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New group Andean music
Land of winds > Perfomers > New group | Issue 01. Jul.-Aug.2010
By Edgardo Civallero | Sara Plaza

Yarina Ecuador
This Ecuadorian band consists of Cachimuel Amaguaña brothers. Born in the neighbourhood of Monserrat in the city of Otavalo (an indigenous community, mostly Quechua), they took their first steps in music thanks to a musical project set up by their parents aiming at preserving their traditions with a music and dance ensemble named “Yahuar Wauki” (Blood brothers). The family toured Ecuador and even crossed to Colombia in the late 1980s. In 1991 one of the brothers settled in the United States to study music while the rest of the family made the decision to study in Ecuador. However, a few years later, one member of the family after the other would follow the first brother. They gathered together again and renamed the band “Yarina” (Remembrance). Sooner than later the family ensemble would attain a remarkable success in the North American musical circuit.
The group’s actual line-up includes brothers and sisters from the same family and some brothers and sisters-in-law: eight players and two dancers, the latter bringing Andean dances to the stage. They have toured America and Europe and released five albums: “500 years” (1993), “Sunrise” (1997), “Forever” (1999), “Inspiration” (2001), “Nawi” (2004) and “Live at the Pequot Museum” (2008). In 2005, “Nawi” was awarded the Nammy (Native American Music Awards, equivalent to the Grammy Awards) for “Best World Music Recording”.
Yarina has stepped back and forth across the line dividing most Ecuadorian traditional folk music from modern arrangements and contemporary styles such as rock, reggae and salsa, frequently keeping one foot either side. They blend electric instruments and studio arrangements with Andean sounds at the heart of Otavalo vibrating festivals and celebrations (such as the Yamor or the Inti Raymi festivals). The band’s visionary approach draws its strength from both a love for their musical roots and their experiments with new rhythms and sounds that lend another side to their work, which has been very well received by North American enthusiastic audiences.

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