Grupo Jaranero performed at 7 p.m. Oct. 28 in the Fiske Planetarium and Science Center. Students and families attended with dates and in costume.
Leanna Rutka, a senior music education major, went to the concert.
“I heard about it from my music teacher,” Rutka said. “She is actually going to be performing in it. Since it’s an ethno class, we are encouraged to participate or be attendants at any sort of performances that include music that are outside of Western culture.”
Grupo Jaranero was flown in from Mexico City by the CU Natural History Museum to celebrate the Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday celebrating the dead and the continuity of life
(http://www.public.iastate.edu/~rjsalvad/scmfaq/muertos.html). According to Sara Jelley, a sophomore Japanese major and an usher for the concert, the group is “famous in Mexico.”
The planetarium was lit in red and the stage was surrounded by glowing candles, skeletons and flowers.
“I am very excited (for the band),” said Dan Castillo, a second year graduate student in music performance. “All the instruments on stage look intriguing. I think it’s going to be a very interesting sound.”
A poem was read in both English and in Spanish before each song was played. Grupo Jaranero is made up of drums, flutes, guitars of all sizes and vocalists.
Songsters in headpieces, masks and in authentic Mexican costumes carrying incense walked and danced around the audience engaging them in the performance as they danced with the spectators and handed out flowers. Some actors performed a fight with weapons and interpretive dance.
The ceiling of the planetarium displayed photographs of parades, people and gravesites in Mexico creating an unforgetable evening for all attendees.