News Latin 21/09/2016
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'El Alma De Puerto Rico: A Ji­baro Tradition' - Ecos De Borinque

'El Alma De Puerto Rico: A Ji­baro Tradition' - Ecos De Borinque

New York, NY (Top40 Charts) On October 21, Smithsonian Folkways will release 'El Alma de Puerto Rico: A Ji­baro Tradition' by Ecos de Borinquen, the 46th installment of the label's "Tradiciones" Latino music series of new albums that showcase the diverse musical heritage of the more than 50 million Latinos living in the USA. For the past 35 years, the GRAMMY and Latin Grammy-winning ensemble Ecos de Borinquen has captured the heart and soul of jÃibaro creole folk traditions; with their distinctive, soulful sounds and progressive instrumentation, the group represents a unique balance between tradition and innovation. The collection features 16 tracks lasting a total of 59 minutes and is accompanied by a 40-page booklet with bilingual notes that delve deep into the ji­baro musical tradition.

With 'El Alma de Puerto Rico' (The Soul of Puerto Rico) -- the group's second release with Smithsonian Folkways -- Ecos de Borinquen showcases a variety of traditional genres considered the essence of jibaro music, including seis, aguinaldo, and cadena. Revered trovador and founding member Miguel Santiago Di­az's poetic mastery of traditional decima is cradled in progressive instrumental arrangements by fellow member Ramon Vazquez Lamboy for two cuatro guitars. The cuatro, a six-stringed guitar, is ji­baro music's most iconic string instrument.

Rooted in the rich history of Puerto Rico, ji­baros were originally rural farmers who descended from the racial mixing of peoples that coexisted on the island through 400 years of Spanish rule: indigenous Taino, European and African. Ji­baros developed a creole culture and music distinctly different from the urban communities at the time. Whether dancing to mark the end of harvest season or singing to tell stories during work in the fields, ji­baros incorporated music into their daily life.

On 'El Alma de Puerto Rico', "Cadenas" is a stunning example of a song sung during work, describing a rural scene in which a loved one washes clothes in the river. The celebration of folk Catholic traditions played a pivotal role in ji­baro music, and "Un sol de esperanza" and "Plegaria" are traditional aguinaldos, displays of the vows Catholic devotees sang to patron saints at domestic altars or large celebrations.

Using his knowledge of tradition while recently incorporating young talent into the group's sound, Ramon Va­zquez has continued to keep Ecos de Borinquen in the forefront of jibaro music. 'El Alma de Puerto Rico' will become a memorable recording for both jíbaro and folk music fans.

'El Alma de Puerto Rico' Tracklist:
1. Soñando con regresar (Dreaming of Returning)
2. Neustro amigo el flamboyán (Our Friend the Flame Tree)
3. El Alma de Puerto Rico (The Soul of Puerto Rico)
4. Paraíso borincano (Borinquen Paradise)
5. Homenaje a Juan González (Tribute to Juan González)
6. Gloria al idioma espaáol (Glory to the Spanish Language)
7. Hospitalidad (Hospitality)
8. El Rodadero (The Rodadero)
9. Un sol de esperanza (A Light of Hope)
10. Comerío vibra en mí (Puerto Rock Resonates in Me)
11. Tres generaciones (Three Generations)
12. Cadenas (Cadenas)
13. Fiesta en el batey (Fiesta in the Batey)
14. Gloria (Gloria)
15. Por amor (For Love)

About the 'Tradiciones' (Traditions) Series:
The Smithsonian Folkways Recordings Latino Music Initiative proudly offers a series of new releases that showcase the diverse musical heritage of the more than 50 million Latinos living in the USA. Building on the Smithsonian archives' nearly 200 historic albums of music from Latin America and Latino USA, the new releases highlight musical traditions that further broaden the cultural representation of the national museum's collection. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings reaffirms its non-profit mission by offering greater access to the musical heritage of Latinos from many backgrounds.

About Smithsonian Folkways:
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution, the national museum of the United States. As part of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, we are dedicated to supporting cultural diversity and increased understanding among people through the documentation, preservation, and dissemination of sound.

Our mission is the legacy of Moses Asch, who founded Folkways Records in 1948 to document "people's music," spoken word, instruction, and sounds from around the world. Smithsonian Folkways has continued to expand on Asch's legacy, adding several other record labels to the collections, such as Cook, Monitor, and the UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music, and releasing over 400 new recordings that document and celebrate the sounds of the world around us. With the acquisition of Arhoolie Records, the collection consists of more than 3,500 albums and 50,000 tracks along with videos, playlists, podcasts, lesson plans for teachers, and Smithsonian Folkways Magazine.

More Info on Smithsonian Folkways:
Official Website:

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