Suma y no Resta llega al mercado local

ENTORNOINTELIGENTE.COM / − HMJ PROJECT es el nombre de esta singular reunión de amigos que quedó plasmada en la producción Suma y no Resta, un paso más en la carrera de los virtuosos maestros Hildemaro Álvarez (pianista y productor musical), Miguel Hernández (baterista) y José Oliveira (Saxofonista). "HMJ Project es el nombre que decidimos ponerle a la fotografía musical que capturó lo que ocurrió durante los días de grabación, es nombre que recibe el momento creativo que, gracias a Dios, trascendió a más y hoy se puede escuchar en este disco", comentó Hildemaro Álvarez. Suma y No Resta, ofrece ocho temas en los que se fusionó el Jazz contemporáneo con los tambores venezolanos en una propuesta que con seguridad sentará un precedente importante en la manera de hacer Jazz en nuestro país y en Latinoamérica en general. Producido por Hildemaro Álvarez, en conjunto con Miguel Hernández, José Oliveira y Orlando Hernández como coproductores cuenta con la mezcla de Darío Peñaloza y la masterización de Jesús Jiménez. La grabación ocurrió en unas pocas reuniones que se hicieron en el mes de noviembre de 2013, la postproducción se realizó en el mes de mayo de 2014. José Oliveira maestro saxofonista comenta: "HMJ PROJECT", surge por la necesidad de expresar en un mismo idioma una diversidad de cosas, utilizamos como pretexto la músicay en particular el jazz para poder hacerlo. Los tres queremos por ello manifestar a través de este disco nuestro agradecimiento a Dios por los dones con los que nos bendijo al poder ejecutar nuestros instrumentos, al ver como con el tiempo creció el aprecio, la hermandad y la amistad que nos unió como trío al proyecto "HMJ Project". Definitivamente colocar todo esto que comento en melodías fue lo que nos motivó a reunirnos y lo mejor fue que quedó plasmado en nuestra primera producción discográfica "Suma y no Resta". Suma y no Resta es un disco dirigido principalmente a todos los amantes de la música, en especial a los que disfrutan del Jazz y de los ritmos Afro−Venezolanos, puntualizó Oliveira. Quien indicó además: "la mayoría de los temas son de nuestra autoría haciendo de esta fusión musical algo más innovador aún si consideramos en conjunto con las oposiciones el "lenguaje de improvisación" utilizado por cada uno de nosotros". Suma y no Resta presenta una propuesta innovadora, fresca, moderna y autentica de la mano de tres de los músicos y productores musicales más importantes de Venezuela. Si quieres disfrutar de esta propuesta solo debes acceder a los portales iTunes e iChamo y descargar esta producción musical.


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 Inicio > Internacionales | Publicado el Martes, 24 de Diciembre del 2013
Venezuelan car owners unfazed by planned fuel hike

Jamaica Gleaner / CARACAS, Venezuela (AP): Owners of the 1970s−era gas−guzzling trucks and sedans that have long reigned over Caracas's smog−filled roadways will soon have to pay a bit more to keep flaunting their energy−inefficient monsters.

As an economic crisis drains government coffers, President Nicolas Maduro is putting motorists on notice and taking on one of the nation's biggest sacred cows: nearly free gasolene. With cut−rate prices for fuel, Venezuelans have never felt compelled to buy smaller, more environment−friendly vehicles like motorists in many other countries, often favouring decades−old clunkers or newer SUVs.

Prices at Venezuelan gas pumps have been frozen for almost 20 years, with politicians hesitant to repeat the mistake of rising prices in 1989, triggering days of deadly rioting. The late President Hugo Chávez once confessed it pained him to practically give away fuel to luxury car owners, but during 14 years of rule, he never dared to touch the gasolene subsidy that consumes upward of US$12.5 billion a year in government income.


But all good things must come to an end. For Venezuelan motorists, to whom cheap gas is something of a birthright and fuel efficiency a foreign concept, that means having to pay more than the 5 cents a gallon that gas currently costs at the official exchange rate, or less than a penny at the widely used black market rate.

For now, motorists seemed unfazed by the idea of paying more at the pump because it is unknown how much prices will rise. Maduro is still testing the political waters to see if Venezuelans already squeezed by 54 percent inflation and a collapsing currency are willing to fork over more to fill up.

The lobbying began the day after Maduro's party prevailed in December 8 mayoral elections when Vice President Jorge Arreaza said it was time to debate raising gas prices. The idea gained steam when Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez declared that having the world's cheapest gas "isn't a record to be proud of".

