A musician is completely immersed in his interpretation of a Bach suite and enchanting notes emanate from his cello. Behind him, a stone terrace leads to beautiful lush gardens with the glittering ocean and setting sun as the perfect backdrop. The setting? The luxury hotel Rancho Santana, located on Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast. The event? A fundraising activity for Casa Tres Mundos, a cultural center and music/arts school in the heart of colonial Granada, Nicaragua. Hotel guests and volunteers are captivated by the musician’s performance.
Themusician is Juan Sebastian Forero Jaramillo, 26. He was born inBogota, Colombia but pursues his musical career in Medellin. In Granada for his second visit, he is the guest of Casa Tres Mundos and Musica en los Barrios (“Music in the neighborhoods”) in Managua. His main purpose is teaching music to local children and youth: cello, chamber music and orchestra. Casa Tres Mundos will enjoy Sebastian’s musical expertise over the next four months thanks to the financial support and generosity of the German NGO Pany Arte (Bread and Art).
Sebastian’s entire life vibrates with the passion for music. He started studying as a young boy of 7 and from age 14 to 17 took theory and instrument classes at the renowned National University of Bogota. He completed an undergraduate degree in 2014 and masters in 2016 in cello interpretation at the equally famous EAFIT University of Medellin. For the past six years, Sebastian has participated in a comprehensive musical training program led by Iberacademy, a program that involves music students and teachers from Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, Nicaragua and Spain. Based in Medellin, Iberacademy focuses on quality learning and developing musicians in a holistic way, offering intense music seminars and training sessions in Medellin as well as performance opportunities with the New World Symphony in Miami and tours in Colombia and Europe (Austria and Switzerland). Sebastian has contributed to and benefited from these prestigious opportunities.
For Sebastian, music is a way to share his life with other people. When playing his cello, he feels he is “levitating”, entering his own world, his personal “paradise”. In fact, he explains that he is not playing music, but rather listening, discovering, and expressing what the music reveals to him. He lets music flow through him in an open and free way.
Sebastianbelieves Casa Tres Mundos and Musica en los Barrios offer a magnificent opportunity to Nicaraguan children and youth to access training so they can in turn better themselves and positively improve society. Through musical training, children learn discipline,respect, tolerance, patience and concentration. Sebastian believes that this translates to positive impacts not only for the children,but also for their families, who are exposed to and learn about these same values and behaviours. His beliefs are rooted in his own personal experience with his brother and father.
Sebastian explains that Nicaragua is like an open field with thousands of opportunities for potential new classical music students (“supple primary matter”). They need only to have the opportunity, to begin on the right foot, and to have access to programs with a focus on quality. What is needed is time, dedication and perseverance. To develop these attributes, Sebastian promotes programs with a holistic approach that emphasize quality, punctuality, appropriate dress, nutritious diet and a constant desire to play the best possible music.
As for the future, Sebastian dreams of studying and playing cello in Germany, Austria or Italy, to “swim with the big fish”. Sebastian is fully confident that this will happen and that he will continue to improve as a musician and most importantly, as a person. Casa Tres Mundos and Musica en los Barrios are very fortunate to host such a gifted and inspiring guest. We wish Sebastian a joyful and fulfilling musical career in and beyond Latin America.
Odette Langlais, volunteer, Amigos Casa Tres Mundos
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