Sunday, October 28, 2007

Parranda Season Schedule 2007-2008

Thanks so much to everyone who came out to see us perform during the 2007 Parranda Season!

Friday, December 7 at 8pm
Zaguan Bakery and Cafe 2604 Oak Lawn Ave. Dallas, Texas 75219

Saturday, December 8 at 8.30pm
Jingle Bells on Bishop Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff (Dallas) 500 North Bishop Avenue, Dallas 75208

Wednesday, December 12 2007, 7pm mass, 8pm performance
St. Rita Catholic Church 12521 Inwood Rd at Harvest Hill (one block south of LBJ Freeway)

Saturday, December 15, 2007 at 8pm
Zaguan Bakery and Cafe 2604 Oak Lawn Ave. Dallas, Texas 75219

Friday, December 21, 2007
Navidad Latinoamericana Catedral Santuario Guadalupe 2201 Ross Avenue, Dallas TX

Saturday, January 5, 2008 Zaguan Bakery and Cafe 2604 Oak Lawn Ave. Dallas, Texas 75219

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Feria Panamericana Irving

(Espanol al final)

Parranda Venezuela will perform

Saturday, October 15 at 2pm

2505 W. Northgate Drive

(972) 225-0595

This events purpose is uniting and serving the Latin American communities of Irving and surrounding areas. The event begins at 10am and includes *Dance * Music * Food * Games *Party *Health Screenings *Arts and Crafts


Parranda Venezuela se estara presentando este sabado a la 2 de la tarde en este evento el sabado 15 de Octubre. Estaremos tocando aproximadamente 45 minutos los esperamos...... El evento empieza a las 10:00 de la mañana

Sabado Octubre 13 -

Feria PanAmericana a las 10 a.m.

2505 W. Northgate Drive
(972) 225-0595

Uniendo y sirviendo la comunidad latina en Irving y alrrededor. El evento incluye * baile * musica * comida * juegos * fiesta * informacion sobre salud * manualidades

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Props to "El Director"

Ricardo Weir, Director of Parranda Venezuela

Also known as 1) "El Consul" and 2) "El Principe"; because 1) he knows practically every Venezuelan in Dallas and 2) his daytime gig is as Principal of DISD's Medrano Elementary. Ricardo has been an amateur musician since forever, taking the stage for the first time at age 5 in Caracas playing the maracas. He has since taken more of an interest in the cuatro. One of the best things about moving to Dallas in 1989 was that there are a lot more Venezuelans here than in Lafayette, Louisiana where he was living at the time! One of the first ones he (we) met was Carlos Guedes and his wife Luisa, within weeks of Ricardo's move here. It was so exciting to have a local Venezuelan musician and we've become fast friends since then. It was with Carlos and Luisa that the plan was first hatched to have a parranda. The first few years it was the traditional, true Venezuelan parranda, that goes to several houses on the same night with more members joining in as the night grew long. Then, one year we decided to informally play at a local restauran, De Tapas, in Addison. From then on we grew into a more formal group, with practices, and "real gigs". None of this would happen without the determination and cajoling of our Director, Ricardo.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

What is a Furruco?

Sandra (percussion), Enrique (FURRUCO) and Pucho (tambora)
Sofia and Mariana are our furruqueras, or furruco players in Parranda Venezuela. Next time you come out to see us, watch them! Even though they are across the room from each other they are always communicating, with telling glances to coincide their playing. And they work extra hard because they usually play every song, their arms really get a workout, and they often get blisters on their hands. Not only that but when everyone else takes a break, they usually have to stand guard by their instruments because everyone wants to know more about the furruco and get their hands on it! People often think that you must have to really pull down on the stick. In actuality the stick must be handled very gently because it could easily break or if not played correctly it can puncture the skin of the furro.
The furruco is a folk instrument from Venezuela. It is commonly described as a friction drum. This instrument has facinating origins, and has variations throughout the world, all of which were originally used ritualistically (as most music has been).
Grove's Dictionary asserts that the friction drum's appeal was "because of the rather unearthly character of its sound" which is often described as a roar. For this reason it was associated with the jaguar in the Maya culture, and with lions and leopards in Sub-Saharan African cultures. In Africa varieties of friction drums are known in the Congo (dingwinti), among the Bantu people (ngoma), and the Zulu (ingungu). The friction drum has also evolved into various European instruments used in Spain (zambomba), Portugal (sarronca), France (toulouhou), Turkey (kaplan kabagi), Greece (mourgrinára ) and Italy (pu-ti-pù). In Europe the friction drum is particularly used during the Christmas holidays which may explain the why the Venezuelan furruco is typically used for Gaitas and Aguinaldos (types of music) which are specific to the Christmas holidays.
According to the New Grove's Dictionary of Musical Instruments (1984), the friction drum is "a membranophone sounded by friction, either direct or indirect". According to an excellent article by anthropoligist John A. Donahue (
"The body of the drum may consist of a bucket with the bottom removed or of an earthenware pot. The membrane on direct friction drums is rubbed either by the hand, which may be wet or rosined, by a leather 'plectrum' or by a stick which passes back and forth through a hole in the membrane. The membrane on indirect friction drums is made to vibrate by friction on a cord or stick in contact with the drumhead."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Memorial Day 2007

UPDATE: In case of rain, the concert will be held at the Meyerson Symphony Hall (woo hooo!)

We've been invited to play at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra's FREE Memorial Day Celebration at Flagpole Hill, White Rock Lake. For more information check out their website.

