In Venezuela, the Christmas holidays are special. We get full of happiness and hope; we give away hugs, smiles and humor; brotherhood and spirituality pervade us. The Baby Jesus and Santa Claus are coming with our most desired wishes!
At Christmas, the whole family gets together to set up the Christmas tree and the Nativity scene. The eggnog and the “hallacas” are made following Grandma’s cherished recipes; and the chicken salad, the roasted pork leg and the ham bread complement the succulent Christmas dinner. What makes Christmas special in Venezuela is the music. At any home, a “cuatro” comes out, and then a guitar, a “tambora”, an aunt can sing, the cousins sing along the choirs, and the friend of the friend who dropped by can play the “maracas”. There is improvisation, stories, jokes and the carousal lasts until dawn …
In the last 5 years, we have attempted to recreate this festive ambiance in our Christmas concerts. This production “Hallacas con Flauta” attempts to capture the magic created during the concerts, characterized by spontaneity. Children and adults sing along on the stage, improvising upon the Christmas classic songs both local and international.
Thes concerts and this CD also present a possible solution to two concerns and I have been working in the past few years: to help our children learn the traditional carols, gaitas and holiday songs that are being forgotten; and also to create a meeting point for Venezuelans who share the same roots but live in a divided country.
Music has the extraordinary power to heal the soul’s ailments. Let’s sing together for a united Venezuela and let’s learn to coexist in harmony, while respecting our differences. I know it will be difficult to satisfy everybody and we attempted to select a wide repertoire of those songs that always pop up in our hearts during Christmas.
In this CD “Hallacas con Flauta” as well as in our concerts, there are famous guests, as well as new voices. Some had never set foot in a studio before, such as 18-month-old Kaí, 3-year-old Camila y Sandra, 4-year-old Juanjo, 7-year-old Rosa Inés, 11-year-old Ibel, 12-year-old Jesús and 13-year-old Elvis David; also some reputed artists such as Cepeda, Chavín y Betulio threw themselves into this production with such enthusiasm as if it were their first CD.
This is a big united family of dreamers. Each put a small grain of sand to create a gift of pure happiness for Venezuela. Grandmothers and mothers, put your aprons on; children, get on with the cords to tie up the "hallacas"; fathers, put the pork leg in the oven; aunts, check the taste of the hallacas’ filling; all count!
Get the CD player ready because here is “Hallacas con Flauta” to help along. Merry Christmas!