the works of the pioneer masters of music and this high goal resulted in creation of two albums, "Shabahang" and "Karevan-saba".

In Shabahang we can see improvisation in Radif (Iranian traditional  music systems), and also reconstruction the works of some masters as Roknneddin Mokhtary, Saba, Hormozi, and Forutan. In Karevan-Saba, the chief goal is interpretation of some pieces of music for setar, originally composed by master Saba for violin.

Shaari has always endeavored to teach Iranian classical music and has been involved in Setar tuition since 1981 in art centers directed by private and public sectors. In this connection, he has trained many apprentices following his artistic school. Now, he teaches privately, as well as in Azad University, and artistic center of Kamkars Ensemble. He follows his special teaching method (which is under publish.)

Massoud Shaari, with his complete control over traditional Persian music, has tried to restore the almost forgotten melodies and rhythms of traditional Persian music, and confront it with contemporary music and modes of interpretation.

It seems that his insight of music is absolutely free, and he tries to restore the lost elements of Iranian music such as forgotten rhythms and melodies, and mix them with modern music.
     For the past ten years, he has been teaching Setar and theory of traditional Persian music in different places: Azad University, “Kamkar” musical center, and in various other musical centers in the private and public sectors..



All together now...

Massoud Shaari
Christophe Rezai


01 Presence 10:44
02 Journey 15:47
03 Fervor Of Love 08:50
04 Complaint 14:23
05 Rejoicing 09:1


Massoud Shaari - Setar
Christophe Rezaï - Composer

Darshan Jot Singh Anand - Tabla
Manu Codjia - Electric Guitar

and Reza Asgarzadeh



Journey is the fruit of collaboration between two musicians, Massoud Shaari, a traditional Iranian musician and a virtuoso of Persian setar and Christophe Rezaï, a French-Iranian composer of European culture.

Journey is introduced under the form of five pieces for Setar evoking four different modalities and therefore four different ambiences of traditional Persian music.

The Indian tabla (played by the Indian Darshan Jotsingh Anand), closely linked to the setar, takes us further to the east towards Indian tradition, which has many common points with Persian music.

Furthermore the accompaniment by classical or contemporary orchestral formations such as Strings, Electric Jazz Guitar, Sound Effects... takes us to the west towards the "European musical tradition" of the 21st century.

Journey is based on five pieces for setar evoking different modalities and ambiences of traditional Persian music. The Indian tabla, closely linked to the setar, takes us further east while classical and contemporary orchestral formations such as strings, electric jazz guitar, sound effects... pay tribute to European musical traditions of the present day.

Massoud Shaari

Born in 1961 (Tehran, Iran), started playing Santur at the age of 13 and soon his tendency to Setar led him to master Dariush Talai. In 1982 he started practicing Tar with masters Mohammad Reza Lotfi and Bahari, but his vocation for playing Setar became most apparent under the mentorship of master Hossein Alizadeh.

Since the mid 90s and parallel to his musical creation, he is actively teaching Setar and theory of traditional Persian music at the Open University Tehran and his self-established Hamsaz musical center.

So far he has recorded four albums (solos snd duo for setar and tabla). Shaari has also assisted Christophe Rezai in the composition of the Persian part of the "Peace Anthem for the 3rd Millenium" in June 200

 Christophe Rezai

Born in Toulouse, France in 1966, Christophe Rezai studied music (theory, piano and vocals) alongside his college education in hydraulic engineering and marketing. As a composer, he has written the scores of a number of French and Iranian films and documentaries.

A tenor, he co-founded Aria Musica, a group that staged numerous concerts in Iran and India. He further established the Nour Ensemble, whose repertoire focuses on medieval, baroque, Kurdish and Persian vocal music. The Nour Ensemble has been featured in a documentary produced by Arte in 2002 and has performed in numerous concerts in France, Iran, Belgium, the Netherlands, South Korea and Austria. In the summer of 2004, Nour appeared in a second musical documentary, this time filmed at the Babakan Castle in Firouzabad. The arrangements of Journey (2001, Hermes Records) is also among Christophe's musical activities.

