Livingston Arts welcomes Venezuelan Harpist Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera

Diaz Herrera edited

Mt. Morris, NY-February 22, 2017 – GLOW 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.

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