SONG OF THE DAY Hugo Blanco – Cumbia Con Arpa

PrimaryHugo César Blanco Manzo, better known as Hugo Blanco, was a Venezuelan musician, composer, producer and arranger whose musical style earned him worldwide recognition. Combining a sizzling fusion of Cuban music, salsa, merengue and joropo (a musical style resembling the fandango), he also pioneered “the orquidea!, his own style of sound and named this unique genre in honour of the Venezuelan national flower.

Born in Caracas in 1940, Blanco took up the Cuatro at the age of 15, and taught himself how to play just by listening to the radio! By the time he was 18 years old he had written one of his most famous and popular compositions, Moliendo Cafe , which has since become one of the most recognised Venezuelan songs in the world!!

In the 1960s, Blanco composed many popular gaitas (Venezuelan musical style) with Simón Díaz called Gaitas de las Locas. He also founded what is widely considered to be the first Venezuelan ska group, Las Cuatro Monedas.…Venezuelan ska is definitely a new one for me!!! He didn’t stop there either and in the 1970s he founded the Venezuelan group Los Hijos De Ña Carmen. His career spanned over decades and his repertoire is just as lengthy!

Cumbia Con Arpa (translating as Cumbia With Harp) was written and released by Blanco in 1965 and issued on the Polydor label. This little tune is a blessed burst of sunbeams! The striking melody unravels its vibrant grip and envelops you with pure goodness, its as simple as that. The rhythm is understated, but by no means secondary and those rolling beats hit like a woodpecker, their contrasting tone an enriching accompaniment. This is a nice way to end the day! Enjoy!

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