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Absorb some Latin flavor

Los Llaneros is made up of (left to right) René Devia, Karin Stein and Edgar East, who play a variety of Colombian and Venezuelan musical styles. The ensemble will spend a week-long residency at Alexandria School District and will perform two concerts on Friday, March 14 at the Discovery Middle School auditorium. (Contributed)

Alexandria School District will host a week-long international music residency with Los Llaneros Monday through Thursday, March 10-13. It will culminate with two community concerts on Friday, March 14 at 6:30 and 8 p.m. at the Discovery middle School auditorium.

Jefferson High School choir students will be incorporated into both performances.

Los Llaneros specializes in the energetic, melodic, and sometimes haunting music from the Colombian-Venezuelan savannas (Llanos), featuring harp, maraca and “cuatro” syncopations.

The music evolved from the contact between Spaniards and nomadic Indians starting about 500 years ago.

The ensemble also features other elements of Colombia’s and Venezuela’s diverse musical cultures, such as Afro-Colombian “cubias” played on 3-foot “gaita” flutes, Afro-Venezuelan “quitiplas” tunes played on bamboo sticks, Andean music from Colombia featuring “quena” flutes and the guitar-like “tiple” with its metallic sound.

The ensemble has toured the American, European and Asian continents, has been featured in several documentaries and provides a cross-section of musical styles of sister nations Colombia and Venezuela.

General admission tickets are $5 per ticket. To purchase tickets, contact Community Education at (320) 762-3310. They will also be available at the door.

This activity is funded in part by a grant from the Lake Region Arts Council through a Minnesota State Legislative appropriation.

Other contributors include Target and Hampton Inn.