In 2003, Rezai won the first prize of the Avignon Film Festival for the best Film Music. Since then, he has concentrated on writing music for films and on developing the Nour Ensemble.

 rickdog says:

I absolutely love this recording.  This is contemporary Persian music, simple in orchestration but cinematic in sound.  The main instruments are the setar ... the tabla ...  These ... instruments are accompanied in parts by modern string orchestra, electric guitar and sound effects.  The result is sonically sensual and multi-textured.  For those not familiar with the fantastic contemporary music coming out of Iran then please check out the Hermes record label for consistently high quality releases.



Following the Tracks...

Mehrdad Torabi
Siyavosh Akbari


01. Chahargah - 17:28
02. Abu Ata - 13:32
03. Araq, Qarai - 15:08
04. Bayat-e-Esfahan - 17:42    

Setar: Mehrdad Torabi

Tonbak: Siyavosh Akbari




 Mehrdad Torabi is a famous teacher of Tar and Setar who has written instructional books on Setar. He himself was one of the top students of Jalal Zolfonoun

 Siyavosh Akbari & Mehrdad Torabi

 Setar (Persian: سه‌تار‎, from seh, meaning "three" and tār, meaning "string") is a Persian musical instrument used across Greater Iran and Central asia. It is a member of the lute family, which is played with index finger of the right hand. Two and a half centuries ago, a fourth string was added to the setar. it has 25 - 27 moveable frets which are usually made of animal intestines or silk. It originated in Persia before the spread of Islam.




Just follow the river...

Music Of Peru
Vol. 1


01. Río de Paria - Jilguero Del HuascaraN - 3:03
02. Chonginada - Los Romanticos De Sicay - 2:55
03. Quisiera Olvídarte - Pastorita Huaracina - 2:33
04. Señor Diputado - El Cholo Chanka - 2:28
05. Carnaval Cristalchay - Conjunto Musical Amauta - 3:09
06. Neblina Blanca - La Huaricinita - 2:48
07. Misti Gallo - El Cholo Chanka - 2:04
08. Señor Diputado 2 - La Pallasquinita - 3:07
09. Cholo Orgulloso - La Pallasquinita - 2:40
10. Vengo del Prado - Rio Lira Paucina - 2:42
11. Vaca Ratay - Duo Las Perlas De Huancavalica - 3:07
12. Urpichalláy - Conjunto Los Chankas Apurimac - 2:09
13. Mis Quejas - Conjunto Los Chankas Apurimac - 3:06
14. Chall Huaschalláy - Conjunto Condemayta De Alcomayo - 2:42
15. Perlas Challáy - Perlas Challay - 3:26
16. Tostando Cancha - FabiaN Ochoa - 2:50
17. Engaños del Mundo - Enganos Del Mundo - 2:35
18. Pio, Pio - Amanda Portales - 3:29
19. Inti Sol - Manuel Silva - 3:38
20. Adiós Caminito - Julia Illanes - 4:02
21. El Hombre - Manuel Silva - 3:43
22. Licor Maldito - Julia Illanes - 4:05




 Music from the Peruvian Andean heritage by popular commercial recording artists who came from the high mountains to Lima in search of better economic opportunities. 

Edited by John Cohen

Originally released on 45s by Discos IEMPSA 1948-89.


 “Except for a few cuts on anthologies, this is the first U.S. release of what album editor John Cohen calls the `popular music of the Andean people,' played by the region's `hillbilly musicians.' Like American `country' music, Huayno (pronounced `wino') is the result of the meeting of traditional mountain music with its high-pitched vocals, insistent beat, and breathy flutes - and more commercial, urban sounds, including those of Colonial music from Spain. Like contemporary North American musical hybrids, moreover, the kinds and combinations of instruments are often surprising: harps and harmonicas, mandolins and saxophones, panpipes and accordions, as well as guitars, violins and charangas. While many of the album's twenty-two cuts are highly arranged, none exhibits the self-conscious eclecticism of much of today's `new' music. Nor, though the sound is often ethereal and spacey, does this music display the directionlessness of the New Agers. What it does reveal is an emotional intensity, most clearly evident in the high sometimes strident, femaIe vocals and slippery violins, and an exuberence bordering in places on the boisterous, with lots of whooping, clapping and shouting. In short, it is both weird and wonderful. John Cohen's notes place the music in its cultural-social context and point out the distinctions among the various regional Huayno styles. Translations for most of the songs are also included.”

-Mark Greenberg — Sing Out!

