The man carrying the cuatro has landed in London to put some fiesta in Amabile’s February.
Venezuelan-born guest conductor Cristian Grases will be leading hundreds of singers from the London choral powerhouse on Sunday at Centennial Hall, and playing some cuatro as needed.
“It’s Venezuela’s national instrument. It is a distant cousin of the ukulele. They all come from the Spanish (guitar) that came here with Columbus,” Grases said Friday. “We have three or four songs that require cuatro.”
It was the cuatro that helped Amabile conductor Carol Beynon recognize Grases as he arrived from California at London International Airport on Thursday. Not long after, Grases was leading scores of girls and women from the Amabile Youth Singers and Prima, its women’s choir, in music by teacher and mentor, Venezuelan composer Alberto Grau.
– James Reaney, The London Free Press