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  • Smithsonian Folklife Festival Presents Río Mira

    Thursday, October 11, 2018 at 8 p.m.
    2001 14th St. NW
    Washington, D.C.

    As we look forward to exploring the “social power of music” at the 2019 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, we welcome Río Mira from Ecuador and Colombia to Tropicalia as part of the Flash of the Spirit music festival.

    Fronted by singer Karla Kanora, Río Mira is a musical collaboration guided by the distinctive percussive tones of the marimba. This music of South Pacific Colombia and Esmeraldas Province, Ecuador, traces back to the maroon community, enslaved Africans who escaped in the Americas and formed independent communities with indigenous peoples. In 2015, UNESCO recognized their marimba music as Intangible Cultural Heritage.

    Taking its name from a river that runs from Ecuador into Colombia, Río Mira is living proof of the rich history of the northwestern coast of South America. Recalling the history of the Pacific, the music is a reminder of the unity that binds together a region divided by state borders.

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    Río Mira
    Photo courtesy of Río Mira
    “Román Román”
    Río Mira’s first official single features call-and-response chants of traveling with the tide. Couplets by poet laureate Jalisco González from Esmeraldas tell of finding wisdom in oral tradition.
    Paying homage to traditional marimba andarele song and dance, this piece ends celebrations with a mix of polka and pasodoble rhythms.
    In this call-and-response, Río Mira sings of guarapo (sugar cane juice) extracted in the trapiche (wooden mill). The lyrics highlight the importance of sugar cane for fortune and joy.

    This concert is presented in partnership by the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and Multiflora Productions.

    In 2019, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival takes as it animating theme “the social power of music.” Musicians, dancers, instrument makers, and other cultural practitioners will engage visitors through daily workshops, master classes, panel discussions, and performances.

    Flash of the Spirit is Multiflora Productions annual month-long DIY global music festival that happens across multiple venues with partners in the arts in Washington DC during the month of October. Its mission is to present emerging and remarkable international musicians from abroad as well as local musicians from our diverse immigrant communities to celebrate their stories, heritage, and cultures through their music.

    This project received federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.

    Media only:
    Cristina Diaz-Carrera
    Río Mira Press Kit

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