Fri 19 Apr 2024, 20:00 – Celebrating songs, languages and strings by Romy Martinez & Juanjo Corbalán Quartet


19 April 2024
Starts: 20:00
Deur Open: 19:30

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The Indigenous People's Day is commemorated every April 19th. Hence, the concert is also a homage to its historical significance in Latin America.

To present her home of birth Paraguay, vocalist and multilingual scholar, Romy Martinez, PhD, sings in the indigenous Guarani and Spanish languages, both of which are official and widely spoken in the country. In addition to that, she sings in Brazilian Portuguese, English and Dutch portraying the distinctiveness of colonial and indigenous languages and plurilingualism from a global perspective. Romy is accompanied by Juanjo Corbalán quartet (Winner of the World Harp Competition, Utrecht, 2022), who performs the fascinating sounds of a harp colonially transplanted from Europe via the Jesuit Missions and transformed into a national emblem of Paraguay.

A flower has challenged the imagination of botanists and anthropologists, and it has inspired some of the most celebrated works of art and painters in the world, including van Gogh. Originally from the Americas, the sunflower was brought to Europe in the early 1500s following Columbus' first voyages and the beginning of colonisation. The sunflower's history is a narrative of movement across diverse boundaries and cultures exemplifying the multiple values that languages can possess, encompassing communicational and symbolic significances.

In the concert, the metaphor of the blooming is conveyed as a means of singing to the mobile history of languages and its role in songs. As the sunflower derives its name from its constant search for sunlight, is it also expressed as a poetic pursuit for joy and prosperity.

The research-concert is also part of Ms. Martinez's postdoctoral research on cultural diplomacy at Leiden University College. For this reason, she will provide online and printed questionnaires for those who wish to engage with her academic work by providing feedback on their experiences as part of an international audience. Attendants of the concert are very much welcome to enquire after the questionnaire beforehand or to get in contact for more information about the ongoing research by sending an email to

Romy Martínez, voice
Juanjo Corbalán, Paraguayan harp
Lara Barreto, sax
Seba Ramírez, drums
Victor Álvarez, piano

For more information and music from the artists, please visit:

An online version of the questionnaire is available at: