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Classic group Andean music
Land of winds > Perfomers > Classic group | Issue 06. Jul.-Aug.2011
By Edgardo Civallero | Sara Plaza


In the mid ‘70s, when the New Song movement was in its heyday and many Latin American bands embarked on different projects of recovering their musical heritage and showed their pride by using traditional instruments, five students from the National University of Bogotá decided to join the movement. They travelled around their country learning popular songs and rhythms of the Colombian Andes to create a repertoire of music drawn from folk and country traditions. The fieldwork was carried out in the departments of Cauca, Nariño, Tolima and Huila. In the latter they worked side by side with flautist José Hidrobo, acknowledged as a skilful performer of “chirimías” who shared with them a great deal of his knowledge and experience. In 1977 they created a band that, in time, would be considered as the first “Andean music” group in Colombia. Its name was “Chimizapagua”, a term from the Muisca language that refers to the civilizator hero of the Colombian altiplano.
The group was formed by Raúl Cáceres, Luisa Silva, William Morales and the brothers Ian and Omar Flórez de Armas. They launched two albums (“Subiendo la montaña”, in 1982, and “Experiencia”, in 1984) and several compilations. The group attained special recognition for their versions of such songs as “Ojos azules” and “La guaneña”, alongside their interpretations of the music of department of Cauca (especially, traditional “chirimías”).
Chimizapagua was dissolved in 1992. Raúl Cáceres and Luisa Silva formed the band Madretierra and continued spreading their knowledge on Colombian traditional music accompanied by a collection of one hundred musical instruments, while Omar Flórez released a solitary album titled “Su majestad la quena”. All of them left behind a bunch of unforgettable songs that would inspire and motivate others to focus their musical careers on recovering and playing Colombian folk.

Chimizapagua, in Radio Nacional de Colombia [es].
Link CD “Experiencia” []
Link CD compilation []

Video 01. “El canelazo”.
Video 02. “La guaneña”.
Video 03. “Agualongo”.
Video 04. “Recuerdos de Almaguer”.
Video 05. “Cachipay”.
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