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Classic group Andean music
Land of winds > Perfomers > Classic group | Issue 05. May.-Jun.2011
By Edgardo Civallero | Sara Plaza


The Peruvian group Wayanay appeared in 1985 in Huancavelica department, in the Central Sierra of Peru. The group was formed by young people whose interest was in collecting, preserving and spreading the Andean music of this region. The group was named after the native community where they were born and it is also the Quechua term for “swallow”.
Wearing a poncho typical of their region embellished with colourful zigzag stripes, they went on to play their music all over Peru. Their first album “Salgan muchachas” (1989), an excellent piece of work from beginning to end, included some of what would become greatest hits of the band such as “Tuntuna”, “Corazón herido”, “Salgan muchachas” and “El caso Wayanay”. Encouraged by the success attained with this repertoire and their splendid performance of it, the group was able to tour out of the country.
The album “La pampa y la puna” was released in 1990 including wonderful tracks such as the classic “Río huaycheño”, the Peruvian traditional huaynos “Alverjas suruy” and “Carretay suyaykamuay”, the sikuriadas of Puno “Camino del pueblo” and “Tomasa” and the spectacular “Shilica”. One year later the group launched “Quenas”, more melodic than the former, containing mostly songs and waltzes but also a santiago (“Putu tun, putu tun”) and several traditional tunes such as “Llacctamaccta”.
After the release of their third album some members of the original line-up went their own ways. This is the case of César Tovar, who formed the group Chokpjas, which, like Wayanay, continues playing today.
“Vuela, gaviota, vuela” came to light in 1994 with new versions of “Salaque” and “Leño verde” and traditional songs such as “La mar kochachatam”. With this album the group underwent a change in its musical style by approaching that of Rumillajta or Los Kjarkas. The group’s sound, therefore, became something different from what it was originally.
Two years later Wayanay launched their first “Antology” and in 1997 recorded in the USA the album “Espíritu de los Andes”. This time the group broke away from its previous style by incorporating the bass and the keyboard and leaving behind traditional music. In fact, most of the tracks on the album are melodic songs composed by Porfirio González, the group’s founder and director, who died in 2005.
The album “Wayanay en vivo” (2000) was recorded during a concert in which the group performed songs from their early repertoire in a completely new style. The group’s first antology was re-launched in 2001 and the second, “Antología vol.1”, came out in 2007.
Previously, in 2004, Wayanay had released an album of a much modern nature titled “Acorazonado” including tracks such as “Allí estaré”, “Sayas mix” and “Ojalá”, and few traditional songs (e.g. “Sanjuacum”, “Chofercito” or “Mi negra”) stripped of their original flavour.
Present day Wayanay’s line up consists of Cesar Sánchez, Hubert Sandoval, Manuel Uribina, Omar Soria, Luis Morocho and Miguel Jara. They were who at the beginning of 2011, after a successful tour in France, launched “Llegaste a mí”, the group’s last recording.
Besides their artistic activities, Wayanay promotes and/or carries out workshops of Peruvian music and dances as well as different projects of cultural interchange.

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Video 01. “Chachaschay” (live).
Video 02. “Sillamula”.
Video 03. “Alverjas saruy”.
Video 04. “La pampa y la puna”.
Video 05. “Río huaycheño”.
Video 06. “Río huaycheño” (live).
Video 07. “El caso Wayanay” (live).
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