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Ariles Son Jarocho Camp 2024

Fri - Sun, May 17 - 19

Spend a weekend surrounded by Son Jarocho, the beautiful traditional folk music, song, and dance of Veracruz Mexico! ​​

The Ariles Son Jarocho camp will gather master Son Jarocho musicians and dancers from Mexico and the United States to teach, perform, and engage in conversation with Son Jarocho practitioners of all skill levels and backgrounds. Hosted by the Ashokan Center in partnership with Son Jarocho NY, we are thrilled to welcome you all to this amazing location with other Son Jarocho enthusiasts!

What is Son Jarocho? Musical influences of the African Diaspora, Romani communities, and Arab populations were brought into the Americas from Spain during the colonial period. These styles combined with Mexican indigenous musical traditions giving birth to Son Jarocho in the early 17th century. For three hundred years, Son Jarocho was performed in fandango (community gatherings) settings in the rural communities of Veracruz, but began disappearing as younger generations moved cities within Mexico and the United States. For the past three decades, Son Jarocho has experienced a rebirth and is practiced throughout Mexico, the US, Canada, South America, Western Europe, Scandinavia, and Japan via professional performances and fandangos.

RAQUEL PALACIOS VEGA born and raised in Boca de San Miguel, Veracruz, Raquel Palacios Vega is a renowned singer and multi-instrumentalist hailing from one of the most important Son Jarocho families in Mexico, the Vega family. Raquel has traveled extensively throughout Mexico, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe. She has collaborated with international artists such as Lila Downs, Rubén Albarrán (Café Tacvba), and La Santa Cecilia, among others. She has been a member of Los Vega ensemble since 1998 and co-founded Caña Dulce Caña Brava in 2007. In 2012, she received, together with her family, the National Arts and Sciences Award for their contributions to Mexican culture.
JOEL CRUZ CASTELLANOS was born and raised in Santiago Tuxtla, Veracruz. He is a musician and producer, having performed with renowned groups such as La Candela, Viento de Agua, Los Pájaros del Alba, Los Vega, Río Crecido, and Grammy nominated Los Cojolites. Joel has collaborated with international artists such as Phillip Glass, Natalia Lafourcade, Susana Baca, Jorge Drexler, Rubén Albarrán (Café Tacvba), Celso Piña, and Patti Smith, among others. He won a Latin Grammy for his participation in the album “Un Canto por México” and a Grammy for “Un Canto por México, el musical,” both with Natalia Lafourcade. Joel is an experienced teacher and has traveled throughout Latin America, North America, and Europe sharing his knowledge of Son Jarocho music and history.
JULIA DEL PALACIO learned the traditional Son Jarocho Zapaeado under the instruction of renowned dancers in Veracruz and Mexico City. Since 2005, whild pursuing her doctoral degree in Latin American History at Columbia University, Julia has been performing professionally in the United States and training in other dance disciplines, including flamenco and Spanish Baroque dances. With her band Radio Jarocho, Julia has danced at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Joe’s Pub, Celebrate Brooklyn, St Peter’s Church, Symphony Space, Newport Folk Fesival, and at the Ashokan Center’s Winter & Summer Hoot, and Dia de las Familias.
MATEO CANO & MARIA PUENTE FLORES host a weekly radio show and regular community workshops for all ages in Kingston, NY. Pulso de Barro their band name translates as “pulse of the clay” referring to a unifying earth pulse and the building blocks of story and culture. Maria was born and raised in Mexico City and is fascinated by the power of storytelling through words and sounds. Folk music, specifically Son Jarocho, has allowed her to find community and feel rooted in this new territory. Mateo was born in Brooklyn NY and migrated to Veracruz Mexico at a very young age. He continued to develop as a music and dance performer, an executive director in a community center, and a grade school musical instructor in Miami, FL. As a bilingual Mexican-American storyteller and as a member of the Son Jarocho community Mateo has participated in many different projects and is an undergraduate pursuing Ethnomusicology and computer science.
Covid Safety Policy

This protocol meets or exceeds current CDC and NY State Department of Health guidelines and is subject to revision based on changing conditions and changes in those guidelines. We’ll notify registered campers if there are any significant changes before camp begins. We trust our caring community to find the right balance of caution and fun within these parameters, to make safe decisions, and to treat fellow campers with respect.

In Advance:

We request everyone test for COVID-19 in the 24 hours before arrival. 

If you test positive, do not attend.

If you’ve recently recovered from COVID and have been symptom free for 5 or more days without the use of fever-reducers, you may attend.

All refund requests due to COVID exposure, or COVID-related concerns will be honored.

On Site:

The Ashokan Center will provide onsite rapid testing upon request.

Anyone who tests positive or develops symptoms consistent with COVID will be asked to leave the event and will be entitled to a refund.

