|Juank Ricardo, in his home, with his accordeon|
Here are some samples of Juank's latest works:
Mi Razon de Ser
Vivo el el Limbo
Voy pa Lante
Here's what Juank has to say: (Interview translated by Letiana Bohlke)
How old are you? How many years do you want me to have?
How long have you been playing the accordeon? I started when I was 8 years old so I've been playing for 22-23 years now.
Are you working with a singer right now? not right now, but I've worked with 3 or 4 singers during my career. And I've filmed a soap opera, Nina Bonita, which has done well in Colombia.
Do you prefer playing music or acting? playing music absolutely
What do you feel when you are playing accordeon for an audience? I feel the love of the people. It's the most special thing that could happen to any artist. The love of the people is the best reward I could have.
|Accordeon Statue in Valledupar|
|Sign at base of statue: My Piece of Accordeon|
When you play in a concert, does the audience dance or sit still? People like to dance to Vallenato. It depends. The modern Vallenato is more dancing. With the old Vallenato, people used to only sit because it was so beautiful and they only wanted to sit and listen. The older Vallenato was more poetic and romantic, says people like my father.
Do you play the modern Vallenato? I’m one of the people who has started the new movement, or modern generation of Vallenato.
How old are your fans? 20-25 years old, or maybe 15-25
Have you traveled and performed in different countries? Yes, Europe, Germany, Spain, France, Italy . .
Do audiences in different countries behave differently? My audiences are Latinos, and Latino people are the same everywhere. Some people think I'm from Venezuela. They get confused and don't know I'm from Colombia.
Where do you get the inspiration to write a new song? from a story from my life. Sometimes my friend has an issue with love, and I make a song about his story. Sometimes I say it's my friend's story, not mine.
Do your friends appreciate when you write a song about them? a lot!
Do you envision Vallenato as moving outside of Latin audiences and people from other countries dancing to vallenato? I think it's a very successful type of music that's going to be around the planet. Every Latino knows this type of music.
Can you explain the different types of vallenato?
Paseo is written in 4/4 time and is the most popular type. Son is also written in 4/4 time but is mournful and slow. Merengue, not the Dominican genre, is written in 3/4 time and has a narrative style. Finally, Puya is witten in 3/4 time and is the oldest of the 4 types. All the vallenato songs use drums, accordeon and guacharacas. Sometimes guitar or other instruments, like bass, bells and piano, began to be used later on, too.
Which do you prefer? merengue.
Which ones provide the most energetic music for dancing? Puya, merengue and Paseo. You can dance very fast in 4/4 to Paseo. "Zuaka de one" would be an excellent high speed dance song from my CD. Routine from Zumba with Sheila coming soon!
How do you feel after you play an especially fast song? I feel amazing!
Guacharaca lesson wth Juank!
Faster Guacharaca lesson! I didn't feel so amazing after playing so fast! My head hurt!
Do you get to meet many other artists? Many artists are brought to the Vallenato festival in April in Valledupar. The festival is famous around the world. It's why I have a vision that Vallenato will be around the globe.
|Vallenato Festival Statue in Valledupar|
|Sign at the base of statue|
How do you participate in the Vallenato festival and what happens there? I'm going to participate next year. It's a contest where they elect the king of Vallenato. Contestants must play all 4 types and demonstrate that they are a master of Vallenato. Judges decide who is the best.
What kind of exercise do you do? I love to play soccer, and accordeon is good for my arms! I haven't tried Zumba yet! I'm a better musician than a dancer, but playing the accordeon is dancing with my fingers, so maybe I could still learn to dance!