Festejo de Color
In ‘Festejo de Color’ (‘Festival of Color’), off of his newly released Mil 500 Vueltas, internationally recognized poet and folk virtuoso Nano Stern sheds a shimmering light on the beautiful mixing of cultures that results from migration.
Nano originally wrote ‘Festejo de Color’ as an homage to his grandparents who were forced to flee from Eastern Europe during WWII. However, Nano explains that this song quickly developed into a profound recognition of all migrants, the pains they endure and the celebration of their arrival into a new home. Through ‘Festejo de Color’, Nano suppresses xenophobia and celebrates the mixing of cultures, races and ethnicities.
Nano describes that, ‘Festejo’, although directly translated as ‘Festival’, is also the Afro-Peruvian dance and rhythm that ‘Festejo de Color’ is based on. Stern also introduces and combines rhythms from the Balkans and Eastern Europe with Festejo.
Stern wrote ‘Festejo de Color’ in Decima, an improvised form of poetry originally developed in Spain and Portugal, dating back to the 1600’s. Although the beloved Chilean singer/songwriter Violeta Parra famously helped reintroduce Decima in the 20th century, currently Nano is one of the only singer/songwriters to ambitiously conquer this ancient art and makes a strong cultural statement in doing so.