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.