Serenata Guayanesa

Serenata Guayanesa

Infobox musical artist
Name = Serenata Guayanesa

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Background = group_or_band
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Origin = flagicon|Venezuela Ciudad Bolívar, Bolívar state, Venezuela
Genre = Venezuelan folk music
Years_active = 1971-present
Label =
Associated_acts =
URL = [ Unofficial website]
Current_members = Iván Pérez Rossi, Baritone Vocals & Second cuatro
César Pérez Rossi, Bass Vocals & Percussion
Mauricio Castro Rodríguez, Contratenor Vocals & Percussion
Miguel Angel Bosch, Tenor Vocals, First cuatro & Guitar
Past_members = Hernán Gamboa Tenor Vocals & First cuatro (1971-1984)
Notable_instruments =

Serenata Guayanesa is a vocal and instrumental quartet playing typical Venezuelan folk music.

Origins of the group

In June 1971, the Bolivar state native singers and musicians Mauricio Castro Rodríguez (countertenor and drums), Hernán Gamboa (tenor and cuatro player), Iván Pérez Rossi (baritone and second cuatro player) and César Pérez Rossi (bass and drums) who were already experienced in playing and singing in other musical groups, met to sing together informally with some friends at the house of the then-governor, Manuel Guarrido. Mr. Guarrido asked them to make a recording of the music of the Guayana Region. They accepted and decided to record it with a local group led by the veteran musician and composer Carmito Gamboa (father of Hernán Gamboa), including players of the mandolin, violin, accordion and the Venezuelan cuatro (played by Hernán Gamboa), with the voices of the four young singers standing out. This LP was produced independently that August and called "Serenata Guayanesa" and it was released for the Zapoara Feria, celebrated in Ciudad Bolívar in 1971.

It seems that a copy of that LP arrived at the offices of the Caraqueño TV station "Cadena Venezolana de Televisión" (now VTV) and the four singers took part in a variety programme. When the presenter asked the name of the group, one of them answered that it was the same as the LP – until then none of the group had considered what the name should be.

In 2000, for the Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany, they had one of their rare concerts outside South-America. In honor to the "Venezuelan Day", they sang with a German Children's Cuatro Group.


Wanting to boost their popularity in the Venezuelan capital, the four members of the new group obtained their first recording contract in 1972 with the company "Palacio de la Música" (Music Palace), which put their recordings out under the label "Decca-London" (although the group were not formally contracted to Decca). That year a record “Serenata Guayanesa” appeared, with a different content to their first recording. The numbers "El Sapo" and the aguinaldo "Casta Paloma" by the Bolivaran composer Alejandro Vargas appeared, as well as the first composition by Iván Pérez Rossi (integrante), the aguinaldo "¿Donde está San Nicolás?", which became a hit later. However, their real success began with the album "Serenata Guayanesa Volume 2" (1973), with the songs "Calypso del Callao" (composed by the "Sociedad de Amigos del Calypso de El Callao") and the classic Venezuelan Christmas number "Aguinaldo Criollo" (by the writer Isabel de Umérez and composer Luis Morales Bance), both great hits, as well as the llanero number "Fiesta en Elorza" by the Venezuelan musician, composer and singer Eneas Perdomo.In 1978 the group decided to record an album of Christmas music, which was not widely known across Venezuela. This album, entitled "Serenata Guayanesa Volume 5: Popular Venezuelan Aguinaldos " included the hits "Corre Caballito" (anonymous) and "El Furruquero" (Iván Pérez Rossi). On this album the group’s singers, together with the singers and drummers Mauricio Castro and César Pérez Rossi, played their own accompaniment on instruments like the chineco and the furruco (vinculados for Christmas music).In 1981 their contract with "Palacio de la Música" expired and they signed with the Organización Diego Cisneros Sonorodven, who brought out an album of their greatest hits, including one new number "Señor Gabán". That contract also expired quicly and they signed with Sonográfica. By this time the group was established as the biggest in Venezuelan popular music. They then hit upon the idea of making an album of music for children, called "Cantemos con los niños" (Let’s sing with the children), which included specially written songs, poems set to music and traditional folk songs. This album was again a great hit, even among adults, with the numbers "La Pulga y el Piojo" and "Este Niño Don Simón". It is interesting to note that one very sentimental song was called "En Mi Pueblo Había Un Río" (In my village there was a river), which told the story of a village in which the native plants and wildlife died out. In 1983 Sonográfica brought out a series of records in homage to the nationalist leader Simón Bolívar including two albums with songs and fragments of speeches by Bolívar himself. The actor Gustavo Rodríguez read the speeches and the music was recorded by Serenata Guayanesa with Hernán Gamboa (his first recordings as a solo artist) and the late internationally renowned artist Jesús Soto, for the first and only time recorded singing and playing the guitar. After that Hernán Gamboa went on to pursue a solo career, while the pediatrician, singer and cuatrista caraqueño Miguel Ángel Bosch joined the group.With Bosch, the group recorded in 1984 a second album of music for children ("Cantemos con los niños, volumen 2") less successful than the first. However, the group recorded a second navideno LP entitled "Viene la parranda", with other musicians, for example a guest appearance by the cuatro and violin player Gualberto Ibarreto. Two years later, for their fifteenth anniversary, the group brought out an album "Caribe Abajo" of Latin American music, some composed specially, some already known. In this album the group was supported by the musicians Rafael, Kenny and Carlos Arrieta (on the caja, guacharaca and accordion, respectively) for a performance of the number in vallenato style "Mis Peroles" (composed by Iván Pérez Rossi), and their first videoclip was recorded in a humorous style.In 1991, the group recorded their first CD entitled "Si la tierra, tierra fuera", promoted by a further video. They had a new hit from this album with the interpretation of the pasodoble "Caracas Mi Ciudad" with the trumpeter Jorge Montenegro and the drummer Antonio Cestari. Their stay with the Sonográfica label was ended with their first live album, recorded at a concert at the Teresa Carreño Theatre, celebrating their 25th anniversary. This double album entitled "Una Amistad de 25 Años" (A 25 Year Friendship) had contributions by well known Venezuelan artists such as María Teresa Chacín, Cheo Hurtado, Simón Díaz, Gualberto Ibarreto, Vidal Colmenares, Ismael Querales, and the gaita zuliana singers Ricardo Cepeda and Abdenago "Neguito" Borjas.

After this, Serenata Guayanesa began to produce their own recordings, reissuing their previous albums with Sonográfica CD format, including numbers recorded in past times with new compositions. in 2003 the CD "Cantemos Con Los Niños" (Let’s Sing with the Children) presents a revised edition of their first album of Venezuelan music for children, in 2005 Serenata Guayanesa made the album "El Ferrocarril", with new compositions and new songs.

See also

*Venezuelan music
*Iván Pérez Rossi
*Hernán Gamboa

External links

* [ Unofficial website]
* [ Serenata Guayanesa Discography]
* ["Learn to play their songs"]

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