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Camac llaneras at the Villavicencio Torneo Internacional del Joropo

Jakez has been in Villavicencio, Colombia, presenting our Edmar Castaneda Llanera 35, and Electric Llanera 37, at the Torneo Internacional del Joropo. This huge festival is about Joropo – its music, dance and tradition. Joropo is one of the musical riches of Los Llanos Orientales, along the Eastern side of Colombia, as well as of its neighboring country, Venezuela. The Llanera harp is a leading instrument in this music.

You can see some pictures on our Instagram feed, where we document our adventures on the road.

We were particularly delighted to be able officially to present our harps together with their inspiration himself – Edmar Castaneda. It was Edmar who asked us to build a modern llanera harp, with levers. He joined us, in his native Colombia, at the Villavicencio Casa de Cultura to demonstrate the realization of his dream.

If your background is in Celtic and concert harps, as ours is, do you easily imagine that across the Atlantic is an enormous land of the harp, a vast continent, with so many different variations in instrument construction, a dizzying number of rhythms, and sometimes the feeling that everyone you meet plays the harp? Our company had always been interested in South America, ever since the Camac Society began with the import of South American flutes, and indeed named us after the Quechua god Pachacamac. But we didn’t begin to realize quite how incredible the world of the llanera harp is, until we made one. Edmar Castaneda’s vision has opened up a new world, and the story is still just beginning.

You can follow Edmar’s extraordinary career, and find out where you can hear him playing next, on his site and FB page. He zigzags across the globe with his unique blend of Colombian traditional music, and Latin jazz, taking audiences and critics by storm.

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