Jandir Rodriguez Concert: Nicaragua en la Maleta
A CONCERT WITH JANDIR RODRIGUEZ –
THE TROUBADOUR OF NICARAGUA’S CIVIC REBELLION
Jandir Rodriguez is a Nicaraguan singer-songwriter whose music has become iconic for the civic protests for democracy and justice in the country. Jandir sings about love, every kind of love, for his country, for Nature and for one another. Jandir’s songs, however, are romantic and serious at the same time.
His most popular song, ‘Héroes de April’ (heroes of April), was conceived as a cronicle of what was happening in the country. “I tried to make the analogy of Nicaragua as a woman whose son had been killed, and it is she who tells her own story, full of symbolism”. The song starts with a few tones from the national anthem and became a viral hit within 12 hours.
Another one of his beloved songs is ‘El libertador’. It is dedicated to 15-year-old Álvaro Conrado who wanted to pass water to students trapped in a university. He was killed outside the university premises on April 20th 2018 by a shot to the throat. His phrase “It hurts to breathe” was caught on video and has become a symbol of the civic resistance and an inspiration for the song.
The importance of Jandir’s music for the civic movement has made him a target of persecution in Nicaragua, and he has had to leave the country. The song ‘Exiliado’ is a reference to his new life in exile, an experience he shares with around 80,000 other Nicaraguans. The title of his European tour ‘Nicaragua en la maleta’ (Nicaragua in a suitcase) is an homage to his fellow Nicaraguans in exile.
Jandir Rodriquez is 25 years old. He comes from a musical family but studied medicine when the protests started in April 2018. Like many of his fellow medical students, he attended to the wounded who were refused at the public hospitals. A month after the protests started, he wrote ‘Héroes de April’. Since then, he has composed for his people and put words to their emotions in times of struggle. Jandir now studies Popular & Contemporary Music Performance at an international university.
ABOUT THE PROTESTS
Since 18 April 2018, the Government of Nicaragua has responded to social protests with excessive use of force and killings. University students and young people are leading the protests, which have developed into a pluralistic, broad-based civic movement for democracy and human rights in the country. More than 325 have been killed, most of them young students. An investigation by independent human rights experts concluded in December 2018 that the State of Nicaragua has perpetrated crimes against humanity.