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
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