The Ambar group is the result of a collaboration of three Colombian musicians and a Russian violinist: – Sasha Rozhdestvensky, violin – Francisco González Giraldo, guitar and voice – Nelson Gómez, guitarrón et Juan Fernando García, percussion and flute.
Each one of them contributes to the group in a singular way from his personal experience. In order to complete their academic training, the four of them explored the different facets of the world of Latin American music.
The repertoire is carefully chosen to allow each musician to express the best of himself, and to achieve perfection and excellence through the group, offering the audience a musical paradise in each of its interpretations.
The Ambar group offers a vast repertoire of Latin American music, while focusing on those of Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil.
Colombian music is represented by the «bambuco» and the «pasillo» two rytmes that blossomed in recent centuries in the Colombian Andes. The repertoire also includes «cumbia» and the «porro» from the Colombian Caribbean coast, as well as the «joropo» from the eastern region. The latter, crossed by the Orinoco River, is a great plain shared between Colombia and Venezuela. It is home to a single culture that interprets the same music. the waltz and the «merengue», very popular in other parts of Venezuela, complete the directory dedicated to this country.
The Ambar group also explores the Brazilian «choro». This genre had a great popularity at the beginning of the Xxth century. Choro means «lament» in Portuguese . It includes various styles. In its slow forms, it expresses the «saudade» (nostalgia), but can also be very festive in its fast forms.
Since its formation, the Ambar Group has performed regularly internationally, attracting admiration in many countries such as France, Germany, Russia, Israel and Colombia. He has successfully performed his repertoire in prestigious venues such as the Jorge Eliecer Gaitán Theatre in Bogotá, the Salle Gaveau in Paris and the Salle Tchaikovsky in Moscow.
In addition to Latin American music, the Ambar group has added to its repertoire pieces by great classical composers: Pablo de Sarasate, Manuel de Falla, Manuel M. Ponce, Astor Piazzolla, J.S. Bach, Arcangelo Corelli, etc.
His albums were recorded under the labels DELOS (USA) and First Hand Records (UK).
The music of Latin America
The contemporary form of Latin American traditional music is the result of a fusion of three cultures: pre-Columbian, African and European. Since the discovery of America in 1492, these three great civilizations ceaselessly contributed to the «new world» all the wealth of their different musical languages.
This tradition is a result of a centuries long process of cross-continental fusion; thus we meet in the region of the Andes the autochthonous pre-Hispanic melodies harmonized in the style of the Spanish XVIth century and vice versa: European airs of the Renaissance, interpreted in the style of native traditional music.
In other regions, the baroque spirit of the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries is still present; there, the musicians meet to improvise, with penetrating voices, beautiful melodies that they accompany with ancient guitars, brought centuries ago by the Spaniards. In perfect synchronization with subtle percussion, they happily weave counterpoints that colour the tropical nights of the Colombo-Venezuelan plains or of the Mexican Huasteca with a rain of stars.
The XIXth century was the century of independence. The bourgeoisie of the new republics were devoted to the European waltz and to all the fashionable dances of the luxurious salons of the old continent; but the people, already consolidated by four centuries of cultural interbreeding, knew how to appropriate this wave by creating their own waltzes, polkas and marches.
New genres appeared in which the old rhythms and melodies that emerged from the three cultures found new expression through the imported European genres. All this generated a vast cultural movement, producing excellent instrumentalists and composers such as Jacob do Bandolin and Pixinguinha in Brazil, Pedro Morales Pino and Carlos Vieco in Colombia, Heraclio Fernandez and Emilio Sojo in Venezuela, etc. This movement lasted until the first half of the XXth century.
Nowadays, we can observe its revival in numerous Latin American countries. This continent shows us that the creative fusion of musical tradition is omnipresent, always alive and in constant evolution.