Payment/Cancellation/Refund Policy

You may pay in full or hold your place with a deposit of 25% per person if registering 4 or more weeks before camp. Full payment is due 4 weeks before camp begins. To cancel your camp registration, email events@ashokancenter.org

• We retain $50 per person for cancellations requested up to 4 weeks before camp begins, and for COVID-related cancellations made at any date.

• We retain your 25% deposit between 4 and 2 weeks before camp.

• We retain the full registration amount within 2 weeks of camp.

Schedule Overview


  • 6pm: DINNER


  • 8:30-9:30am: BREAKFAST
  • 9:30-12:30pm: CLASSES & WORKSHOPS
  • 12:30-1:30pm: LUNCH
  • 6pm: DINNER
  • 7:30-10pm: DANCING & JAMMING


  • 8:30-9:30am: BREAKFAST
  • 10AM-2PM: OPEN FANDANGO - Invite your friends and families to join in the fun
Pricing & What's Included!

You may choose to pay up front or pay a deposit and balance. Balance payment is due 4 weeks before the event.

Registration includes all activities and meals. Lodging is optional and camping is free.

Children under 5 attend for free (under 3 for Family Camp). Campers under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Food & Drink

All meals are included. You may indicate your dietary restrictions when registering. We make every effort to include a range of allergen-free dishes and to inform diners of meal ingredients.

The Ashokan Center is licensed to serve beer and wine in Esopus Lodge (the main building). The bar is generally open from late afternoon to early evening. Sorry, by law, guests are prohibited from bringing their own alcoholic beverages into this licensed building.


LONGHOUSE BUNKS: Rooms hold up to 24 people and are designated women, men, or all gender. Place your belongings on a top or bottom bunk after you check in to claim it. Pillows are available, please bring your own blankets, sheets, pillowcases, and towels. There are a small number of light blankets for those bunkhouse residents who are unable to bring one of their own. If you will need us to provide one, please let us know well in advance.

PRIVATE ROOMS: There are a limited number of private rooms that must be reserved in advance at extra charge. Pillows are available, please bring your own sheets, pillowcases, and towelsThere are light quilts in each private room.

CAMPSITES: Camping is available with access to bathrooms and outdoor showers. Please park by your campsite only if you plan to leave your car in place for the duration of the camp.

What To Bring

If you’re lodging with us please remember to bring a blanket and linens (or sleeping bag), towel, toiletries, soap, flashlight, earplugs (for light sleepers). There are light quilts in each private room and we have a small number of light blankets for bunkhouse residents who can’t bring one of their own. Let us know well in advance if you’ll need one.

Flashlight, recording device, camera (or maybe those are all your phone!)

Comfortable informal clothing for wet and dry weather. Some may also bring dressy, wild or fun clothing as well but that is up to you! There’s no laundry on site so bring enough clothes for the camp.

What Not To Bring
Please, no pets or drop-in guests.

Incoming mail

Your Name c/o Ashokan Music & Dance 477 Beaverkill Rd, Olivebridge, NY 12461

Outgoing mail leaves each weekday at 4pm.

Music & Dance Camp Phone (845) 657-8333 x 3

Cell phone reception is available but spotty. Calls may be dropped but texts are reliably received.

High speed Wi-Fi is available in all buildings.

Directions & Transportation

Physical Address: Ashokan Center, 477 Beaverkill Rd, Olivebridge, NY 12461

DRIVING DIRECTIONS   Take NY State Thruway (1-87) to Kingston exit #19. From traffic circle take Route 28 West (toward Pine Hill). In 12 miles (shortly after Mobil & Citgo) turn left onto Reservoir Rd. Cross the Ashokan Reservoir, turn left at the Tee. Head down the hill, pass the first left (Rt 28A East) and merge onto 28A West. Take next left onto Beaverkill Rd. Follow Beaverkill for about one mile, then turn right into the Ashokan Center driveway and follow the signs.

AIRPORT  Albany, NY (ALB) is the closest major airport (about 1.5 hours away). Public transportation is available from the airport to the Kingston bus station, where you can take a taxi to Ashokan. Or contact us at least one month before your program begins for a list of people driving from the Albany area who may be able to give you a ride.

Additional FAQ's
CAMP WAITLIST & PRIVATE LODGING WAITLIST (only join if ADD CAMPER button at top of page is disabled or your preferred lodging choice is greyed out in that form.)

If there are no camp spots or private rooms available above, you may add your name to this waitlist. If space opens up we will contact you.

The Ashokan Center builds community through shared experiences in nature, history, music and art. We have hosted traditional Music & Dance Camps at our 385 acre nature preserve for over 40 years. In 2020 we learned how to host them online and in 2021 we began to reimagine how to gather in person once again.

Come join the Ashokan family to celebrate, learn, connect, deepen your music, make new friends, and brighten your day. Our events are open to all folks, all ages and all orientations.


EMAIL: events@ashokancenter.org
CALL 845-657-8333 x3

Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions about camp!

Thank you to the Martin Foundation for supporting Ashokan Music & Dance Camps.