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Jenny Estrada Ruiz, on the corridor as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, says that ‘it is very significant for Ecuador’

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The historian says that with this designation, for the authorities and all those who defend our identity “implies a serious commitment …”.

This week Ecuador received great news, especially for the musical field. On Tuesday, December 14, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated the corridor as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The historian, journalist and cultural manager Jenny Estrada Ruiz * stresses that this announcement “is very significant” for the country.

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What does this designation mean for Ecuador?

It is very significant for Ecuador to have achieved this recognition by UNESCO towards the most representative musical genre of our national identity, which is the corridor.

The Ecuadorian corridor is designated Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco

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With this designation by UNESCO, what comes next for the authorities and voices that sing this musical genre?

For our authorities, especially those responsible for education, for all of us who are interested in defending our identity, it implies a serious commitment to transmit love down the hall to new generations, encouraging their interpreters and motivating new composers.

What does the corridor represent for Ecuadorians?

All Ecuadorians should be aware that the corridor, in its various regional expressions of Sierra and Costa, is the music that best expresses our feelings.

The corridor is a musical genre that has passed from generation to generation, but how does the corridor come about?

Like almost all the music of America, it is a mestizo genre. Research on its origins lead us to set as a starting point the time of independence (19th century), when it enters from the north and spreads as a danceable rhythm, being at the beginning of the 20th century when it becomes a musicalized poem and its musical structure acquires the form in which it has transcended in time.

Are Carlota Jaramillo and Julio Jaramillo some of the leaders in the corridor and this Unesco designation encourages us to continue keeping their legacy alive, in what way can the new generations be motivated to sing the corridor?

Great interpreters such as Carlota Jaramillo (Sierra) and Julio Jaramillo (Costa) internationalized immortal melodies without distinction of regional origin, being their interpretive quality, their musical richness and the content of their poetic messages what caused them great diffusion.

Unfortunately, there has not been a State policy that requires and supports musical education in schools and colleges, the only way to sow the rapprochement towards national music among the new generations who, influenced by foreign rhythms, are unaware and even despise the Ecuadorian corridor, unconscious that it is in the music of identity where a people manifests its soul. (I)

* Estrada Ruiz in 2009 founded and directed for eleven years the Museum of Popular Music, named after Julio Jaramillo, together with the Nicasio Safadi Hall School, pioneering entities of its kind in the country, laying the foundations of the defense of our musical identity in the city.

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