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Trovadores hope that new online directory will help increase bookings

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Trova in Yucatán dates back to the 19th century and derives in part from Spanish and Cuban influences. Photo: Courtesy

Before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, trovadores and tríos were ubiquitous in Mérida’s downtown parks and plazas.

Now, to help Yucatán’s traditional musicians take part in a post-pandemic comeback, the state’s department of culture and the arts has launched an online directory.

The catalog was announced to support local musicians and promote traditional trova and trio music — as well as to simplify and increase bookings.

The musicians are just now starting to trickle back, but complain of a lack of work and hesitancy on the part of potential customers. 

“This is how we make our living and we want to be able to continue with these important traditions. We are all extremely committed to safety and are more than happy to take every precaution for the sake of our customers and our own,” said a veteran trovador, Jorge Sánchez López.

Earlier: As musical competition launches, trovadores look to win big

Trova de Yucatán refers to a traditional musical genre that originated in the 19th century. The sound of trova relies heavily on melodic guitar chords.

A trío is a group made up of three trovadores, a rhythm guitarist, a guitarrón bassist, and a requinto guitarist who handles most instrumental solos. Trovadores and tríos are often hired for celebrations such as birthdays, engagement parties, wedding receptions, baptisms and quinceaños. 

Tríos are also often hired for romantic serenades and play an important part in traditional courtship rituals. However, serenades need not always be romantic. They are often used to awaken a loved one such as a parent or child on their birthday with traditional songs such as “Las Mañanitas.”

A PDF catalog of registered musicians can be found at culturayucatan.com

Musicians interested in registering with the directory can do so free of charge by sending their photo and contact information to sedeculta@gmail.com

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