Colombian Gaita Fire

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings has released the latest album by Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto,

Un Fuego de Sangre Pura
. The album features 14 new tracks, recorded in
Colombia and New York. “Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto has been the most important
gaita ensemble in Colombia since the mid-1950s
,” writes Hispanic music scholar Ana
Maria Ochoa in the liner notes.

This CD represents a vibrant,
living tradition from a war-torn country. Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto has been a
Colombian music institution since the 1930s, having toured China, Russia, Japan,
Germany, France, Italy, Spain and other European countries in their long tenure.
The group won a 1968 Olympic Cultural Medal. The frontmen on the recording are
Joaquín Nicolás Hernández (gaita and maraca), Manuel Antonio “Tono” García (gaita)
and Juancho “Chuchita” Fernandez (vocals), all descendants of founding members
of the group.

The album title, translated to mean ‘A Fire of Pure Blood,’ refers to cumbia music’s mythical status as emblematic of its community of origin; the cumbia originated along Colombia’s Caribbean perimeter, the living legacy of Spanish, African and indigenous peoples.

Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto are masters of Colombia’s puya and porro music as well as gaita corrida. The gaita ensemble consists of two duct-flutes called gaitas (not to be confused with the Spanish gaita, which is a bagpipe), a maraca, and three drums and may contain a singer. The gaita, a wind instrument fashioned from wood, beeswax and a feather, actually has indigenous origins.

[Buy Un Fuego de Sangre Pura].