With his band, the Grammy-nominated Cimarrón, Rojas was leading a resurgence of Colombian joropo music.
Colombian musician Carlos “Cuco” Rojas was a master of the arpa llanera (plains harp) and other folkloric string instruments who, with his band, Cimarrón, led a recent resurgence of Colombian joropo, or llanera, music. Rojas died in Bogotá on Friday at age 67. His death was the result of a heart condition, according to a statement from the band.
“Carlos Rojas Hernández leaves behind an indelible mark on the history of Colombian music, with his name on dozens of recordings as a musician, producer, arranger and composer,” the band wrote. Cimarrón’s 2004 album on the Smithsonian Folkways label, Sí Soy Llanero, was nominated for a Grammy in the best traditional world music album category. The group’s latest album, Orinoco, was a 2019 Latin Grammy nominee.