Bandoneons for Jujuy
After Carel and I saw the documentary ‘El sonido del bandoneon’, by Jiska Rickels, at the end of 2012 we decided to start collecting money to buy bandoneons to bring to Jujuy, one of the poorest provinces in Argentina. We thought it was time to do something back for the country that gave us so much. Above all we believe it is of essential importance that the folklore music (with bandoneon) from the north of Argentina stays alive. After 4 years of savings, a benefit concert by the Sexteto Canyengue, receiving a great donation from the tango school ‘El Fuego’ located in Engelen- NL (Wolter and Nettie Kloppenburg), a lot of help and all sizes of donations from many people involved in the project we travelled last July to San Salvador de Jujuy.
In the country of origin of queen Maxima (of The Netherlands) live children who go to bed hungry. Compared to our country (The Netherlands) there is an enormous difference between rich and poor. Girls who are 10 or 11 years old are getting pregnant and some of them have several children by the age of 20. Unprotected sex is causing an explosion of HIV cases amongst youngsters under the age of 20… Sometimes young mothers with large families only realize after days that one of her children are missing. This gives human traffickers the chance to kidnap and abuse children before they are even missed.
But Maxima’s country is a pretty country, right? A country of rich culture, beautiful nature and fantastic people?
Yes, that is correct. One of the most amazing places in the country is the north of Jujuy, a province next to Chile and Bolivia, which is escorted by the mountains of the Andes. The province’s capital, San Salvador de Jujuy, is the home of Daniel Vedia; Daniel is a bandoneon player/composer and teacher with a mission, a mission which could be a great importance for the future of Jujuy. He is trying to fulfill his life’s dream with the project ‘Jujuy Luz’ (“Jujuy Light”). Daniel gives bandoneon lessons to kids and young adults, just as his student Fabricio Aramayo. Daniel wants to prevent that the knowledge of the folklore music gets lost and that is why he makes children aware of their cultural identity. During his lessons he teaches children discipline to study; often this discipline grows into passion for music, leading the children to a better path, away from drugs and prostitution. The music schools are officially recognized by the government. By now there are a few instruments available and some teachers, but they have not received their salaries for the past six months, and not given a reason for that either. This is a direct effect of the cultural policy of the new government from president Macri, which ignores the fact that these teachers in many cases provide vital support and shelter for many children and their parents. Parents who hope that their children will not end up on the wrong path in life. With financial support from parents these teachers have been able to keep on giving lessons, but by now they are reaching a critical limit; If they are forced to stop, the future of the folklore music, and the future of these children, will be uncertain.
Through our Foundation Clavel Rojo we have brought already 7 bandoneons to Jujuy. Another bandoneon will be sent next month to Jujuy by bandoneon maker/tuner Oscar Fischer from Buenos Aires.
In October 2016 Tis Marang (bandoneon tuner and repairer) will travel to Jujuy to teach ten young people who are interested in learning how to repair and do maintenance of bandoneons.
A very talented candidate to eventually become tuner and repair specialist of bandoneons in Jujuy is Fidel Hoyos. Fidel is the man who made bandoneons out of wine carton boxes on the documentary ‘El sonido del bandoneon’.
Activities by Carel and Thirza for the project ‘Bandoneons for Jujuy’, in time sequence:
Talk with Daniel Vedia about his work and vision for the future.
Trip to Palpala to bring a bandoneon which was donated by Arjan Sikking (tango dance teacher and chairman of the Foundation Clavel Rojo) to the music school. Met with the mayor and press and had a jam session with young musicians.
Went to Pumamarca, where we saw a concert by the children’s orchestra ‘Red Provincial de Orquestas Infantiles y Juveniles’. 200 children from Pumamarca, Palpala, Marmara, Tilcara and San Salvador. Met with general coordinator (Director General) for the Jujuy province Javier Soria.
In Pumamarca Carel gave a bandoneon lesson to the students of Fabricio Jose Aramaic.
Carel gave a TV interview for Canal 7 with Jorge Reales about our project.
