Masters of the 4 Bandolas

From among countless Bandola masters I introduce here only one master for each Bandola with a short comment concerning his Bandola playing.

Bandola Llanera: Ismael Querales

Apart from being an excellent bandola player, starting with the leader of “Un Solo Pueblo”, Ismael is a percussionist, singer and composer. He is one of the most important artists in the world of the Venezuelan traditional music. He plays also the Bandola Central and the Oriental and his style of the Bandola Llanera influenced by the Bandola Central is characteristic. Aside from this, he is the creator of the “Quintola”, a Bandola with five courses.

Bandola Oriental: Ricardo Sandoval

Having a thorough knowledge of all sorts of Latin American musical genres and string instruments, Ricardo studied the classical mandolin in Germany. As for the bandolas he plays the Central and the Llanera as well as the Oriental. “El Cruzao”, a joropo oriental of his composition in his youth became a master piece and still today innumerable important artists are playing and recording it.

Bandola Central: Juan Esteban García

Juan Esteban is a great master of the Joropo Central played with the bandola in Guaribe, Guárico State. He established the bandola technique of this genre and composed countless famous songs. He gathered plenty of respect for his deeds and was acknowledged as a living national heritage. Ismael Querales as well as Ricardo Sandoval were among his disciples.

Bandola Guayanesa: Cheo Hurtado

Cheo is, needless to say, the greatest master of the Venezuelan Cuatro and dominates perfectly various kinds of string instruments starting with the Bandola. His performance of the Bandola Guayanesa permitted the traditional music of his home region Guiana to be recognized by the rest of the country. Especially “Seis Guayanés” by his bandola interpretation is emblematic for the Joropo Guayanés.


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