Aside from performances, Jarana Beat also offers provides profoundly researched, interactive educational programs that showcase the endless cultural traditions and expressions of Mexico. These include School Assemblies, Lecture Demonstrations, Residencies and Workshops. Each program has tailored versions suitable for grades K-12, as well as college/university audiences. Custom programs can also be developed upon request.
Jarana Beat has also led four successful clinics at Berklee College of Music, exposing students to Afro-Amerindian elements of Mexican music for the first time, and has worked for the past four years with other recognized artists such as Los Pleneros de la 21 for México Negro y el Caribe, and institutions like Museo del Barrio, Queens Theatre in the Park and Amphibian Stage Productions.
Sample programs include the following:
Mexika (Aztec) and Afro-Mexican Percussion
The Spanish Inquisition came to Mexico in 1570, prohibiting all musical and cultural expression that was not considered scared by the Catholic Church. All instruments that hailed from Native American, African, Gypsy or Arab roots were prohibited and considered pagan, and those who dared to play such instruments were punished.
Although punishments were sometimes as severe as being burned at the stake, the Inquisition was unable to completely eradicate the cultural and musical roots of the majority of the Mexican people. Today, we enjoy many different styles of Mexican music that represent the Afro-Amerindian Mexican culture. Students in this workshop will learn to differentiate and gain a deeper understanding of these various musical styles.
A very unique part of this workshop will be the teaching of ‘el zapateado,’ in which some of the Mexican percussion is performed by footwork.”
Call and Response
Call and Response Huasteco y Jarocho – The vocal styles of versada y respondo represent the diverse cultural influences of Mexican regional music from Native America, Europe, Africa, and the Arabic world.
Students will learn about the history of the primary Mexican traditions of brass music, and, through learning to play the various styles, will learn to distinguish them from one another.
Mexican Folkloric Strumming Patterns and Plucked Strings
This workshop takes participants on a journey through various Mexican guitars—vihuela, jarana jarocho, requinto jarocho, bajo Mexicano—and their characteristic rhythms. Students will learn how to recognize and play the instruments, and about the specific role of each within a plucked-string ensemble.