Latin American Harp Festival 2007

He was born in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, on December 24, 1966. Beginning at age 5, he began to sing and play the maracas in his father’s musical group. At seven he began playing the ‘cuatro’ and at nine, the bass. At fifteen he was drawn to the harp and by eighteen, he was already an accomplished performer on that instrument. He is considered an innovator, and creator of a new approach within the “llanera” music style. In 1989 he visited Villavicencio, Colombia, where critics were amazed at his agility and dexterity on the harp. He received his moniker “Metralleta” during that visit. He has performed more than 400 distinct pieces, accompanying a vast number of other artists in Venezuela and Colombia. He has recorded in South and North America, as well as Europe.

Among his best known pieces are: Cuatro arpas para un cuatro (Four Harps and a Cuatro) with Cheo Hurtado; Caricias del viento (Caresses of the Wind) with Pascal Coulon; Camerata criolla (Creole Camerata) with the Gurrufio Ensemble; Manoroz; Cara a Cara (Face to Face), etc. He has represented Venezuela at many events, such as the III Latin American Musical Meeting and the 4th, 5th and 7th ‘Jornada de las Arpas’ in Martinique. He also participated in the Festival of Villavicencio (Colombia) in ’89, ’92, ’95, ’98, ’99 and 2000, in Arauca in ’99 and 2002, and in the Festival “Alirio Díaz” in Venezuela in1997.

In May 2002 he traveled to England with the Gurrufio Ensemble to represent Venezuela at the Newbury Spring Festival, in a special event titled “Masters of the Strings in Venezuela”. As a result of this performance, the BBC Radio 3 in London became interested in Carlos Orozco’s harp work, and invited him to record a CD in December 2002, together with songwriter Maneca Costa, and also interpret African music for the program LATE Junction. Lucy Duran, producer of the BBC 3 program World Routes, dedicated a part of her program to Orozco’s music. At the end of that month, Orozco returned to England to participate in the “World Music” concert that BBC traditionally airs the first day of the New Year. The versatility of this maestro of the harp and maracas had reached the attention of English critics, along with his instantaneous ability to memorize new music and immediately improvise on it. In March 2003 he received a work permit for England from SASA Music, given the great interest shown in his concerts and recordings.

Recent performances have been: Albert Hall BBC Proms, the Bath International Music Festival and the Brighton Festival in June 2003. In May 2004 he was invited to the Bath Festival to play a solo 45 minute concert and a 20 minute duet accompanying one of the world’s finest guitarists, Australian John Williams. Recently in Venezuela he has been seen performing the Creole Camerata, which he had previously recorded live at Teresa Carreño in 2002. On November 22, 23 and 30 he will again been seen at Teresa Carreño with the Camerata in the performance hall. October 22 Orozco returns to Europe, to Lisbon, for some concerts with the African Maneca Acosta. And in Venezuela he has achieved one of his main goals; forming his own musical ensemble which he has named “MANOROZ” (manos de oro, manos prodigiosas – golden hands, marvelous hands). Through this group he is currently working through his ideas, compositions and interpretations, sharing his talent and innovative style with others who love and value the beauty of Venezuelan music.