by Cathy Oliverson
It was a great day for son jarocho on Sunday, January 22, when Los Soneros del Tesechoacán came to Casa de La Guerra for a workshop in the music and dance of Veracruz. Seventy-five people attended the session co-presented by ¡Viva el Arte de Sánta Barbara, ProyectoJAROCHO, and the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. Led by Adrián Luna and Pablo Tadeo Sanchez from Playa Vicente, Veracruz, more than a dozen jaraneros, including musicians from ProyectoJAROCHO, others from as far away as Camarillo, and a couple of absolute beginners, practiced on jaranas of all sizes. The enchanting sound and heartening sight of people playing for fun, outside, under the oak and a blue sky, brought smiles to those strolling by the Casa on this beautiful afternoon.
Off to one side Soneros leader Arturo Barradas gave a private lesson to a serious new jaranero from Ellwood School who quickly picked it up. Members of Xochipili and Raices de Mi Tierra were joined by others from the community for the lesson in zapateado jarocho coached by Margarita Saldaña and Patricia Barradas.
After nearly two hours of practice all the participants crowded into the comedor for a high-energy session of dance to live music. Friends, parents and siblings, and a few tourists, spilled out the doors and watched from the window. The workshop was a huge success and the beautiful venue played an important part.
Cathy Oliverson is the Manager for Performing Arts and Educational Outreach at UCSB Arts & Lectures. Thank you Cathy, for contributing to Dispatches, and for being a part of this great partnership between some of Santa Barbara’s most valuable cultural organizations.