Leonard Jacome loves music. He loves the traditional music of his native Venezuela. He loves jazz. He loves symphonic music. He loves Latin fusion. He loves it all and has made it his job to figure out how to play it all on the Venezuelan llanera harp.
If you want to have some fun, go watch a video of Leonard Jacome (pronounced zha-co-MAY). The charismatic and jovial multi-instrumentalist from a little town high in the Andes Mountains quickly makes it apparent that there are no limits for the Venezuelan llanera harp when he is behind the instrument. You may even have an opportunity to hear Jacome in person soon—he recently relocated to the United States in an effort to share his unique style of harp playing with a larger audience. We caught up with Jacome over Zoom from his new home studio in Miami, Florida.
Harp Column: Welcome to the United States. You recently relocated to Miami. How did your decision to move to the United States happen?
Leonard Jacome: Yes, I’ve been living in Miami for seven months now. There were different reasons for moving here. I had lived in London, Paris, Cancún, and Bogotá. I had visited the United States several times before for concerts, and I thought about moving here because I think that in this country I can promote the Venezuelan harp and Venezuelan music. For me, this is the most important country in the world with wonderful opportunities to build my artistic career and share my Venezuelan harp.
HC: For those who are not familiar with the Venezuelan harp, can you explain the instrument and how it compares to the Celtic harp or the pedal harp?