Huayno (pronounced `wino' ) is the everyday music of the Peruvian Andean people. Dating back to the Incas, Huaynos have evolved but keep a particular rhythm (a stressed 1st beat followed by two short beats) tunes cover a broad canvas, instrumentals and songs instruments include fiddle, harp, mandolin, accordion, saxophone, guitar, and lute. Even when the playing is exuberant and accompanied by cries of joys, there remains the profound sadness that is such a distinctive feature of Andean music.

-Paul Lashmar — Folk Roots


(Wayñu in Aymara and Quechua) is a genre of popular Andean Music and dance originally from Serrania, Peru. It is especially common in Peru, but also present in Chile, Bolivia, Argentina and Ecuador, and is practiced by a variety of ethnic groups, including the Quechua and Aymara people. The history of huayno dates back to the colonial Peru as a combination of traditional rural folk music and popular urban dance music. High-pitched vocals are accompanied by a variety of instruments, including quena (flute), harp, siku (panpipe), accordion, saxophone, charango, lute, violin, guitar, and mandolin. Some elements of huayno originate in the music of the pre-Columbian Andes, especially on the territory of former Inca Empire. Huayno utilizes a distinctive rhythm in which the first beat is stressed and followed by two short beats.


The dance begins with the man offering his right arm to the women as an invitation for her to dance (there is even a special word for this action, Quechua: wayñukuy "to invite woman to dance a wayñu"). Alternatively, he puts his handkerchief on the shoulder of the woman. Next, the partners walk along an enclosure, and finally they dance. The dance consists of an agile and vigorous stamping of the feet during which the man follows the woman, opposite to front, touching her with his shoulders after having turned around, and only occasionally he touches his right arm to the left hand of his partner while both swing to the rhythm of the music. His movements are happy and roguish.

- wiki


Down in the Valley...

Huaynos y Danzas
Religious and secular music 
of the Callejón de Huaylas, Peru


01. Shaqshas - Group of Men from Carhuaz - 4:38
02. Huanquillas - Group of Men from Huauya - 2:51
03. Antihuanquillas - Processional Band From Carhuaz - 2:18
04. Ñustas - Processional Band From Carhuaz - 4:10
05. Caballeros De Huari - Processional Band From Carhuaz - 2:25
06. Negritos (Little Negroes) - Negritos - 3:43
07. Atahuallpas - Hijos Del Sol - 2:50
08. Cajas and Huanquillas - Processional Band From Caraz - 3:24
09. Cajas and Roncadoras - Processional Band From Huaylas - 2:47
10. El Condor Pasa - Banda Musical Estrella Andina - 4:09
11. Rio Santa - Lorenzo Piscoche & Victor Mejia - 1:53
12. A Los Filos De Un Cuchillo (To the Edges of a Knife) - Eloy Cano - 2:56
13. Tomando Cerveza (Drinking Beer) - Pastor Aguilar & Remigio Rojas - 2:37
14. En El Cielo Las Estrellas (Stars Are in Heaven) - Feliciano Oliveira, Lucio León & Alberto Oliveira - 2:42
15. Huaraz Cuculi (Dove from Huaraz) - Los Aventureros de Tumpa - 2:36
16. Hay Noches (There Are Nights) - Juventud de Yungay - 2:23
17. Hoy Estoy Aqui (Today I Am Here) - Banda Orquesta Hijos de Shupluy - 2:20
18. Ayer Te Vi (I Saw You Yesterday) - Los Hermanos del Ande - 2:51
19. Contamenina - Pedro Espinoza - 3:14
20. Yungay - Los Jilgueros de Matacoto - 2:51
21. La Resbalosa (The Slippery One) / Pichichanka Maliciosa (Naughty Sparrow) - Juventud de Yungay - 4:36
22. Muchachita No Seas Celosa (Little Girl, Don't Be Jealous) - Pedro Espinoza - 3:20
23. Kiswar Punta [On Top of Kiswar Hill) - Pedro Espinoza & Lorenzo Piscoche - 2:24

The recordings were made in 1980-1981, during an 18 month stay in the valley by Elisabeth den Otter.




