Carlos Rojas Hernández (San Martín, Meta), better known as Carlos "Cuco" Rojas, (28 March 1954 – 10 January 2020) was a Colombian harpist and songwriter of joropo. He was the director of Colombian band Cimarron.
1 Music career
1.1 Early life
1.2 Nobel Prize in Literature
2 Folklife researching
Carlos Rojas Hernández was born in San Martín, Meta, in the plains of Colombia.
During his high school years, he began his musical training as a self-taught harpist in his hometown, before receiving instruction in the Folkloric Academy of Meta with Alberto Curvelo.
His musical career began at llanera music festivals. In 1975 he recorded his first solo as a harpist with singer-songwriter Manuel Orozco, with whom he had promoted his poem Quebradablanca years before in different stages of Colombia.
In 1978 he recorded a LP with the singer Cholo Valderrama, which includes songs such as Quitaresuellos No. 2, Bonguero del Casanare and Viento Viajero.
In the following years he recorded along with other joropo singers such as Alfonso Niño, Tirso Delgado, Dumar Aljure and Manuel Orozco.
In 1982, his interest in the South American harp took him to Paraguay, where he studied the techniques of the Paraguayan harp with Enrique Samaniego.
Nobel Prize in Literature
The harpist Carlos "Cuco" Rojas was part of the Colombian folkloric musicians that accompanied writer Gabriel García Márquez to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature in Stockholm, Sweden.
In 1984 he acted as a guest at the First International Conference of the Folk Harp in San Diego, United States.
Two years later, Carlos "Cuco" Rojas founded Cimarron band.
With Carlos "Cuco" Rojas as bandleader, Cimarron performed on world music festivals like Smithsonian Folklife Festival, WOMEX Festival, WOMAD, LEAF Festival, Rainforest World Music Festival, Paléo Festival, Glatt & Verkehrt, Festival Músicas do Mundo, Festival Rio Loco, Festival Mawazine, Rajasthan International Folk Festival, Førde International Folk Music Festival, Sfinks Mixed, Flamenco Biennale Nederland, Lotus World Music & Arts Festival, National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Utah Arts Festival, San Francisco International Arts Festival, Globalquerque, Festival International de Lousiane, Festival Nuit du Suds, Zomer van Antwerpen, Abu Dhabi Culture & Heritage, Festival México Centro Histórico and other scenarios around Europe, United States, Asia, America and Middle East.
Cimarron has performed on 30 countries: United States, Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, England, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Wales, Morocco, Arab Emirates, India, China, Japan, Malaysia, Rajasthan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.
Carlos Rojas Hérnandez was a folklife researcher too. He has some publications about cultural and musical tradition of the plains of Colombia and Venezuela.
He worked as an advisor to the Music Division of the Ministry of Culture of Colombia.
Sí, soy llanero
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Catrin Finch and Cimarron Live YN BYW
Astar Artes Recordings
¡Cimarrón! Joropo music from the Plains of Colombia
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
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