Joropo, Overcoming Resistance and Diving in.

It was Friday April 7th, 2017. I remember going on the Terraza 7 website that morning and seeing that Jorge Glem was holding his monthly Venezuelan jam session that night. I had attended the previous month and felt incredibly stupid that didn’t know any tunes in the style.

I had sent out my interview questions to Cesar Orozco and had been waiting for his reply, which had yet to come. I also had a PDF of Pablo Gil’s dissertation that had been sitting in the folder reserved for this book. It was that morning that I became fed up with continuing to procrastinate. I didn’t know any Joropo tunes, but then again so did very few of my peers. I realized I had an opportunity to dive into a new style and had all the tools I really needed. I had a list, a book, my ears and the organizational skills to do so.

I decide to consult the Pablo Gil dissertation, which had a short list of 13 songs in the back that were deemed “most important by a panel of experts. Among the list were 5 Joropos: “Zumba Que Zumba”, “El Diablo Suelto”, “Apure En Un Viaje”, “Pajarillo” and “Pajarillo Verde”. He had the artist listed next to the title and even the key so I could make sure it was the right version.

Joropo seemed like the logical choice to start with in terms of accessibility and practicality. Merengue was a bit too intimidating and Gaita too ambiguous. With Joropo, learning 5 tunes seemed like a realistic goal to undertake and if those were indeed the best ones to learn I felt assured that I would be on the right track.

"Zumba Que Zumba” was the first I tackled. It only took me 30 minutes, but that was all I needed. All of a sudden I had plunged down the rabbit hole. By simply starting and taking that initial step to dive in I had taken a turn in my life. This was after months of thinking about the best way to go about this, even building the idea for this blog around the notion that I would do this. However, this one step brought it into reality.

I was energized, inspired and assured that I was now on the right path once again to reaching the next stage in my journey. I had entered the flow state and life had taken off. I also learned “Apure En Un Viaje” that day, and “Pajarillo” the following morning. To be honest, I didn’t end up going to the jam session that night. However, that didn’t matter. In the words of Steven Pressfield, I had “overcome resistance”.

Ian Stewart