  The Callejón de Huaylas is a 150 km. long valley in the Department of Ancash, in the north-central Peruvian highlands, 400 km. north of Lima. It is bordered by two mountain ranges, the Cordillera Negra (Black Range) to the West and the Cordillera Blanca (White Range) to the East. As the name indicates, there is no snow on the peaks of the Black Range; the glaciers of the White Range, like the Huascarán, reach over 6,000 meters above sea level. In 1970, an earthquake loosened a piece of this glacier, causing a mud avalanche which destroyed a number of villages. The Santa river runs all along the valley, into the Pacific Ocean near Chimbote.

The population of the Callejón consists of Quechua-speaking indians, mostly peasants who live in the mountain villages, and Spanish-speaking Mestizos (people of mixed indian and Spanish origin) who live in the small towns along the Santa river. The Mestizos dominate the indians, economically and politically, but changes in the life of the indians are brought about by (temporal) migration, education, military service and tourism.

The beauty of the valley, the horror of the earthquake, and the difficult everyday life of the inhabitants are the subjects of many songs.

Secular music & Religious music

Secular forms of music and dance in the Callejón de Huaylas are the huayno, the marinera and the waltz.

Religious music is played mostly during processions, at the occasion of patron saint festivals, Holy Week and Corpus Christi. Flute and drum ensembles and brass bands play special music, and traditional dance groups are accompanied by flutes and drums, harps and violins, or brass band instruments such as clarinets. During patron saint festivals, secular music - mostly huaynos - is played in the homes of the sponsors or in small bars...

read it all here : )
The population of the Callejón de Huaylas is primarily Quechua and Spanish-speaking Andeans, most of them small-scale and subsistence-farmers living in mountain villages, mixed with Spanish-speaking Mestizos in the small towns and cities along the Santa river. The richer Mestizos dominate politically and economically, but migration, education and tourism have brought changes in the population in recent decades.

Most Quechua families adhere to traditional forms of food, music, and dress, yet still have cell phones and typically raise Guinea Pigs and other farm animals in their farms. Although men have typically adopted modern pants, collared shirts and sweaters, Quechua women continue to wear llikllas and layered colored skirts called polleras in Spanish. Both men and women wear llanq'is, rudimentary sandals in the traditional style, although they are now made from recycled rubber from car tires. One can buy them in any size from the various markets in the region, for around 5 soles a pair.




Chants Et Tambours
Des Confréries Noires


01. Golpeado - Tambores De San Juan
02. Corrido/Trancado - Tambores De San Juan
03. Sangueo - Tambores De San Juan
04. Corrido - Tambores De San Juan
05. La Campana - Tambores De San Juan
06. El Campanero (Sangueo) - Tambores De San Juan
07. Golpe De Cantica - Tambores Chimbangueles De San Benito
08. Eha! Chocho - Tambores Chimbangueles De San Benito
09. Aje! - Tambores Chimbangueles De San Benito
10. Chimbangalero - Tambores Chimbangueles De San Benito
11. Misericordia - Tambores Chimbangueles De San Benito
12. Sangorodon - Tambores Chimbangueles De San Benito
13. Conjunto Redondos - Conjuntos De Bariovento
14. Tambores Redondos - Conjuntos De Bariovento
15. Conjunto Redondos - Conjuntos De Bariovento
16. Conjunto Tamboras - Conjuntos De Bariovento
17. Conjunto Fulia - Conjuntos De Bariovento
18. Conjunto Mina - Conjuntos De Bariovento
19. Tambor Quichimba - Conjuntos De Bariovento
20. Tonada De Quitiplas - Conjuntos De Bariovento
21. Conjunto De Quitiplas - Conjuntos De Bariovento 




Recorded in Venezuela, 1993 & 1994, liner notes and photography by Michel Plisson


Eugene Chadbourne says:

