Lo­cal, Live, and Latin

For a truly soul­ful, mu­si­cal ex­pe­ri­ence, we sug­gest two bands, Par­ran­dera and the duet CheGua­panGo, in Playa del Carmen both headed up by mu­si­cian and com­poser Vi­o­leta Varela

The Playa Times Riviera Maya's English Newspaper - - Art & Culture - BY NASH

Sur­pris­ingly enough, it can be dif­fi­cult to find live Latin mu­sic here in Playa del Carmen, as many bars are play­ing house mu­sic or old rock and roll. If you want to hear some Latin roots mu­sic and have a great time you will want to see Mex­ico’s own amaz­ing mu­si­cian Vi­o­leta Varela. She can be seen and heard play­ing in var­i­ous venues around Playa del Carmen.

She stud­ied mu­sic at Es­cuela Su­pe­rior de Música in Mex­ico City, learn­ing folk­lore and Latin rhythms and by the age of twenty, Vi­o­leta moved to Bel­gium and be­gan per­form­ing Mari­achi and folk­lore mu­sic through­out Europe. Tour­ing in coun­tries such as Hol­land, Spain, Lux­em­bourg, France, Swe­den, Nor­way and many more.

Now with 15 years ex­pe­ri­ence as a mu­si­cian and com­poser, she has a wide range of tal­ent and is a mem­ber of two dif­fer­ent mu­si­cal groups, one is a fe­male duet called CheGua­panGo. The duet con­sists of Vi­o­leta and Laura Bevilac­qua, with Laura on per­cus­sion, ca­jón and con­gas, and Vi­o­leta on gui­tar, vi­huela and vo­cals. This duet com­bines folk­lore from both of the women’s her­itage, Mex­i­can and Ar­gen­tinian rhythms.

Vi­o­leta is also a mem­ber of a band named Par­ran­dera. The name comes from a Latin root mean­ing “party all night long.”

Par­ran­dera plays a mix of heart-wrench­ing bal­lads and Latin folk, to cumbia and salsa that makes you want to dance, you may even hear some top 40 songs and old soul mu­sic with a spe­cial twist. They have unique and orig­i­nal mu­sic com­bin­ing tra­di­tional Latin mu­sic such as hua­pango (Mex­i­can folk mu­sic), chacar­era (a dance and mu­sic of Ar­gentina) and can­dombe (an Uruguayan mu­sic and dance orig­i­nat­ing from African slaves).

Hear­ing Vi­o­leta per­form touches your soul and makes you want to move your feet. Check out a sam­ple of Par­ran­dera’s tal­ent on YouTube by search­ing for Par­ran­dera Remix.

If you have an up­com­ing event and want an ex­cit­ing Latin band or want to check out where they are play­ing now, check them out on Face­book/CheGua­panGo and /Par­ran­dera or send a What­sapp to 9841670933.

A large part of paint­ings from New Spain were done with a di­dac­tic pur­pose of doc­u­ment­ing the ex­otic lands that Spain pos­sessed on the other side of the world.

A casta (lit­er­ally mean­ing “lin­eage”) was a hi­er­ar­chi­cal sys­tem used to de­scribe the mixed an­ces­try of peo­ple, mes­ti­zaje, in Spain’s post-Con­quest pe­riod. Es­tab­lished by white elites, the casta sys­tem, pri­mar­ily a so­cio-racial clas­si­fi­ca­tion, also im­pacted peo­ple in their so­cio-eco­nomic sta­tus and tax­a­tion.

The casta paint­ings had a surge dur­ing the 18th cen­tury in North Amer­ica. They greatly de­tailed the cas­tas of New Spain, who were prod­ucts of the mix­ture of var­i­ous eth­nic­i­ties in the New World: In­dige­nous peo­ple, Spa­niards, Africans, and Asians, to es­tab­lish a so­cial hi­er­ar­chy of the New World based on skin color, re­li­gion and racial lin­eage.

From this mes­ti­zaje, more than 50 cas­tas were cre­ated, in ad­di­tion to the ex­ist­ing so­cial classes. The most com­monly used in doc­u­ments in­cluded: Penin­su­lares (Spa­niards and other Whites born in Europe), Cri­ol­los (Spa­niards and other Whites born in Mex­ico), Mes­ti­zos (mixed Amerindian and Spa­niards), and In­dios (Amerindian peo­ple).

The cas­tas, who made up the ma­jor­ity of so­ci­ety, were from the lower class. There were be­wil­der­ing mix­tures be­tween Black, In­dian and Spa­niard that led to some fan­ci­ful terms. Some of the names used to iden­tify them in paint­ings and doc­u­ments were mu­lato, cam­bujo, lobo, coy­ote, cholo, among oth­ers. Some of

In ad­di­tion to in­di­cat­ing skin color and phys­i­cal traits, the casta paint­ings de­picted the cloth­ing and hair­style of each class. They also showed scenes from daily life, such as houses, mar­kets, kitchens with their uten­sils, and out­door scenes.

In other paint­ings, the great va­ri­ety of prod­ucts in th­ese “new” lands are shown in abun­dance. Many of th­ese paint­ings were sent back to Spain to show the lo­cal fruits, veg­eta­bles, and an­i­mals, which were con­sid­ered rare and ex­otic.

To­day, many of th­ese paint­ings be­long to pri­vate col­lec­tions, mu­se­ums, and we can also see them in spe­cial­ized mag­a­zines, that dis­cuss the be­gin­nings of Mex­i­can so­ci­ety.

Vi­o­leta Varela / Photo: Face­book/Par­ran­dera

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