Bandola de Reyes
Saul Vera Composer, Arranger, Bandola and Mandolin player, Saul Vera was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He is a musical director & Arranger with great knowledge and experience in both Traditional and Venezuelan Folk music. He leads his own musical project called: "The Saul Vera Ensemble". Saul had the rare opportunity to study and play music from both the academic and traditional approach. Saul is a much in demand performer who has participated as soloist or invited artist in numerous national and international events and concerts. Saul Vera has shared the stage with other great musicians, such as, Chico Buarque, DJavan, Zimbo Trío, Paco de Lucía, Ray Barreto, Gilberto Gil y Michel Petrucciani. In 1994 Saul Vera was awarded the "Premio Proyecto Eco" by Mozarteum Foundation and the "Casa Miranda" award in London to further his investigation and develop new works in England. Saul Vera is also the author of the landmark book "Techniques for learning Bandola Llanera" Ed. Fundarte, 1991. In 1997 and 1998 Saul Vera and his ensemble toured European playing important venues in Bonn (Germany), Rome, Paris, Geneva, Bern, Motreaux (Switzerland), and Brussels (Belgium). The tours were a great success and resulted in excellent newspapers reviews with great accolades from the critics. In 1999 Saul Vera recorded a very popular Compact Disc "TOCANDO TIERRA" which included performances with Bela Fleck, Alex Acuña and Abraham Laboriel. This CD was in such demand it was distributed in all of the Americas. In November of 2000, Saul again toured in Germany, playing the World-wide Expo-Hanover 2000, again to great press reviews. In August of 2000, Vera released in Caracas his "Concert Bandola Llanera with Orchestra". Saul performed with the "Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho" Symphony orchestra, and again in 2001 with the "Venezuela Symphony orchestra". In the summer 2002 Saul Vera performed concerts in United States at the invitation of The Nature Conservancy organization. He performed in Washington D.C., Cleveland and New York. In 2004 within his international program he made concerts at the "Bolivar Hall" in London and at the "New Morning" in Paris, one of most important jazz venues of the French capital, in which Saul Vera shared the stage with among others the consecrated Martinica piano player Mario Canonge. In XX the Anniversary of his musical project "Saul Vera Ensemble" was received in the most important Concert Hall in Venezuela, the "Universidad Central de Venezuela" by the "Orquesta Sinfónica Municipal" from Caracas under the direction of Rodolfo Saglimbeni. In the 2007 Saul Vera performed twice again with his Bandola Llanera and the National Philharmonic Orchestra. Saul Vera\'s musical beginnings: Saul Vera was born in Caracas and at an early age became interested in the mandolin and other stringed instruments used in Venezuelan folk music. In 1976 he began learning to play the bandola llanera, a stringed instrument from the lute family played in the Venezuelan llanos (plains) for over 400 years. His interest in the bandola encompasses not only performance of the instrument but also a fascination with the socio-cultural context of it's development. Saul Vera has taught both mandolin and bandola at several conservatories in Caracas, Venezuela, and is the author of the only known bandola llanera method using 16th century tablature. He has been featured as both a soloist and accompanist in music festivals and individual concerts in Cuba, Barbados, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Brazil, France (Nancy, Dijon, Paris, and Bordeaux), Spain, Finland, England, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Japan. He has participated in concerts and recordings with internationally known artists such as Chico Buarque, Zimbo Trio, Soledad Bravo, Michael Petrucciani, Djavan, and Paco de Lucía, among others. His musical palette The music of \'Saul Vera Ensemble\' is an innovative movement in the interpretation of Venezuelan music. It is a very personal exploration in musical understanding and composition; a magical combination of the varied colors of a wind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn) and string bass with traditional folk instruments like the mandolin, bandola llanera and the four-stringed Venezuelan cuatro. The bandola is the focus of the group\'s creative efforts, manifesting an expressive richness never before heard as traditional rhythms of the llanos are accented by classical, jazz, and Latin hues. This vibrant and lustrous musical painting is what \'Saul Vera & Ensemble\' offer as they redefine and revolutionize the sounds of Venezuelan folk music. And his part in the bandola\'s cultural legacy A beautiful instrument and living reminder of the 16th century, the bandola llanera joins the cuatro as a defining element of Venezuelan music. Since the Ensemble\'s inception in 1986, Saul Vera has explored various themes in his musical work with the bandola, allowing audiences to enjoy the pleasures of his remarkable technique as well as gain an understanding of the instrument\'s cultural value. \'Saul Vera ensemble gave a spectacular display of rhythmic and musical virtuosity\'. Classical Guitar, London, July 1995.