Artist Profiles: Cheo Hurtado

Cheo Hurtado

Asdrúbal José Hurtado, better known as Cheo Hurtado is an acclaimed musician, who received many awards and plays the four-string cuatro, in addition to several other string instruments t. This small instrument is normally used for the rhythmic accompaniment in the folkloric tradition of Venezuela, but Hurtado plays it so sophisticated that it becomes an outstanding solo instrument.

Cheo Hurtado was born in Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela on May 2, 1960. Son of the guitarist and composer of Venezuelan popular music, Ramón Hurtado, his master, who initiated him in the field at 7 years of age. At 13 he won the first prize in the National Cuatro Festival.

Between 1975 and 1983 he worked as a teacher of cuatro, guitar and mandolin in the Ciudad de Bolivar Culture House, where he founded in 1977 the Carlos Raúl Villanueva Students Band. He was also founding member of the Cuerda de Carmito, a traditional Guyanese musical group, and played acoustic bass in the Angostura Orchestra, conducted by Juanito Arieta. In 1985 Cheo Hurtado moved to Caracas where he founded the well-known Gurrufío Esemble together with Luis Julio Toro and Cristóbal Soto. He was also member of Un Solo Pueblo, a pop music group, and conductor of the Costa Caribe Group and of Bandolas de Venezuela.

Cheo Hurtado has played together with many national and international music figures such as Alirio Díaz, Aldemaro Romero, Paquito D’Rivera, Oscar D’Leon, Simón Diaz, Bela Fleck, Serenata Guayanesa, Soledad Bravo, Lilia Vera, María Teresa Chacín among others.

With Gurrufío Ensemble, Costa Caribe and Bandolas de Venezuela he has toured the USA, Japan and Europe since 1982.

Discography

La Cuerda de Carmito Vol. 1 (1981)
La Cuerda de Carmito Vol. 2 (1986)
El Seis Guayanés (1988)
Costa Caribe Vol. 1 (1989)
Que Te Vaya Bien, with Costa Caribe (1990)
Bandolas de Venezuela (Musicarte/Dorian, 1990)
Sin Fronteras, with Costa Caribe (1991)
Compadre Pancho (Musicarte/1993)
Maroa, with Ensamble Gurrufío (1993)
Cruzao, with Ensamble Gurrufío (Dorian, 1994)
Music from the Orinoco River (Ocora, 1996)
El trabadedos, with Ensamble Gurrufío (Sony, 1997)
Cuatro arpas y un cuatro (Tropical Music, 1998)
Cosas del ayer, with Ensamble Gurrufío (1998)
Ensamble Gurrufío con la Orquesta Sinfónica Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho (1999)
Ensamble Gurrufío en vivo, with Ensamble Gurrufío (1999)
33 de 4 (2000)
Seis Guayanés (Fundación Bigott, 2002)
En Vivo, with Camerata Criolla (2002)
Sesiones con Moisés Torrealba, with Ensamble Gurrufío (2002)
El cuatro suelto (Fundación Bigott, 2004)
El Reto, with Ensamble Gurrufío (2004)
42 años Instrumenteando (2009)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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