Then last week, Maduro said he favoured raising prices gradually over three years, making sure it doesn't add to inflation.

"As an oil nation, Venezuelans should have a special price advantage for hydrocarbons compared to the international market," the former bus driver told mayors on December 18. "But it has to be an advantage, not a disadvantage. What converts it into a disadvantage is when the tip you give is more than what it cost to fill the tank."

Politically, the timing is right to increase gas prices. After four elections in little more than a year, Venezuelans aren't scheduled to go to the polls again until late 2015. That gives Maduro a rare opening to push unpopular reforms that analysts say are long overdue. Coupled with a devaluation of Venezuela's currency, the bolívar, eliminating the gas subsidy will help close a budget deficit estimated at 11.5 per cent of gross domestic product, among the world's largest.

Unlike the well−maintained 1950s−era American automobiles gracing the streets of Communist Cuba, Maduro's staunchest ally, there is nothing majestic about Venezuelans' beloved steel behemoths.

Most of their cars are clunkers − Dodge Chargers and Chevy Malibus from a bygone era many Americans would rather forget. Some are held together with wire and rope and driven as unregulated taxis that take the place of public transport in major cities.

Ruben Ruiz is the proud owner of one: a 1975 Ford LTD station wagon that he affectionately nicknamed his "poverty spook," because the vehicle keeps him gainfully employed, transporting everything from eight passengers at a time to crates of fresh fruit. He once even transported a cadaver.

The car was purchased new during the height of the oil boom known as Venezuela Saudita, or Saudi Venezuela, when a super−strong currency spurred frequent foreign travel and frenzied consumption.

He has held on to the rusting hulk though subsequent oil booms and busts, its velvet upholstery ripped apart and passenger doors impossible to open from the inside. He said modern cars don't afford the same heft or trunk space. Having paid for his initial investment several times over with cheap gas prices, Ruiz said he can easily afford a little more to keep filling up.

In Venezuela, "you spend more on liquor than you do on gas," said Ruiz, who pays 6 bolívars to fill the 60−litre tank every two days.

Many Venezuelans seem similarly unconcerned about the prospect of higher fuel prices. Despite mounting economic troubles and deep political divisions, it is hard to imagine a repeat of the deadly looting triggered in 1989 when then−president, Carlos Andrés Pérez raised gas prices as part of an austerity package pushed by the International Monetary Fund. The unrest, in which at least 300 people died, became known as the Caracazo and remains a powerful deterrent against policies affecting people's wallets.

Maduro himself has taken care to dismiss any parallels.

"We don't come from the neoliberal school," Maduro said, referring to free−market policies that Chávez rallied Latin American leaders to oppose.

Indeed, Maduro is selling the price hike by promising to reinvest the savings to build schools and homes. It is a path pioneered by Indonesia, which cushioned the effects of a 44 per cent fuel increase in June with US$900 million in cash transfers to the poor. In 1998, an IMF−mandated fuel increase sparked protests that toppled the three−decade Suharto regime.

But in Indonesia, prices at the pump are US$2.50 per gallon — 50 times higher than what Venezuelans currently pay. Even if the government ramps up prices to the level it says is needed to cover production costs, a litre will still only cost around 2.50 bolívars, about 40 cents on the dollar at the official exchange rate, compared with the 12 bolívars it costs for a litre bottle of water.


"Prices are so cheap in Venezuela that they may make Saudi Arabia and Iran look expensive," said Lucas Davis, a University of California−Berkeley energy specialist.

The distortions created by such a low price are easy to spot. Lines at gas stations get longer every year as more cars come on the road, pushing up per capita gas consumption that is 40 per cent higher in Venezuela than any other country in Latin America, according to Davis.

The subsidies also contribute to pollution, encourage the smuggling of oil to neighbouring nations with much higher prices, and handicap state−run PDVSA's efforts to develop the world's largest oil reserves. The IMF said in 2011 that a whopping 16 per cent of Venezuela's public income is spent on energy subsidies.

Davis said economic theory holds that higher prices, if sustained, over the long run, will push the guzzlers off the road and force Venezuelans to fall in line with a global trend towards cleaner, more fuel−efficient vehicles.

But in Caracas's urban jungle, where multi−lane roadways are the norm, sidewalks few, and crime rampant, old habits die hard.

Homemaker Patricia Lira says she has no plans to stop driving her 4x4 Jeep Cherokee to buy bread a few blocks from her house, even if prices go higher.

"I'm embarrassed to admit it," she said, "but I'll use my car the same way I do now."

− AP



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