Venezuelan group C4 Trio comes to Philly
This past Sunday, I had the pleasure of seeing the Venezuelan music group, C4 Trio, perform in collaboration with Casa De Venezuela. This group of charismatic guys has much more to them than meets the eye. Whether it is having several Latin Grammy nominations and wins, or quite possibly being the best cuatroists in the world, these guys are truly world-class musicians and performers.
This event was scheduled as a way for the Venezuelan community in the greater Philadelphia area to come together and celebrate their culture, and it truly did accomplish that. People were singing, dancing, and laughing throughout the whole show, an atmosphere accomplished thanks to the extraordinary playing of the group.
C4 Trio, quite misleadingly, actually contains four members. In 2005, Jorge Glem, Edward Ramírez, and Héctor Molina founded the group, and then in 2009, Rodner Padilla joined the group. The first three members all play the Cuatro, a classic string instrument from Venezuela, while Padilla plays the electric bass.
To put it simply, these guys rock! From the start to finish of the show, they had the audience clapping and whooping at almost every moment. The energy they put into their playing is amazing, and it translates right to the crowd. Watching them play, one could sense the aura of passion that surrounds the group.
In the technical aspect, I confidently say they are among the best cuatro players in the world. The cuatro is an instrument that is quite difficult to play, and each member was playing so flawlessly that it caused jaw-dropping reactions. Each member brought a unique flair to their playing, and this was greatly emphasized in each musician’s respective solos. Solos were a big aspect of the performance, with each member often going off on a tangent, playing unique riffs and executing extremely difficult strumming patterns for minutes at a time.
The group even began to pull off stunts while playing! At one point, they all sat down side by side and played together, except that they were each controlling the notes of the person sitting next to them. It was one of the most incredible live music moments I had ever seen, and if one had closed their eyes, it would have never been known. That’s how skillful they are!
As the concert progressed, the audience got more and more into the music. People began to get up and clap and dance to the beat, and it created such a lighthearted atmosphere. It was a beautiful moment of unity for the Venezuelan culture that presided in that room.
As the show ended, the audience clapped and shouted hysterically, begging for an encore. And so, as a final goodbye, they each performed a long and complicated solo, and then passed the torch on and walked off the stage. Once they were all done, the theatre erupted in applause.
Seeing the C4 Trio was an awesome experience! Their incredible talent, the feeling of cultural unity, and the light-heartedness of the performance made for a very enjoyable concert.