The Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, with the support of the Center for Cultural Diversity in Caracas and Chevron Corporation, have teamed up to record an album by the Venezuela’s beloved folk music ensemble Serenata Guayanesa. The group was officially recognized as National Patrimony by the Venezuelan government on November 18 of last year.
The announcement came from the Venezuelan Vice-minister of Culture for Identity and Cultural Diversity at the Ministry of Culture, Benito Irady, who said that a delegation of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, headed by its Director Daniel E. Sheehy, is in Venezuela carrying out the recording.
Irady, who is also the President of the Center for Cultural Diversity, explained that the project is part of an ongoing collaboration between this organization, Folkways Recordings and the Embassy of Venezuela in Washington. The initiative started off in 2008 with several auditions of Venezuelan music groups held at the Center and other locations in Venezuela, which later led to the first two albums of Venezuelan music in the Smithsonian Folkways’ collection, a prestigious world music label founded in 1948.
Serenata Guayanesa’s recording is the third collaborative project, after “Y que Viva Venezuela!” by the Maestros del Joropo Oriental and soon to be released “Parranda!” by the La Sardina de Naiguatá.
In January 2010, the musical group Maestros del Joropo Oriental won “Best Latin Album” for its record “Y que Viva Venezuela!” at the 9th Independent Music Awards (IMAs).
Serenata Guayanesa’s recording session is taking place on the second week of January in Ciudad Bolívar in southeastern Venezuela, and also includes the participation of master cuatro player “Cheo” Hurtado.
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is the non profit music label of the Smithsonian Institution. For more information visit their website.
Center for Cultural Diversity / Press – Embassy of Venezuela to the U.S. / January 11, 2012