Nicaraguan Folk Music

Five posts in five days. Here is the last one. It was a good and fun-filled-fun packed week.

Over the last two months León (which I will never tire of lauding for its quality and frequent offerings of cultural events) has had two concerts from popular Nicaragua folk singers/bands. First, Katia Cardenal, came around for a free show, and just tonight Carlos Mejía Godoy and his brother, Luís Enrique, were accompanied by Carlos’ band plus a guitarist and collaborator of Luís Enrique.

I have put together a YouTube playlist of their music, if you are interested:

Katia is the niece of Padre Ernesto Cardenal, and originally sang with her brother, Salvador, in the Duo Guardabarranco (the Guardabarranco is the national bird. I’ve been trying to get a good picture, because it is a beautiful bird, but very energetic and always flying around.). Unfortunately he died of a rare blood disease, but she continued to sing and record, often with her daughter on the guitar. Her songs are usually about love, the environment, and sexual-domestic abuse.

The Mejía Godoy brothers are much older and have been performing since before the Revolution. Originally they were Sandinistas, but after the Revolution they began to disagree with the Sandinista government, and now they are politically opposed to the Ortega regime. Their music touches traditional themes, politics, and religion.

And believe it or not, Luis Enrique played an entire song about Charco Verde, Ometepe, where our tourism business development workshop was held this past week. I can’t find a YouTube version of the song, but it is all about Chico Largo, a local Charco Verde ghost/legend. Apparently if he is unhappy with you he will turn you into a cow. Luckily I did not get on his bad side last week.

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