El Clavo is a small village in Venezuela with a proud musical heritage. There, Afro-Venezuelans—many of whom are descendants of slaves brought from Africa—continue a cultural tradition known as “parranda.” Part community jam session, part dance party, parranda is a festive performance that involves rhythmic percussion and singing. El Clavo’s lead vocalist Betsayda Machado is a renowned singer throughout Venezuela. She and her band have been given the opportunity to bring their traditional dance music on tour to North America and Europe. We caught up with them in New York City to get lost in the endless rhythms of parranda.
Great Big Historias