GLOW Traditions

GVCA.Harp Concert 5.5x8.5 SingleGLOW Traditions at Livingston Arts presents an afternoon of traditional South American music, Sunday, March 26, performed by Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera on the Arpa Llanera or Venezuelan Harp. Dr. Díaz-Herrera will give a pre-concert talk at 2:00 pm and perform at 3:00 pm. Both events will be held at the Riviera Theatre at 4 Center Street, Geneseo, NY.

The concert will feature the music of the Colombian-Venezuelan plains (Los Llanos Colombo-Venezolanos), where the harp takes a leading role. Attendees will enjoy the rich melodies of Latin American music performed on a unique variation of one of the world’s oldest instruments.

The history of the harp in the Americas begins when the Spaniards brought the first harp to the New World over 500 years ago. From these encounters, indigenous cultures of South America reinvented the harp using tropical woods and developing different playing techniques. Along with a small four-stringed guitar (the cuatro) and maracas, the harp completes a trio well-known in the Joropo style that originated in the region. Joropo music and accompanying dance resembles fandango, with African, Native South American and European influences.

Jorge started playing the Venezuelan harp as a young teenager in his native Barquisimeto, Venezuela. He learned the basics from other harpists, who frequently played in the streets and for social events. It was also a way for a younger teen to gain acceptance with his older peers. Jorge built his first harp since he could not afford one; he now plays on a traditional harp crafted in Venezuela.

After moving to the United States, Díaz-Herrera had a group, “Pequeña Venecia,” in Washington DC in the late eighties-early nineties, performing in numerous venues, including the Smithsonian Museum of American History. In Rochester, he formed the group “Son la Loma,” that performed until 2009. Since then, he performs solo at a variety of venues including, most recently, a benefit recital for the Arts Council of Rochester and the Geneva Music Festival last June. Dr. Díaz-Herrera is the 19th President of Keuka College.

This program is made possible with funding from the New York State Council on the Arts’ Folk Arts Program with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Contact Karen Canning at or call 585-243-6785.

Please join us April 29, 2017 for our annual Square Dance!


Download our flyer (8.5 x 11 PDF)
Livingston Arts invites you to our annual Round & Square Dance on Saturday, April 29, 2017 from 7:30-10:30 p.m., in the elementary gymnasium at York Central School, 2578 Genesee St., Retsof. Admission is $5 Adults; $3 Spectators, 18 & under free and all ages are welcome. Music and calling will be provided by Kelly’s Old Timers, now counting 60+ years of performing, along with members of the Geneseo String Band led by SUNY Geneseo Professor, Jim Kimball.

If you’ve never been to a square dance, you can come early at 7:00 p.m. and learn the basic steps. No special clothing or prior knowledge is required—beyond knowing one’s left from one’s right! The dance is truly a fun evening for all ages, and a great opportunity to enjoy a longtime local tradition. Refreshments will be available.

Eric Kelly, leader of Kelly’s Old Timers and MS-HS instrumental music teacher at York, tells us that many a square dance was held in the gym in years past. The band was started by his uncle, Woody Kelly and father, Roger in the 1950’s. The group continues with Doug Kelly calling the dances and playing bass, Eric on keyboards and vocals, Guy Macaluso on keyboards, vocal, trumpet and guitar, and Tom Kwiecien on drums. Members of the Geneseo String Band will join the group on fiddles, guitar, banjo, mandolin and washboard.

The event is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NYS Legislature. For more information email Karen Canning at or or call 585-243-6785.


GLOW Traditions supports our area’s living cultural heritage through documentation and public programming of traditional arts. It operates collaboratively among the Arts Council for Wyoming County, Livingston Arts, and the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council. This regional program has been led since 1997 by founding Director, Karen Canning. Our programs receive major support from the Folk Arts Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, as well as regional community, business and government support, and funding from national foundations such as the National Endowment for the Arts and the GRAMMY Foundation.

Traditional or folk arts are the ways a group maintains and passes on its shared way of life. They are usually learned informally, yet remain important expressions of a community’s sense of beauty, identity and values. They range from verbal “lore” like local ghost stories, children’s rhymes or family sayings, to material arts like woodcarving, quilting or fly tying, to performance arts like fiddling, break dancing, or square dance calling. Your family, your church, your neighborhood – these are all groups that practice and maintain creative traditions that give meaning to everyday life.

GLOW Traditions presents performances, workshops, demonstrations, exhibits and educational opportunities year-round.  Here is a sampling of some of our programs:

  • Annual Round and Square Dance in Livingston County, supporting a long tradition of live music and eastern-style square dancing
  • Music and dance concerts featuring Irish, Italian, Polish, German, Hispanic and Eastern European traditions
  • Festive Foodways: presentations of celebratory culinary traditions of different cultures
  • Hispanic holiday and life traditions, such as Three Kings Day celebrations and Quinceanera arts
  • Occupational folklife and folklore of the Retsof Salt Mine and former mining community of Little Italy
  • Accordion Fest, featuring musicians and instruments from diverse ethnic and regional traditions
  • Workshops and apprenticeships in traditional music

Other current GLOW Tradition events in our region can be found at:

GO! Art GLOW Traditions