Carel gave an interview about our project to the newspaper Tribuno (this interview was sent to the newspaper Pregón but unfortunately not printed).
A radio interview was also given on Tribuno with Miriam Wich.
Masterclass of 6 hours: bandoneon lessons to 12 bandoneon players from San Salvador and area, students of Daniel.
Visit to the music school ‘E.S.M.’ (Escuela Superior de Musica de la Provincia de Jujuy) where three of the bandoneons donated by our project are placed. We have inspected the instruments and noted the necessary repairs they need to receive during Tis Marang’s trip to Jujuy.
Visit to the university ‘U.N.J.’ (Universidad Nacional de Jujuy) where three other bandoneons donated by the project are placed and daily played. These bandoneons have been donated by the Prins Claus Foundation). We have inspected the instruments and noted the necessary repairs they need to receive during Tis Marang’s trip to Jujuy.
Talk with Oscar Fischer (bandoneon builder in Buenos Aires) about the two instruments that are still to be delivered and the reason why we have not heard from him in the past year.
Talk with Daniel Vedia and Oscar Fischer making clear agreements about the two bandoneons which are still to be delivered to Jujuy; during this meeting one of the two bandoneons was delivered to Daniel by Oscar.
Radio interview about our project with Luis Tarantino, on the program La 2x4FM in Buenos Aires.
Radio interview about our project with Tete Coustarot, on Radio 10
TV interview about our project on nation channel Canal Crónica with Hugo Ferrer.
Radio interview about our project with Quique Figueroa for Radio Trelew Noticias FM 96.9 from Patagonia.
Meeting with Julián Peralta (composer/pianist) about a similar project he has in Santa Cruz in the south of Argentina.
Meeting with two documentary film makers from Buenos Aires, Carlos Cambariere and Mariana, about possible video recordings of the project.
In Rosario we met with guitar player/composer Marcelo Coronel (Argentine Folklore)
In Buenos Aires:
o We met with Doña Lidia Pugliese (widow from Osvaldo Pugliese)
o Invited to visit the tango show ‘Romper el piso’ at the Maipo Theater with the dancers: Alejandro Aquino (1st dancer from Osvaldo Pugliese’s orchestra) and Nathalia Hills.
o Visited Roberto Alvarez, bandoneon player from Osvaldo Pugliese and artistic director from Color Tango
o Went to a concert at Club Vinilio (Gorrit 3780, BA) by the tango ensemble Astillero
o Went to the rehearsal of the tango orchestra Orquesta Típica Fernández Fierro at their local club CAFF (Club Atletico Fernández Fierro), Sanchez de Bustamante 772, BA.
o Went to the tango show ‘Rojo Tango’ at the Hotel ‘Faena’ where Osvaldo Rugierro’s son, Daniel Ruggiero, is the artistic director.
There are 7 bandoneons from our project in Argentina, including one which yet has to be sent by Oscar Fischer to Daniel Vedia. (5 were already on location, 1 was taken by us to the music school, 1 was taken to Jujuy by Daniel at the end of our trip).
There is a big problem which is that music teachers did not receive their salaries for the past 6 months… How long can they keep on giving lessons?
The bandoneons are being correctly distributed and used by the youth, coordinated by Daniel Vedia.
The people from Jujuy are very happy and thankful for our donations. Carel and Thirza received a plaque as token of appreciation.
The music schools have a much larger function in society than we could have imagined.
Our visit made good impact: finally the press in Jujuy and in Buenos Aires gave attention to the project.
Just before our departure Daniel Vedia informed us that the city council of San Salvador has honored him with a culture prize thanking him for his efforts. Even though this was not a financial prize, it is a very important acknowledgement which may lead to a greater awareness by the Ministry of Culture of Jujuy. Our hope is that they finally support important initiatives, such as our collaboration with Daniel.
Carel and I would absolutely love to keep on sending bandoneons to Jujuy and supporting the music teachers with help from The Netherlands (and any other countries). How are we going to do this and who can we contact to manage this in the most professional way possible?
d.d. 30.8.16 T Lourens
Bandoneons for Jujuy