Rhythms of Change: North Carolina's Música Latina

Profiles: Pavelid Castañeda

When Pavelid Castañeda was a boy in Colombia, his older brother returned from the eastern part of the country, Los Llanos. The brother, who had been working as a cowboy sang the beautiful songs of the llanos that captured Pavelid's imagination.

Pavelid developed a passion for the harp music of the Llanera, but realizing his dreams was an elusive pursuit. His family was too poor to purchase a harp, so Pavelid mastered other more accessible instruments.

When he finally studied music at the university, he had to major in piano because the music department didn’t consider the harp a legitimate instrument.

As a young man he immigrated to New York, taking few possessions and even less money.

A few years later, he got a chance to play at a Mexican restaurant, but the owner didn’t want him to play the accordion he had picked up. So Pavelid sent for his wife who had stayed in Colombia and told her to bring his harp.

Here he plays Carau Carau, based on the legend of a feckless boy who is transformed into a mournful bird.

Project Description | Musician Profiles | Mexican Regional Music