Venezuelan migrant musicians strike a chord in Buenos Aires

World Today

South America is racked by the biggest migration crisis in its history as millions flee Venezuela. Some of them have made it all the way to Argentina. CGTN’s Stephen Gibbs met a group of talented migrant musicians who, despite their circumstances, are sounding a sweet note.

A group of musicians puts on an impromptu concert in Buenos Aires. What few of the passers-by perhaps realize is that these maestros are recent migrants from Venezuela, schooled in their country’s famous program which develops classical musicians from all backgrounds.

Now, they’re seeking a better life thousands of kilometers from home.

They often perform in the city metro, where they don’t just play Mozart, but also a cat-and-mouse game with the authorities who tell them to move on. And these migrant musicians are everywhere.

Israel Portillo Sarmiento traveled over land with just one bag and his viola the 8,000 kilometers from Maracaibo in Venezuela to the Argentine capital. He misses home, but felt he had no choice.

“It’s unfortunate,” he says. “All my family has left. Various cousins are in Mexico, Peru, Colombia. It’s part of the reality in which we are living.”

Everywhere they play, people just have to stop and listen. One man said that, in modern societies, we have lost many values. But hearing the music raised his spirits.

So these talented young musicians, who feel there’s not much hope where they come from, are bringing a little joy elsewhere.