By MARTA HEPLER-DRAHOS email@example.com
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — The Dennos Museum Center will continue its concert series highlighting world cultures when it presents Cimarron at 7 p.m. Sunday in Milliken Auditorium.
The Smithsonian Folkways and Grammy-nominated recording artists from Colombia, South America, are steeped in the sounds of "Los Llanos," a grassland plain region where life revolves around country ranches and where music accompanies daily tasks like milking and cattle drives.
“The cimarron is the bull that knows no rope, corral, nor iron, the steer that has not been lassoed nor branded and ranges free on the savannas and surrounding forests,” band harpist and composer Carlos Rojas Hernández has said. “That concept always struck me; nothing can be closer to the creative spirit that constitutes the essence of plains music, than that feeling of freedom.”
In keeping with the mestizo people that inhabit Los Llanos — descendants of Spanish settlers, African slaves and Indigenous Indians —Cimarron explores and experiments with its rich heritage while retaining the essence of the tradition. Particularly striking is the festive dance music called joropo, a virtuoso display of rippling melodies played on harp, bandola and cuatro, accompanied by bass, cajon and maracas. The rapid and joyous music is sung with high-pitched voices reminiscent of Andalusian gipsy roots.
Considered the most accomplished llanera group in Colombia, the seven-piece Cimarrón has been performing around the world for over 20 years. In Traverse City, it will offer a second performance for schools at 9:30 a.m. on Monday.
Tickets for the group’s Sunday concert are $28 at the door and $25 in advance at the museum box office, 995-1553 or online at www.dennosmuseum.org. Ticket-holders can visit the museum’s galleries an hour before the concert and attend a post-concert reception with the performers.