... also available as part of this label's somewhat ad hoc triple-CD box entitled Drums of South America, this collection of music that has been handed down from the liberated slaves of Venezuela deserves to stand on its own as one of the most haunting as well as relaxing listening experiences from this part of the world. Although any comparison with the other volumes would inevitably just be the result of coincidence, since there was no real aesthetic reason to package the three collections together other than marketing convenience, it helps to describe the music in saying that these conjuntos from Barlovento or tambores from San Juan and San Benito create music with a much more interactive relationship with their environment, as in the world around them, then do the perhaps musically more adept Cubans or the drum-splintering stronghands of the Guadalupe gwo ka tradition. To not be limited by Ocora's choice of box-set playmates, it can actually be said there is not much other music that can be said to be similar to these performances, not even the pieces presented in a Nonesuch Explorer collection that was released in the '70s based on the theme of black music from Venezuela. Producer Michel Plisson seems to have documented particularly deep performances, the drums reverberating through a space that seems timeless. Unless one lives in an urban center in which bird life has been vanquished, the possibility of combining these pieces with natural sounds from the outside world may seem logical and turns out to be inevitable in the performances themselves as small flutes and whistles eventually join the action, seeming to be approximating the sounds of jungle birds. The set concludes with pieces in which the small-stringed cuatro and wonderfully scratchy maracas flesh out the sound.



Listen! More Afro Venezuelan music : )

Big Mouth
Afro-Hispanic Music from Venezuela


01. Belén Palacios - Bocón
02. Maximilanio Huice - Yo Vine A Pasar Unos Tiempo
03. Tambores De Caraballeda - Apolinaria
04. Agustin "Chupa Caña" Rivas - Gallina No Tiene Teta
05. Agustin "Chupa Caña" Rivas - Yo Vengo Regando Flores
06. Los Veteranos - La Batalla
07. Los Veteranos - La Juruminga
08. Los Veteranos - Poco A Poco
09. Los Veteranos - Saragosa
10. Celsa Duarte - Un Saludo Vengo A Dar
11. Maria de Jesús Monterota - Mi Cochina
12. Conjunto San Juan De Curiepe - Carángano
13. Tambores de Naiguatá - Dale El Culo Al Viejo
14. Tambores de Naiguatá - San Juan 'ta Borracho
15. Los Tambores de Tarmas - San Juan De Tarmas
16. José González a.o. - Comadre Juana
17. Pedro Pablo Hernández - Adios Pueblos Cantadores



 A selection of beautiful field recordings of deeply rooted music from several Afrovenezuelan communities. Afrovenezuelan music—long marginalised—has lately become part and parcel of Venezuelan popular culture. But still it remains something of a terra incognita to the outside world. You may find that this CD opens up new rhythmic horizons to you.

The drums are a key to understanding the Afrovenezuelan universe. The drum family is quite extended, with easily distinguishable regional—and even local—types. The most important groups of drums represented on this record are the mina and curbata, the tambores redondos, and the cumacos. But Afrovenezuelan music is not just about drums; it also comprises other instruments, dance, literary invention, and lyrical improvisation. It becomes a synesthetic experience, a sensually encompassing artistical musical complex.

Each self-respecting village boasts its own golpe - its own individual rhythm, a symbol of the continuity of tradition and the unity prevailing in the village. This record presents music from the Afrobarloventeño region and from the villages of Caraballeda, Naiguatá, Tarmas and El Tocuyo. The accompanying booklet contains extensive information about the history and social meanings of these musical styles.


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TheTaste of Cocoa...

Son de Chuao
Sabor a Cacao


01. Mi Tambor (My Drum) - 2:17
02. Sabor a Cacao (The Taste of Cocoa) - 4:28
03. Bailar Con Mi Negra (Dancing with my Girl) - 4:06
04. La Cochina (The Pig) - 1:49
05. Se Formó la Rumba (The Party has Begun) - 4:45
06. La Cueva del Mato (The Cave of the Lizard) - 7:20
07. Cuando Suene un Tambor (When a Drum Sounds) - 3:13
08. Sirena - 0:23
09. Loé - 2:04
10. No le Rompas (Don't Damage the Drum) - 4:01
11. Corozo (The Fruit of the Custard-Apple Tree) - 2:38
12. Román - 5:24
13. Mi Bandera (My Flag) - 1:57
14. Venezuela es lo Mejor (Venezuela is the Best) - 1:52
15. El Mono (The Monkey) - 10:22
16. Los Cumacos de Chuao (The Cumaco Drums from Chuao) - 6:35
17. La Campana Suena (The Bell Tolls) - 0:41




 Afro-Caribbean percussion music and dance from Venequela's Cocoa Coast

The history of the blacks in Venezuela is closely linked to cocoa. The best cocoa is said to come from the region of Chuao. Here the offspring of the former slaves still play music which relates to their original African culture. Their drum dances, in which the cumaco drums play the central role, are energetic, frantic and fiery, and embody the collective memory of the Afro-Venezuelans.


