Category: "Music"

Novalima in London [Featured]

April 9th, 2009 |

An infectiously danceable mix-up of old slave songs, salsa and dub

IT’S impossible not to dance to Novalima’s music.

Their mesmerising Afro-Peruvian rhythms based on 400-year-old slave songs mixed with Latin salsa and Caribbean dub is perfect music for this city of immigrants.

Cramming into the Cargo club beneath the rail arches where an old east London garment workers’ district meets the glittering steel and glass skyscrapers of the City, the nine musicians who make up Novalima bring the sounds of Peru’s Pacific shore to Britain.

Yma Sumac

July 29th, 2008 |

Probably Peru’s greatest artist and definitely the best known internationally, female soprano Yma Sumac is nothing less than a legend.

Born Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chavarri del Castillo, she is said to be a direct descendent of Inca Atahualpa on the part of her mother, Ima Shumaq, though this, as well as her exact year and town of birth, isn’t truly known by anyone other than the woman herself.

Flor de Huaraz and Gringo Karl

June 28th, 2008 |

Karl arrived in Peru from South Africa four years ago, full of hopes and dreams and with a job repairing classic cars. Not knowing anyone, or speaking Spanish, it was all the more of a shock to him when the company folded and he was left penniless.

Cumbia, Musica Chicha and Grupo 5

December 26th, 2007 |

Cumbia is a type of music that originated in Colombia as folk music and has since spread across Latin America becoming hugely popular. You’ll find it slightly different in each country, listened to by different sections of the population. Readers from the United States might be familiar with famous Cumbia singers Selena and The Kumbia Kings.

INC-LL Dance Performed by UPAO

December 6th, 2007 |

We saw a show in Trujillo put on by the INC of La Libertad to celebrate 49 years of them not doing very much other than receiving a salary.
The show was good, but I particularly enjoyed this act. Play the video…

Tondero Piurano

October 12th, 2007 |

The prolonged wait for spring to arrive in Lima has had me thinking of Piura, a sun-drenched paradise rich in creole culture.
The video below is of the famous Tondero dance of Piura.

Eva Ayllón

November 21st, 2006 |

I was lucky enough to see Eva Ayllón perform once, on one of her quite rare visits home to Peru from the United States where she now lives.
Eva is a famous singer of Musica Criolla – a genre of blended African, Spanish and Andean influences. Marinera, a type of criolla music and dance, can be seen in the video below.


October 26th, 2006 |

Puno is a rather bleak former mining city that hugs the shores of Lake Titicaca. It is believed that from here, Manco Cápac – the first Inca king and direct descendent of the Sun – rose from the lake with his sister to found the Inca Empire.
The people here are both Aymara and Quechua, the Aymaras concentrated mostly to the south and east and Quechuas to the north and west.