What does Venezuela sound like? The best answer to this question is perhaps provided by the band Los Vasallos del Sol (in English, “Vassals of the Sun”). This 25-member group interprets diverse musical traditions that speak of local heritage in many different parts of the country, from the Afro-Venezuelan rhythms of the Caribbean coast to the llanera ballads of the inland plains.
Formed in 1990, Los Vasallos have recorded five albums to date, most recently the 15-year anniversary disc, Quince años (2005). While in the past they were solely supported by the private sector, now they also receive government support and exemplify Venezuela’s new vision of cultural inclusiveness. They are best heard live, for their drumming, dancing, and costumes will dazzle spectators and inform them about Venezuelan culture.
Luckily for us, Los Vasallos are taking their act on tour in the U.S. next week and will be performing in San Francisco, Washington DC, and Houston. For details on these concerts, visit the Venezuela in Your Town section of this blog.