al Cazar el Carpincho Azul

Musings on my move to Nicaragua in search of the elusive Carpincho Azul.


Central American Idol

Saturday night Paulo and I went to see the Third Annual Festival of Youth Songs, which was dedicated to Salvador Cardenal (of Duo Guardabarranco). Actually, we thought it would just be a concert of his music and music of his friends; however, it turned out to be more like American Idol.

The concert was televised live on Canal 12, local to Managua. Miss Nicaragua was one of the emcee's--a slender woman with an odd lisp and practically no recognizably Nicaraguan features. She came out wearing a very bizarre tiara. It must have been at least 10 in. tall at its highest point.

The Festival part of the show was a competition among 14 young people from around Nicaragua. They each sang one selection, and there was a range of musical styles and themes, from Ranchero to love ballads. There was even one rockero, dressed in a long black leather coat with black leather pants. His legs seemed to be made of wood, especially when he danced in a strange, pogo-stick fashion.

Happily, the judges agreed with Paulo and my judgment on who were the best performers. First place went to a young woman from Matagalpa and the composer of her selection, another woman. The song was about Nicaragua (as were many others), and had a lovely lilting quality with a typical melodic style reminiscent of Nicaraguan folk music. Second place was taken by a trio from Estelí, also in a typically folkloric style, but one that more approached ranchero style. The trio was composed of a guitarrón (giant guitar), accordion, and regular guitar. They had written the song themselves, about environmental destruction and each person's responsability for protecting our surroundings. It was very good.

The part that was dedicated to Salvador was ok, but the musical arrangement of his songs was not very good. Our friend Osiris participated in a quartet of singers performing a medly of Guardabarranco songs. The arranger totally deformed the music. Also performing (as soloists) were Alejandro Filio (of Mexico) and Luis Pastor (related to the Mejía Godoy family of Nicaragua). Filio was pretty good, nice guitar work and folksy songs.

Overall an enjoyable evening, even though not quite what we had expected. Osiris gave us tickets in the orchestra section, 4th row, so we had a good view of everything. We're going back to the theatre tonight. I'm sure our seats won't be quite as good.


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