Ignacio Figueredo: (The Joropa)
Ignacio Ventura Figueredo, also known as Indio Figueredo, was a Venezuelan folk musician and harpist. Ignacio Figueredo was born in Algarrobito, Apure, Venezuela on July 31st 1899. At a young age of 11, he made his first public appearance in San Juan de Payara (Apure state). He started acquiring popularity in 1914 when he composed El Gaban, which came to be known as one of the genres of Joropo. The Joropo is a musical style having African and European influences accompanied by a dance in which there is hand turns, feet movement and waltz turns.
Some of other popular works he composed were Las Tres Damas, Guayabo Negro, Verdún, Guachamarón and La Periquera. Later he composed one of his most famous pieces known as Maria Laya, which was dedicated to a lady he met at a party. It was included as an example in many teachings and manuals.
In 1935, he married Mercedes Castillo, with whom he had 11 children. In 1947, during one of his presentations, he was heard by Fredy Reyna, Reinaldo Espinoza Hernandez and Antonio Estevez, who were all much respected musicians at the time. "They decided to take him to Caracas where he astonished and captivated the public with his skills in the execution of the harp. From then he began to be called "Indio Figueredo" which means "The Indian Figueredo."
In 1950s, he started performing on radio and on national stages. During this time, he also started teaching his skills to other well known musicians and composed 400 pieces which were recorded and released to the public. During the 1950s till his death on September 3rd, 1995 in Apure, he continued composing music, he was given recognition by the president of Venezuela, and a short film was made about his life. Even after his death, musicians continue performing his pieces and publishers continue releasing books containing his music and his work.