Colombian Vallenato performed in London’s BBC studios for the First Time in History

On Friday, January 27th 2012, at 8:15pm, Colombian vallenato music entered the history of the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) as the newest genre of music to be played live in studio. This effort was made possible thanks to BBC World Routes, BBC Radio 3, Latinos in London Ltd, the generous participation of Egidio Cuadrado (Rey Vallenato and accordionist to Carlos Vives), percussionists Alfonso de Jesus & Jorge Cano, base player David Morel and the inmense raw talent of London’s very own Jose Hernando Arias Noguera, the 2012 winner of the BBC World Routes Grant.

This historic night was the culmination of the search for the winner of the 2012 BBC World Routes award, which delved into London’s rich mixture of young musical talent to find one individual worthy of the award. The award was presented to Jose Hernando by Damon Albarn – ex-singer of UK rock bands Blur and Gorillaz. Launched in 2010, the BBC Radio 3 World Routes Academy aims to support and inspire young world music artists by bringing them together with an internationally renowned artist in the same field and belonging to the same tradition.

The scheme targets forms of music and musical skills that are under threat to help preserve them. BBC Radio 3 appointed 19-year-old Accordion player José Hernando Noguera as its 2012 World Routes Academy mentee and paired him up with mentor Egidio Cuadrado, who is based in Bogota, and is regarded as the leading Vallenato Accordionist of his generation.

As part of the award, each World Routes Academy protégé gets to:  
* record professionally produced music sessions
* research and co-present a number of BBC radio shows 
* play in front of large audiences at WOMAD, the BBC Proms & the Royal Albert Hall
* collaborate with musicians both in the UK and abroad

Listeners can follow the partnership over the six months of the scheme through regular interviews, documentary material, recordings and performances in Radio 3′s weekly programme World Routes.

The complete audio recording of tonight’s awards ceremony and concert will be broadcast live on Sunday the 29th of January 2012 at 10pm on BBBc Radio 3 (90-93FM). It can also be heard online at (Further details at

After the awards, José said: “I still can’t quite believe I’m going to be the apprentice for the World Routes Academy this year. I’m so excited and honoured to be taking part in the scheme and am really looking forward to working with Egidio over the coming months.”

Egidio says: “First of all, I wanted to say this is something that gives me a lot of satisfaction and a lot of joy. I’m excited to be working with José Hernando on this musical and cultural project which is very important to me.

Roger Wright, Controller of BBC Radio 3 says: ”The World Routes Academy offers a distinctive contribution to Radio 3′s unique world music programming. After substantial projects in Iraq and India, this annual mentoring project turns its attention to Colombia and promises to deliver another inspiring and exciting set of performances and broadcasts.

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