© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Jorge Glem and Sam Reider: Tiny Desk Concert

It's a very special thing when two musical cultures come together to create something that didn't exist before. That's exactly what we got to witness in this performance from Venezuelan cuatro master Jorge Glem and extraordinary accordionist Sam Reider, as they set up behind the Desk for a set of highly creative, original music from their project Brooklyn Cumaná.

Glem's dexterity on the small, traditional guitar-like instrument is evident from the very first notes of "Skeleton Rag," as he plucks out a percussive, staccato pattern that is more Brazilian than the sweeping strums of Venezuelan folk music, as Reider leans into a melody that could easily be folkloric if it wasn't something he dreamed up. Even as they end the tune at a breakneck speed, it's only the beginning of the fireworks. "Sábana Blanca y Fuga con Estribillo," which follows, is based on a traditional Venezuelan folk tune and eventually erupts into a rustic exhibition of Glem's vocals.

After a brief explanation in Spanish about the traditional song forms they work from, the duo eases into "Malagueña Cumanesa," a lament based on a memory from Glem's childhood.

"Coroticos" is a fiery exercise in an odd time meter that is actually part of Venezuelan tradition and it's a showcase for how these two virtuoso musicians test the limits of their instruments while they expand our expectations of the accordion and cuatro. The magic of this music is watching both artists completely enjoy each other's playing, with knowing glances and spontaneous vocal encouragement.


  • "Skeleton Rag" 
  • "Sábana Blanca y Fuga con Estribillo"
  • "Malagueña Cumanesa"
  • "Coroticos"

  • Jorge Glem: Venezuelan cuatro, vocals
  • Sam Reider: accordion, vocals

  • Producer: Felix Contreras 
  • Director/Editor: Sofia Seidel 
  • Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin 
  • Creative Director: Bob Boilen
  • Series Producer: Bobby Carter
  • Videographers: Joshua Bryant, Kara Frame, Sofia Seidel, Zayrha Rodriguez 
  • Audio Assistant: Alex Drewenskus
  • Production Assistant: Jill Britton 
  • Tiny Desk Team: Suraya Mohamed, Marissa Lorusso, Hazel Cills, Ashley Pointer, Pilar Galvan, Maia Stern
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
  • Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Felix Contreras is co-creator and host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.

    Stand up for civility

    This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

    We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

    Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

    Related Content