Join us!!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Beautiful. Breathtaking. Intense. Inspiring

Photograph by Ronald Scott,

We were proud to be a part of the second annual Global Sacred Music Concert and to add a ripple of peace to our world in these tumultuous times. It was beautiful and moving, and better described by a member of the audience who wrote in to the Dallas International Website after the concert:

"I just wanted to drop you a quick note to thank you for the information on your site about the Global Sacred Music Celebration. I was able to attend and had no idea what was in store for me. The event last Sunday was beyond words. It has always been a goal of mine to experience a bit of many different faiths/religions/beliefsystems. I didn't have a clue that I was going to have the opportunityto do just that, all in one sitting. From the first call to prayer,until the candles were blown out at the end, I had goosebumps. As I looked around, I couldn't stop smiling at the beautiful diversity and beautiful one-ness that filled the room. Beautiful just doesn't evencome close to adequately describing what I saw that afternoon, but it's the best I can do at the moment. I was honored and humbled to intimately share in prayer and praise with so many incredible people. I can't find the words to express how moving it many paths on the same journey. Beautiful. Breathtaking. Intense. Inspiring. As I left, I was filled with hope. If we, from so many different walks, can come together in peace and prayer for two hours one day....then maybe, just maybe, one day we will all come together. It has to start with one...and it has. Thank you for being part of the peace journey and for sharing yourself and your gifts with us all. Your presence here is such a blessing. Have an awesome weekend and keep the angels close" ~Tracy D.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Global Sacred Music Celebration on Easter Sunday

Photograph by Ronald Scott

April 8, 2007, 4:00 p.m.
Unity Church of Dallas
6525 Forest Lane (between Preston and Hillcrest Roads)
in North Dallas

Tickets are only $5 at the door!

Sacred music is the vehicle for spiritual awakening in many world cultures, touching us all with a sense of peace, hope and connection with the Divine. For the second consecutive year, the DFW International Community Alliance will close its International DFW Month with a Global Sacred Music Celebration on Easter Sunday, April 8, at 4:00 p.m. at Unity Church of Dallas, 6525 Forest Lane (between Preston and Hillcrest Roads) in North Dallas. A dozen faiths and traditions will be represented in the two-hour concert that affirms our spiritual unity. Tickets for the Global Sacred Music Celebration are $5, and can be purchased in advance at They will also be available at the door. Light refreshments will be served after the concert.The Global Sacred Music Celebration is the concluding event of International DFW International Month 2007, one of 20 collaborative events organized by the DFW International Community Alliance. The month highlights global cultures through programs that celebrate the pioneer spirit of the New Americans who make up 40% of our regions residents.Featured artists and traditions include:

Native American - Monica Peña
Polynesia - Zonia Velasco
Islam - Zakariah Gharabiyeh
Buddhism - Vietnamese Monks
Judaism - Miriam Kolni
African - Baba Kwasi
Christianity - Rev. Ed Townley
Acolhua / Quechua (Native American)
DFW International Unity Ensemble
Judaism - Shirat HaLev
Islam - Jamal Mohamed, Baba Kwasi, Mawardi Sherif
Buddhism - Cornell Kinderknecht, the Vietnamese Buddhist monks, Chi Sing
Hinduism - ExpressionsIndia
African Traditions - Baba Kwasi and Ayubu Kamau
Christianity - Parranda Venezuela
Christianity - Unity Choir
Santeria - DFW International Unity Ensemble
Christianity - Zonia Velasco
Unity of All Faiths - All

The Global Sacred Music Celebration is one of more than twenty events and activities taking place during DFW International Month, March 6 to April 8, 2007. Visit or call 972-661-2764 for more information.DFW International Community Alliance is the portal for global North Texas, a network of 1,600 of the regions ethnic and internationally-focusedcivic, community and educational organizations. The organization promotes and links North Texas ethnic and immigrant groups through its website andcultural calendar at, that receives over ten million hits a month. Dallas International Month 2007 is made possiblethrough the support of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs and the Unity Church of Dallas with media support from KERA, Univision andTelefutura, CBS-11 and TXA 21.For additional information on the Global Sacred Music Celebration, to receive photos or schedule interviews, please contact Meg Fullwood with Fast Forward Productions at 214-946-9509 or by email at

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Thank You, Gracias!

  • To everyone who came out to see us this year, your support and energy is what makes this all worth while!
  • To each of the business owners and partners who invited us to play at their establishment
  • To each Parranda Venezuela member: Douglas, Dulce, Edgar, Enrique, Felix, Hannah, Heiddy, Jorge, Julio, Paola, Puccio, Ricardo, Rino, Luis, Luisa, Maria Conchita, Marianna, Marianita, Nayi, Sandra, and Sofia
  • To Carlos and Aaron for joining in when we needed you most

Check back soon to learn more about individual parranderos. I will be profiling each one during the year. I will also let you know where and when we play next. We will have a few scattered events during the year so please check back often!


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Really, this is the LAST one...

(L-R: Sofia, Hannah, Conchita, Enrique, Sandra, Felix, Mariana, Mariana hija, Julio, Douglas, Paola, and Luis)

One FINAL performace to Celebrate Three Kings Day!

Saturday, January 6, 2007, at 8pm, Zaguan Bakery and Cafe. 2604 Oak Lawn Ave. Dallas, Texas 75219, FREE

This is the day that ends the official Christmas season, learn more about the Venezuelan Christmas season at:
and about Three Kings Day at: