The joropo is a musical genre native to Venezuela, whose paternity is also claimed by Colombia. It has a ternary rhythm in compás up to 3/2, it is danced in pairs and draws from the Creole tradition. However, the new kings of her reside in Aragon, and the music they make exceeds (not excludes) that scheme. There are six of them, they have been grouped together under the name Los Reyes del Joropo and make their public debut this coming weekend, with a double concert (January 21 and 22) at the Campana Underground in Saragossa (Prudence, 7). Both concerts will start at 8:00 p.m. and tickets can be obtained at Entradium for 8.40 euros, although there are no more tickets left for Saturday.
Miguel Yrureta, the band’s bassist, has a long career in the local scene, with presence in Las Flores Venenosas, The Caracols, Big City, Tachenko or Dream Lovers. The first step of this new initiative came from him. “I started giving guitar lessons about three years ago to two friends: Tomás Sancho, who now plays the ukulele in the band, and Vicente Garralaga, who is in charge of the guitar. They had never been in groups. We met on Thursdays, and one day Paco Lahiguera joined; I’ve known him since 1991 and we already met in another group, Las Flores Venenosas, where Pedro Vizcaíno was also playing the bass. Pouring the vermouth in Pedro’s bar, the Sanpedro, we have also polished details of all this”.
Paco’s arrival marked a before and after for the joropero conspiracy. “We tried songs we were rehearsing with him by Neil Young and the Byrds,” explains Miguel, “and he said he would come back. Another day he came with a mariachi version of ‘Golden Brown’ that Hugh Cornwell did with the Stranglers in the 70s. That’s where it all started; We kept adapting songs by Calexico, and Paco finished motivating himself He hadn’t played in groups since 2008, dedicated to other things; The last thing he got involved in was El Galgo Rebelde. He has given Los Reyes a lot of enthusiasm and desire, in addition to contributing everything he knows in the technical aspect “.
The union made strength
The four hard workers, two veterans and two new ones in the trenches, were putting together a repertoire. Miguel then called the trumpeter and guitarist Andrés Mazo, part of the Vero Mezcal group, to consider joining the band, and he did. Finally, Teodora Doneva arrived. “She is a Bulgarian girl who lives here, an impressive musician; she plays everything and also has a very good voice. In Los Reyes del Joropo she is in charge of the violin and sings some songs. With the two of them new possibilities of arrangements and versions opened up for us” .
Miguel remembers that the allusion to the joropo in the name is not rigid. “We don’t stick to that genre; ours has to do with more things. In addition to those mentioned, we also cover Love, Scott Walker or The Smiths, and we do ‘El cascabel’, a classic mariachi that Calexico recorded. Paco has also released an intro own jopera, and we have adapted ‘Un viaje a la Luna’, a song by Paco that he recorded with El Niño Gusano, to this vibe when he was part of the group; It’s on the last album they released, ‘El efecto lupa’.
Los Reyes del Joropo are still not thinking of their own album, although obviously the idea is there, on the horizon. “We wanted to put together a repertoire to be able to play in any ditio. We were going to premiere on Christmas Eve at La Magdalena, but it could not materialize and in the end it will be at La Campana. For the first day there are no advance tickets left, and for the second there are few. It’s a small place, which we like very much and where we will surely have a great time”.
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The Kings of Joropo take their reviews of classics to La Campana