Jaramar
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Jaramar

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“From Jaramar springs the pulse of that universe where the new is generated, structures are broken and other ways of naming things are born...Every song is a wounding arrow, a poetry that is neither touched nor felt but that penetrates and vibrates deeply.” (Silvia Eugenia Castillero, Siglo 21) - Siglo 21 / Mexico


Mexican sensation Jaramar Soto added a special flavor to "may my lips say your name", a musical evening held in the city recently.
Organized by the Indian Council for cultural relations and collaboration with the Directorate of cultural affairs of Assam, in an attempt to establish cultural exchange between the two countries this program was part of Jaramar Soto's series of performances in the country. Before coming to Guwahati, she also performed in New Delhi and Kolkata.
"Before coming here we performed in New Delhi and Kolkata, but I liked to perform here the most. I just love the atmosphere here", said Jaramar.
Among others, flutist Pandit Rajendra Prasanna added more melody to the night with his entrancing music. Murad Ali and Athar Hussain also enthralled the crowd by performing their usual magic on Sarangi and Tabla.
Jaramar, whose work is composed of elements from the past and the present, feeding on tradition, scrutinizing it to assimilate and reshaping it to produce a very personal artistic expression, expressed satisfaction after performing in Guwahati. According to her, Indian music has always appealed to her. Speaking on her interest in ancient music combined with an electronic instruments, she said "it comes from a personal need. It started from a desire to take some of the songs that I like to sing the most, old Sephardic chants and Spanish Renaissance songs, and transform them in a way so as to bring them closer to our time. I also wanted to play around with them and try to enrich their sound by incorporating it with electronic elements" she said.
Jaramar, who is also a visual artist and has been active in painting, sculpture and illustrations believes that such cultural events will help bring people of different parts of the world together. It is a wonderful step and binding the people of the two countries. It feels great to be a part of it. I'd like to thank the organizers for such a noble initiative," she added.
- The Times of India


Mexican singer Jaramar Soto brought a musical ‘flood' to New Delhi
To celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations between India and Mexico, 200 years of Mexico's independence and 100 years of the Mexican Revolution, —the first modern social revolution of the 20th Century, the Embassy of Mexico and Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) presented “The Flood” by Mexican singer Jaramar Soto at New Delhi's Kamani Auditorium.
Jaramar Soto brought her musical ‘flood' to India together with her Mexican band and incorporated the sounds of Indian musical instruments to give a unique fusion experience to the audience. Performed as part of the ongoing Delhi International Arts Festival, the show had Rajendra Prasanna on the flute, Elí Prado from México on the guitar, Murad Ali on the sarangi, Darío Rojas from México on the drums and Athar Hussein on the tabla.
The concert was compered by Abhinav Chaturvedi, and attended by Bharatanatyam dancer Prathibha Prahlad, Conrado Tostado, Cultural Attache of Embassy of Mexico, Javier Basulto, Mexican artist Tatiana Musi, Indian artist Satadru Sovan Banduri among others.
Jaramar, through this concert, attempted to reach out to the audience with songs from Mexico, South America and Spain created as long as 10 centuries ago.
Jaramar's work was composed of elements from the past and the present, feeding on tradition, assimilating in it and reshaping it to produce a very personal artistic expression.
Jaramar's repertoire had songs where one could find the mystical and the sensuous, the sacred and the profane, and where historical periods and styles mixed freely.
Said Jaramar, “The intense struggle between the fear of loss and pain and the unstoppable impulse to plunge, to take a leap and take risks because that is what life is for, have always been at the heart of my singing, also as a constant impulse.
And always with the abstract presence of death at one side, as a quiet, yet familiar companion. All this is present in my new album - Diluvio (Flood): songs of love and absence.”
- The Hindu


“In record, but above all in concert, Jaramar is truly moving. In the music world, hers is a singing practice that seems an unusual choice nowadays: to give one’s voice to a feeling, a passion, an emotion...” (Arturo García Hernández, La Jornada) - La Jornada / Mexico


Wow! Just sometimes out of the blue you get a disc by a group you have never heard of before who are absolutely fabulous and obviously have a big following in their own country. The Mexican singer Jaramar gives her name to a band of fine musicians playing bass, guitars, cello, strings, percussion, flutes, dulcimers, keyboards and saxophone who are totally new to me and a totally mesmerising experience. Indeed my guess is they could become big in Europe if they come over here à la Mariza. Everything here is arresting. Indeed there’s one particular song – Sic Mea Fata – that has haunted me since I first heard it and which I keep playing over and over again. It’s almost masochistic in effect, like someone having to deny love and destiny. It sounds very today yet it turns out to be Carmina Burana No. 116 from the 12th century.

