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Latin American Performance | September, 2006

Although it takes its name from an Aztec word meaning "the singers," Tlen-Huicani (pronounced "tlen wee KAH nee") is all about the harp, specifically, the unique folk harp of Veracruz. A fitting kickoff to Hispanic Heritage Month, this highly respected five-member ensemble performed music from Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, and a host of other Latin American countries. Master harpist Alberto de la Rosa thrills audiences with his virtuosity, and the accompanying lush harmonics on voice and instruments creates an evocative, exotic sound full of charm and cultural authenticity. Founded in 1973 at the State University of Veracruz in Jalapa, Tlen-Huicani is considered as one of the most faithful representatives of the folklore of Veracruz. They have performed in more than 50 different countries and has captured and preserved much of the music of the "Jarocho" and "Huasteco" styles in a number of recordings, and radio and television performances. While specializing in the music of their homeland, Grupo Tlen Huicani has also explored many different musical genres in Latin America especially those expressions which incorporate the folk harp. Their long-standing contribution to the musical landscape in Mexico resulted in their being named "best folk music group in Mexico" by the Union of Music and Theater Critics of Mexico. In 1998 they were officially honored for celebrating 25 years of service to the development of the cultural life of Veracruz.