Maria Fernanda Gonzalez
Bandola | Venezuela
Maria Fernanda Gonzalez is a Barquisimeto-based multi-instrumentalist and journalist. After years of studying cuatro, mandolin and violin, Maria decided to take up the bandola llanera, an obscure Venezuelan instrument with well-known few female performers. She has performed internationally including the Festival of Música llanera the Silbón (Venezuela), the festival Girara de Oro (Colombia), the 32nd Music Office Curitiba (Brazil), The International Jazz Festival Barquisimeto (Venezuela) and Folklorico Summer Festivals (Portugal and Spain).
She recently completed a European tour- traveling to Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, France, and Italy- performing joropos, a traditional music of the high plains of Venezuela, with the ensemble Jirahara. She is currently enrolled at The University of Yacambú, Venezuela where she will receive a degree in social communication. She also teaches master classes on the bandola llanera and is working on codifying and writing a new universal teaching method for the instrument. Through performance and education and promotion of the bandola llanera on the scale of the Venezuelan cuatro and the joropo llanero, she seeks to promote the integration of women into the field of interpreting traditional Venezuelan music as it is one in which they are sorely underrepresented.