The quena: its music and performers
There were and there are many skillful quena players who stand out for their playing, from Antonio Pantoja, Sergio Arriagada (Los Calchakis), Guillermo de la Roca, Alfredo de Robertis and Rodolfo Dalera (Los Chaskis) to José Miguel Márquez (Illapu), Lars Nilsson (Markama), Claudio "Pajarito" Araya (Huara), Raúl Mercado and Pedro Chalco, the list is endless. In choosing the works for inclusion in this section, priority was given to those artists who have developed their careers as quena soloists.
Facio Santillán - Sortilegio de la flauta de los Andes vol. III | Lucho Cavour - La quena de Lucho Cavour | Conjunto Folklórico Sol del Perú - Quenas imperiales | Pancho Valdivia Taucán - Quena | Fernando Sepúlveda - Chile en una quena
Sortilegio de la flauta de los Andes vol. III
(Movieplay - Riviera – 1973)
1. Ángela Rosa – 2. Cacharpaya – 3. Alma guaraní – 4. Tarareando – 5. Palomita blanca – 6. Trigueña – 7. El solitario – 8. Tarabaca – 9. El chanta – 10. Que siga el baile – 11. La norteña – 12. Danza paraguaya
There is little information available about Argentine Facio Santillán's career, who was born in the province of Santiago del Estero. In 1960 he was part of the Paraguayan group Los Amigos del Amambay, with whom he toured in Paraguay and Argentina, and recorded, among others, the albums "El pájaro chogüí" (1961) and "Bajo el cielo tricolor" (1961). Later on the band moved to Hamburg (Germany), performed at many international stages and festivals, and released the successful album "Carnavalito" in 1966.
After the band split, Santillán moved to Switzerland towards 1968. In 1978 he participated in the album "Flauta de los Andes" (or "Volumen 1") by the Mexican band Los Cholos Andinos, and finally issued three albums collecting his best songs. This work (released in Spain under the title "Sortilegio de la flauta de los Andes") shot him to fame and he became a well-known figure.
There are several compilations of his work, of which "Quena y charango" also features tracks by Argentine charango player Jaime Torres.
Official website. Not available.
Link CD: Not available.
La quena de Lucho Cavour
(Lyra - SLPL - 1975)
1. Paisaje de nieve – 2. Los duendes – 3. Tres niñitos – 4. Huacha – 5. Conciencia criolla – 6. Cueca en Apuras – 7. Indios alegres – 8. Kollavina – 9. Compás de jetas – 10. La chaqueña – 11. Silli condor – 12. Mi ocaso
Folklorist and charango player Ernesto Cavour’s brother, Luis "Lucho" Cavour Aramayo started his artistic career in 1969, when he accompanied Los Jairas on a tour in Europe. In 1970 founded "Los Llocallas" and "Los Nairas", and one year later joined the band that accompanied his brother ("E. Cavour y su conjunto").
He became a renowned quena player and went on to play alone. He released solo albums and collaborated with other legendary musicians in the Bolivian traditional scene. "La quena de Lucho Cavour" is his debut solo album including "Conciencia criolla", "Cueca en Apuras" and the classic "Shilli cóndor".
Conjunto Folklórico Sol del Perú
(Sono Radio – s/f)
1. Grandeza del inca – 2. Vírgenes del Sol – 3. Honderas del inca – 4. Danza de las mak'añas – 5. Taq'ecoy – 6. El cóndor pasa – 7. Sol y luna – 8. Diana imperial – 9. P'unchauniquipi – 10. Ch'uncho tusuy – 11. Ladrón indio – 12. Toro pucllay
The band Conjunto Sol del Perú was founded in 1942 by the quena player Luis Durand Rodríguez (born in San Pedro de Canchis, Cusco), a close friend of José María Arguedas and a very knowledgeable person about the musical tradition of the Peruvian sierra. He began as mandolin player and only after an accident limited his ability to move one of his arms he became a well-known quena player praised for his composition and playing work.
With this band he released "Quenas", "Quenas imperiales" and the two albums of "Música de los Andes peruanos". "Quenas imperiales" includes traditional versions of famous songs such as "Vírgenes del Sol" and "El cóndor pasa", and features beautiful compositions by Durand, like "Diana imperial", "Ch'uncho tusuy" and "Toro pucllay".
Pancho Valdivia Taucán
(s/d - 1990)
1. Variaciones precolombinas – 2. Piedras balncas del río – 3. Bajando de las cumbres – 4. Takiy-takinasta – 5. Vasija de barro – 6. Abuelita urbana – 7. Vidala para no morir – 8. Jina waqachun kay ñawis – 9. Otoño – 10. Mapuche – 11. Palomitayta chinkachikuni – 12. Tristeza incaica – 13. Baguala para mi pueblo – 14. Quena enamorada
Born in Illapel (Coquimbo, Chile), Pancho Valdivia made his debut as quena player in 1978 with the celebrated Chilean band Altiplano. He gave concerts in America and Europe and in 1982 joined the Argentine folk projection band Huancara. Valdivia worked alongside the Argentine composer and pianist Ariel Ramírez ("Misa criolla"), the Argentina singer song-writer César Isella and the Bolivian band Markasata. Between 1987 and 1994 he taught folklore at the Ateliers d'ethnomusicologie in Ginebra (Switzerland), where he recorded "Quena". Back in Chile, he collaborated with local bands such as Fusión Andina and Transiente.
The album "Quena" includes remarkable tracks such as "Abuelita urbana", "Otoño" and a particular version of the classic "Vasija de barro". Also of notice is the presence of the charango player Florindo Alvis, who contributed several charango solos played in the distinctive northern Potosí style of k'alampeado.
Official website: Not availble.
Link CD: Not available.
Chile en una quena
(s/d – 1996)
1. El solitario – 2. Si somos americanos – 3. Pa' mar adentro – 4. La lavandera – 5. Dos veces te vi mujer – 6. Deja la vida volar – 7. Si vas para Chile – 8. Mocito que vas remando – 9. Valparaíso – 10. Los momentos – 11. Arriba en la cordillera – 12. Volver a los 17
Fernando "Chepo" Sepúlveda was born in Antofagasta and was part of Illapu's original line-up (1971). When the band went into exile in 1981, Sepúlveda remained in Chile and went on to form the bands Sachas and Ecos Andinos. Known as "the quena virtuoso", has composed over a hundred songs and recorded tens of musical works featuring a wide range of traditional Andean aerophones.
"Chile en una quena" includes some remarkable tracks like "Deja la vida volar" or "Los momentos", and the versions of famous songs like "Si somos americanos", "Si vas para Chile", or "Arriba en la cordillera".