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Son Jarocho

 NYC based Radio Jarocho and local Mexilachian ensemble Lua team up to present a performance and workshop of Son Jarocho music and culture on Saturday, December 10 at McGuffey Art Center

Schedule: 3pm Zapateado Workshop (bring hard bottomed dancing shoes), 4pm Son strumming and Rhythm workshop (bring a stringed instrument) and percussion.

7pm ~ Son Jaroch Culture and Music Presentation (studio 11, use the Market Street Side Door to enter the building).

Luminaria Cville and Virginia Foundation for the Humanities are sponsoring two workshops and a performance presentation of Son Jarocho music, a traditional folk music from Veracruz that blends elements of African rhythms, Spanish poetry and melodies, and native Mexican culture. 

The performance will feature master sonero Zenen Zeferino, from Jaltipan, Veracruz and the zapateado dancer Julia del Palacio, from Mexico City, both of the NYC based ensemble Radio Jarocho, performing together with Estela Knott and David Berzonsky, both of the Charlottesville based Mexilachian group, Lua.  There will be a zapateado (rhythmic foot dance) workshop at 3 pm, followed by a son jarocho rhythm and song technique workshop at 4 pm. Bring your guitars, mandolins, or ukuleles! At 7 pm, there will be a performance presentation of traditional and original son jarocho music. 

These two groups were brought together this September during the 4th annual Cville Sabroso festival, Charlottesville’s festival of Latin American music and dance, and are engaging in a number of workshops and performance presentations in local schools during the first week of December, a residency sponsored and funded by Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. The events on Saturday December 10 are the final events that culminate the residency.

Son Jarocho is the traditional music of the countryside of the state of Veracruz, in southern Mexico. It is a music based around a community celebration, the fandango, and is a very inclusive community centered style, very similar in context to the old time fiddle music of our region.  Son jarocho music features a family of instruments, the jarana, requinto and leona, which are the descendants of 18th century baroque Spanish guitar instruments.  The percussion is provided by rhythmic dancing, zapateado, reminiscent of the clogging styles of the Appalachian mountains, but featuring African rhythms, and the singing is an energetic call and response style, based on specific poetic forms, the duplo and the decima, in which completing singers improvise verses. 

Zenen Zeferino, from Jaltipan, Veracruz and Julia del Palacio, from Mexico City are masters of this style of music and perform regularly in New York City with their group, Radio Jarocho.  Estela Knott and David Berzonsky are the directors of Luminaria Cville, a cultural arts project housed at McGuffey Art Center, and are founders of the band Lua, which plays Mexilachian music, an energetic and evocative mix of Mexican and Appalachian roots music.  You can see them regularly on Thursday night at the Bebedero at dinner time. These events are free and open to the public.

For more information: email:

Date: December 10th, 3-9 pm

Where: McGuffey Art Center, Studio 11

Photo caption:  Zenen Zeferino and Julia del Palacio performing son jarocho

This program was supported by a grant from Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH).  

About VFH: The mission of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities is to connect people and ideas to explore the human experience and inspire cultural engagement. VFH reaches audiences across the Commonwealth and beyond through Community Programs, Digital Initiatives, Scholarship, and the Virginia Center for the Book. For more information, visit
Earlier Event: December 18
Capoeira Roda w/ Prof. Macaco
Later Event: December 29
Lua at Tin Whistle 12/29