 Chuao is a small village located in the northern coastal range of Venezuela. It was founded in the 16th century. The village is famous for its cacao plantations, where some of the finest cocoa beans in the world are produced. The village is surrounded by mountains and dense rainforests to the south Caribbean Sea near the Henri Pittier National Park the oldest national park in Venezuela created in 1937. There is no road access and visitors must come by boat from the town of Puerto Colombia along the coast, or by foot, crossing the mountains and the luxurious cloud forest from Turmero near Maracay.

In the Chuao plantation there are currently pure Criollo and hybrid varieties of cacao being grown. Criollo beans from Chuao are of very high quality, and are considered Venezuela's finest beans together with Porcelana Blanca beans from Lake Maracaibo (another genetically pure variety of Criollo). Amedei, an Italian chocolate maker, and Chocolate NAIVE, a Lithuanian bean-to-bar chocolate maker, offer chocolate bars made with Chuao cacao. Naive was the winner of the European gold medal at the International Chocolate Awards 2014.

In November 2000, the cacao beans coming from Chuao region were awarded an appellation of origin under the title "Cacao de Chuao" (from Spanish Cacao de Chuao) effectively making this one of the most expensive and sought after types of cacao.

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In the Land of Cocoa...

Tierra del Cacao
Music and Dance


01. El Saqueo (The revolt) - Villagers of La Sabana & Alexis Laja - 4:11
02. Ce Un Mes Que No Te Veo (A month has passed without seeing you) - Villagers of La Sabana - 4:14
03. San Juan / Gangue / Macizón - Villagers of La Sabana - 10:05
04. Cantica - Villagers of Bobures - 4:08
05. Ajé / Benito / Ajé - Villagers of Bobures - 4:20
06. Dale (Do it) - Villagers of Chuao - 1:28
07. Petra de las Marías - Villagers of Chuao - 2:47
08. Tema de los Cimarrones (The maroons from Chuao) - Villagers of Chuao - 1:17
09. Marisela - Agrupación Los Romeros’ - 3:22
10. La Estrella del Paraíso (The star from paradise) - Agrupación Los Tambores Quimbanganos - 6:53
11. Juan Rebolledo - Inocencio Caraballo - 3:46
12. Tonadas de Quichimba - Villagers of Curiepe - 5:28
13. Carángano - Villagers of Curiepe - 0:48
14. Tonadas de Quitiplás - Villagers of Curiepe - 5:53
15. Marimba - Villagers of Curiepe - 1:40
16. Ta Bueno Mayoral It's alright overseer) - Villagers of Curiepe - 4:21
17. Tonadas de Culo 'e Puya - Villagers of Curiepe - 4:10
18. Barlovento e' Tierra del Cacao (Barlovento is the land of cacao) - Villagers of Curiepe - 4:36




The African heritage is very diluted in Venezuela, but the 'black' drum dances are a big hit nowadays. This CD presents the little known music of six small and isolated black villages. Characteristic is the inventive use of polyrhythms and a general emphasis on rhythm as the most aesthetic organizing principle. Other characteristics are the use of call-and-response patterns and repetition of phrases. Instruments used are mainly all sorts of drums and percussion instruments, and some wind and string instruments. The 24-page booklet contains extensive notes on instruments and musical styles.

    "...If you want to party across the border, go to Venezuela [...]. Heavy, rattling drums and possessed wind players, vocalists who are echoing the melody in a frenzied variation. This is music that makes you go beside yourself, without using any means whatsoever..."

    René van Peer, Wereldmuziek Update, summer 1999

  "A CD, which is indispensible to approach and to comprehend a music that respires Africa and transpires Latin America. Essential."

    Etienne Bours, Trad' Magazine, July/August 1999

“Venezuela is in a league of its own,” said Gary Guittard, a California chocolate maker who buys Venezuelan cacao. “It takes years to develop the uniqueness of the best cacao, maybe 20 or 30 years, maybe 100, so other nations need to catch up.” 
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Entre Amigos...

