Jackeline Rago


Jackeline Rago is a Venezuelan-born, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, producer, and educator who specializes in Venezuelan folk music, as well as music from other countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. She has performed nationally and internationally for over 20 years.

Born in Caracas, Jackeline began playing music at the age of four, and before moving to the United States, she spent many years studying the Venezuelan cuatro (national string instrument) and mandolin. During her teenage years, she completed studies in music theory and harmony at the Escuela de Musica Prudencio Esaa, and courses in classical mandolin at the Caracas Philharmonic Orchestra Conservatory. 

The Bay Area has been Jackeline’s home base for the past 20 years, and she graduated with a B.A. from the Music & Arts Institute of San Francisco, majoring in classical mandolin. In addition to her cuatro and mandolin expertise, Rago is an accomplished percussionist and vocalist.

She is the Artistic and Musical Director of the Venezuelan Music Project and the VNote Ensemble, bands with which she regularly performs and travels. She has been a guest artist on recordings and performances by prominent artists such as John Santos and the Machete Ensemble, Andy Narell, Mike Marshall, Holly Near, Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir, Isay Barnwell (Sweet Honey in the Rock), Marco Granados (Venezuelan flutist), Omar Sosa, the Oakland Youth Chorus, various Windham Hill recording artists, and many other musicians and ensembles within the US and Venezuela.

Recently, she received the Award of Excellence in Music given by the Mission Cultural Center for the Latino Arts, and has received awards and grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the California Arts Council, Meet the Composer/Readers Digest Commissioning Program, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Lila Wallace Readers Digest Foundation, and AIM (Adventures in Music program, sponsored by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra). She was an Artist in Residence of the State of California from 1989 to 2001.

Weekend 2

July 13 & 14

Photo: RJ Muna

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The mission of World Arts West is to support local artists sustaining diverse world dance and music traditions by providing needed services and performance opportunities, while deepening the public's support of and engagement with these inspiring culture bearers.