Travesía maps 10 years of Jaramar’s musical life, from 1992 to 2002, selecting its tracks from six discs each called a project, which include one dedicated to songs tied to their original languages and another of erotic female poetry. The overall feel is of early troubadour music, but that’s largely because it kicks off with a modern interpretation of the music of the Sephardic Jews of Spain and has a fabulous version of the classic early woman’s song Besame y Abrazame, with its merry dancy-rythmic line “kiss me and hug me husband of mine”. Anyone who likes Radio Tarifa will find a way in here as Jaramar’s Una Pastora Yo Amí is a song that Tarifa made famous as La Pastora back in their early 1990’s Rumba Argelina days. Jaramar’s purer approach is no less tantalising, which says a lot, as it’s almost impossible to beat the sexy version by Tarifa’s flamenco-rumba singer Benjamin.

The accompanying CD ROM /DVD has cuts of a great concert in Guadalajara, Mexico plus interview. Jaramar is a very beautiful woman and part of the appeal is that she physically sings her music to life with moves that match her voice. The settings of erotic poetry by Mexican female poets which date back to the 15th Century Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz with music by Alfredo Sánchez are stunning. La Sirena, which sees the mermaid as the secret, deeper, even darker side of women is particularly special. Alfredo Sánchez’s music and arrangements use medieval and early music idioms as a springboard for something much more contemporary; Jade y Oro has an Arabic feel to it. Songs are evocative, seductive and at times eerie. Jaramar’s voice, which has the ability to express a host of emotions, is beautifully close mic’ed, so you feel she’s singing right in front of you, even whispering in your ear.

Every time I listen to the disc I am reminded of yet another female singer. First, given the way Jaramar can use her voice, it was fellow Mexican Lila Downs (although Jaramar’s version of La Lorona is quite different to Downs’s and different also to Lhasa de Sela’s version). Then it was Catalonian singer María del Mar Bonet; then Portugal’s Teresa Salgueiro of Madredeus (especially on Ponte en Pie when she has Salgueiro’s nasal throatiness). However, while one can “hear” traces of other contemporary female voices, Jaramar has a distinctive style of her own: her voice has limpid clarity, intensity and depth. And her musicians are very good indeed, which is why this disc is so special.

Jaramar has also made Duerme Por la Noche Oscura (Sleep Through The Dark Night), a recording of children’s lullabies and assorted songs, old and new, which is very beautiful too. Some are traditional Sephardic, Spanish and Catalan from past centuries, others have texts by poets, notably Arbolé arbolé by heroid Spanish Civil War poet Federico García Lorca. There’s also the Romance de los Pelegrinitos, with its winsome melody and attractive bedtime story, which Lorca collected and published as 13 Spanish Songs in the 1930’s. Delicate and magical, the booklet has the best children’s fantasy pictures with flying fish and mermaids and strange animals. While you can tell that perhaps Jaramar herself has not had to sing to calm hypermanic babes, it may work for stressed adults! It would certainly work as a soundtrack to a puppet theatre. It has Jaramar appeal!!

Christine Charter

May 2005

- fRoots Magazine


Discography

Solo discography:

"Entre la pena y el gozo" (1993, Opción Sónica, Mexico)
"Fingir que duermo" (1995, Opción Sónica, Mexico)
"Si yo nunca muriera" (1996, Opción Sónica, Mexico)
“Lenguas” (1998, Opción Sónica, Mexico)
“A flor de tierra” (2000, Opción Sónica, Mexico)
“Nadie creerá el incendio” (2002, Opción Sónica, Mexico)
“Travesía", compilation (2003, Fugazi, Mexico)
“Duerme por la noche oscura” (2004, Fondo de Cultura Económica, Mexico)
“Que mis labios te nombren” (2006, La Luna, Mexico)
“Diluvio” (2008, Intolerancia, Mexico)
“Ruta de viaje hacia un diluvio”, DVD (2010, Intolerancia/ TV UNAM, Mexico)
“Fiestas privadas” (2011, Intolerancia)