The Venezuelan Waltz
Between Friends - Entre Amigos
El Vals Venezolano

01. Sol Llanero - Aquel - 3:57
02. Sol Llanero - A Bo So - 3:04
03. Pasacalle - Viajera Del Río - 3:29
04. Pasacalle - La Mañana - 4:06
05. Rúben Dario Sulbarán - Asi Eres Tu - 3:58
06. Rúben Dario Sulbarán - Nuestra Distancia - 2:58
07. Cuerdas Criollas - Teotyste - 2:41
08. Cuerdas Criollas - Noris - 2:47
09. Orquesta Tipica Municipal De Barquisimeto - ¡ah Mundo Barquisimeto! - 3:25
10. Orquesta Tipica Municipal De Barquisimeto - Pasillaneando - 2:31
11. Caida Libre - Natalia - 3:53
12. Juan Carlos Nuñez - No Me Olvides - 3:17
13. Caracas Sincrónica - Venezuela Y Colombia - 4:18
14. Cuerdas Criollas - Cachicameando - 1:35
15. Cuerdas Criollas - Ecos - 1:44
16. Orquesta Tipica Municipal De Barquisimeto - Arreboles - 2:31
17. Orquesta Tipica Municipal De Barquisimeto - Barquisimeto - 2:28
18. Pablo Fréitez - San Trifón - 5:19
19. Pablo Fréitez - No Hay Un Solo Tiempo - 2:59
20. Pasacalle - Hola Bonita - 3:53
21. Cántaro - Venezuela Emprende El Vuelo - 2:37
22. Sol Llanero - Entre Amigos - 3:09



 Entre Amigos

 On this record, ten different musical ensembles - ranging from symphony orchestra, to harp music, piano and string ensemble - offer sublime interpretations of Venezuelan waltzes. Without the friendship of these many musicians and composers, and of collaborators of Fundación Interchange and PAN-Records, this record couldn't have been produced. This may help to explain the choice of title for this unique CD.

The waltz was part of the romantic revolution in the realm of the ancient regime, first of the sentiments, later of politics, and with the 19th century it became the dance of modernity. The waltz signified a liberation from the feudal shackles of the old order, a victory of bourgeois culture; its rhythm a source of energy and spiritual regeneration. Because of its humble origins, its sensual movements, and the hypnotic trance it seemed to trigger, in conservative corners the waltz was long considered an enemy of true morals and virtue. But the waltz inevitably gained sophistication as an acceptable form of social intercourse.

During the 19th century, the waltz not only swept the Old World but also travelled along paths established by colonial relations around the world. Derived from European models, the waltz or valse swiftly crossed oceans and mountains, implanting itself in the most variegated musical landscapes and cultural niches. Simón Bolivar himself may have been one of the first to introduce this dance to Latin America.

The Venezuelan vals may well be the most sophisticated genre in Venezuelan musical culture. The vals became 'creolized' in both melody and meter, adopting elements from native - criollo, Afrovenezuelan, or even indigenous - musical traditions, and sometimes it is nearly impossible to distinguish the vals from other popular dance forms.

The dynamics of the history of the waltz in Venezuela was and still is motivated by the choices of musicians and by the ongoing dialectics between localism and cosmopolitanism.


 Dutch ethnomusicologist Bartolomeus Duysens, of Fundación Interchange, has done a tremendous job of tracking down contemporary groups playing the form in a wide range of styles, from harp-driven joropos and violin-drenched symphonies to minimalist guitar and piano pieces. The result is a collection of romantic songs that swing on tropical hips and are steeped in the sweet melancholy of the bolero.

    The disc also highlights the incredible talent of Venezuelan musicians who are rarely heard outside the country. With detailed liner notes that trace the history of the music and introduce each of the performers, this is a treat for anyone who loves the sound of strings."

    Russell Maddicks, Songlines, May/June 2003


The Venezuelan waltz is a hall dance and accompanying musical genre that was popularized in 19th-century Venezuela.

The two main types of waltz were the hall waltz and the popular waltz. The former was typically performed on piano. Key musicians in this genre were Federico Vollmer, Manuel Azpúrua, Manuel Guadalajara, Rafael Isaza, Heraclio Fernández, Rogelio Caraballo, Ramon Delgado Palacios, and Antonio Lauro.

The popular waltz was performed on traditional regional instruments, often the violin and the bandola accompanied by guitar, triple and cuatro. Most popular waltzes had anonymous composers.