Some compilations in which she participated:

“Mexican Divas 1” (Opción Sónica, Mexico)
“Mexican Divas 2” (Opción Sónica, Mexico)
“Mexican Divas 3” (Opción Sónica, Mexico)
“A Native American Odyssey” (Putumayo)
“Musica Celestia Sampler 2” (Musica Celestia)
“Storm the Palace” (Palace of Worms Records)

Movie Soundtracks in which she participated:

-“Blackaman del Bueno, Vendedor de Milagros”, Short by Miguel Curiel (France).
-“Volverás”, by Antonio Chavarrías (Spain / Mexico).
-“1973” by Antonino Isordia (Mexico).
-“Manual de Uso Para Una Nave Espacial”, de Horacio Alcalá (Spain).
-“Fogonero del Delirio”, by Gustavo Domínguez (Mexico).
-“Cinco de Mayo: La Batalla”, by Rafa Lara.

Photos

Bio

With 11 albums in her discography, Jaramar - Mexican singer and composer - has ventured along the way to explore a song repertoire that goes from medieval, traditional and folk music to her own compositions; raw materials that have enabled her to dig into her obsessions: life, passion, love, death, shaping and transforming the original songs like clay. The guiding threads for this are her permanent desire for sound exploration, and of course her voice, always open to new colours and textures.

Jaramar says that many of these songs have been a part of her life for a long time: some inherited from her grandmother, others from her parents, from friends, books, or from life itself as part of that baggage that we all pick up and carry and that in her case she has kept in a drawer waiting for the right moment to take them out to the light. Some songs were found, but others found her. And of course there are also others, the most recent ones, that she wrote herself. It is through this most recent music production that a new window has been opened in Jaramar’s work; or shall we say several new windows, because it is a music impossible to classify in just one genre.

Sometimes, when people write about Jaramar’s work, they tend to put it in the alternative or world music drawer because it is the result of a fusion of sounds, colours and textures with various passports. Yes, it is true that in her musical path there are various elements converging that would make one think of that classification: the mystic and the sensual, the sacred and the profane, the global and the regional... but Jaramar is definitely more than that. Each new project is the confirmation that the world her music takes us to is, before any genre classification, “Jaramar Space”, that special space in music that she made us discover and that she made her own almost 20 years ago, with her first album.

The Band:
Jaramar, vocals.
Rodrigo Castro, trumpet and banjo.
Juan Castañón, guitar.
Carlos Sánchez Vilches, double bass.
Luciano Sánchez, drums.

Jaramar has presented her work in Mexico's most important theatres and festivals.
some of the venues in which she has played abroad:
National Gallery de Ottawa, Canada
Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum de Chicago, USA
El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles, California, USA
Mayan Theatre, Los Angeles, California, USA
John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, Los Angeles, California, USA
The New Los Angeles Theatre Center (LATC), Los Angeles, California, USA
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany
Kultur in der Brotfabrik, Frankfurt, Germany
Kulturzentrum Schlachthof, Bremen, Germany
Laboratorium, Stuttgart, Germany
Chassé Theater, Breda, Netherlands
Musis Sacrum, Arnhem, Netherlands
RASA Wereldcuturencentrum, Utrecht, Netherlands
KIT Tropentheater, Ámsterdam, Netherlands
De Doelen , Rotterdam, Netherlands
Thalia Theater, Ijmuiden, Netherlands
Oosterpoort, Groningen, Netherlands
Schowburg Odeon, Zwolle, Netherlands
Moods im Schiffbau, Zurich, Switzerland
Théâtre Municipal, Bastia, Corse, France
Théátre Toursky, Marseille, France
Grote Aula Maria Theresiacollege, Leuven, Belgium
Cultuur Centrum Asse, Asse, Belgium
Cultureel Centrum Leopoldsburg, Belgium
Schouwburg CC Zwaneberg, Heist op den Berg, Belgium
Kamani Auditorium, Delhi, India