The charango: its music and its performers
In selecting and elaborating the following reviews a number of well-known charanguistas (charango players) have been left out for different reasons. Some of them have already been included in previous issues of "Land of winds", as it is the case of the Bolivian Alejandro Cámara and Ernesto Cavour or the Chilean Roberto Márquez, while others are featured in other articles of this issue, such as the Bolivian Mauro Núñez and William E. Centellas. In coming issues there will be reviews of the Argentinean Jaime Torres, Daniel Navarro, Jorge Milchberg, Carlos Ibarra and Rolando Goldman; the Uruguayan Emilio Arteaga; the Bolivian Ariel Villazón, Agustín Alonso, Saúl Callejas, Celestino Campos, Edwin Castellanos, Pepe Murillo, Jorge Oporto, Donato Espinoza, Alberto Arteaga, Bonny Alberto Terán and Klarken Orozco; the Ecuadorian Fernando Guerrero; the Chilean Gastón Ávila, Horacio Durán, Conrado García, Claudio Araya, Pedro Plaza and Italo Pedrotti; and the Peruvian Julio Benavente Díaz, Erick Zubieta, Federico Tarazona, Ricardo García and Justino Alvarado, among others.
(Sukay Records – 1987)
1. Selección música rusa – 2. Taquito militar – 3. Tren lechero – 4. Marcha turca – 5. Brasilerinho – 6. El choclo – 7. Fantasía altiplánica – 8. Daniela Soledad – 9. Danza del sicuri #1 – 10. Copagira – 11. Basta corazón – 12. Salay
Eddy Navia Dalence was born in Potosí in 1949. He started to play the charango in the late 60s and in 1970 joined the guitarist Gerardo Arias. Together with other musicians he founded Savia Andina in 1975. With this group he became one of the first charanguistas performing classical music. In 1989 Navia left the group and moved to the USA; there he was part of Sukay until 1999.
He has released three solo albums, the first of which was 1987's "Eddy Navia... en charango". His picking style is immediately recognizable and the album shows his dexterity on the instrument playing a collection of very difficult songs, including classical music ("Marcha turca") and European music ("Música rusa"), a milonga ("Taquito militar"), a tango ("El choclo"), Paraguayan music ("Tren lechero"), Brazilian music ("Brasilerinho") and half a dozen Bolivian tunes (such as "Salay" and "Basta corazón", sung and played in style close to that of the k'alampeo potosino).
La magia del charango
(Alerce – 1997)
1. Vuelo de parinas – 2. Solito de charango – 3. Vírgenes del Sol – 4. Acerca del caballo, la patada y el perrito – 5. Selección: Rosita de Pica / Dos palomitas / El cóndor pasa / El humahuaqueño – 6. Ofrenda al culto – 7. Ventolera – 8. Viene clareando – 9. Gato 180 – 10. Quisiera ser tu sombra – 11. La rosa y el volcán – 12. Paisaje de Ch'ijini – 13. Cuecas: Tuerto corazón / Llareta / Batallón segundo
Together with Héctor Soto, César Palacios was one of the first charango soloists to become popular in Chile. This is one of the few albums he has ever released.
On "La magia del charango", Palacios employs and combines a variety of performing skills, thus enriching the sound of his charango. The album includes his best-known song, "Vuelo de parinas", which, as happens with a number of other tracks featured on it ("Solito de charango", "Ofrenda al culto" or "Ventolera") has become a feature on several charango playing courses as well as one of the most frequently played pieces in modern charanguistas' repertoire. Finally, "La magia del charango" also comprises a very interesting selection of Latin American traditional music (e.g. "Cuecas", "Vírgenes del sol" and "Gato 180").
(Musicom – 1999)
1. Quiero ser tu sombra – 2. Pajarillo verde – 3. Suite para charango #1 – 4. Suite para charango #2 – 5. Suite para charango #3 – 6. Um a zero – 7. Carinhosa – 8. Brasilerinho – 9. Samba blanca – 10. Argentina desaparecida – 11. Vidala para mi sombra – 12. Meu bem, meu mal – 13. Descarga charanguística – 14. Pontyado – 15. Shirin
Jascalevich is an Argentinean string player who at present lives in Germany. A composer, concert performer, and a guitar and charango teacher, he has been part of many different musical groups/projects including Dúo Encontraste, Dúo Rilegato, Trío Delicado, Dúo Los Porteños, and DJ Trío. His first solo album was released in 1999 under the title "Charango nuevo". The album shows his fabulous style and depurated tecnhique, his passion for playing and his skill in crafting jazz, bossa and traditional strumming patterns into memorable tracks. Special mention deserves the three pieces titled "Suite para charango", which display all his artistic strengths through thoughtful arrangements, a polished performance and quite diverse instrumental means.
Mis mayores éxitos
(EMI Odeón – 1999)
1. Embrujo de carnaval – 2. Quiero ser tu sombra – 3. Ojitos de taquirari – 4. Danza de los cóndores – 5. Joporopo – 6. Mi ronroco tiene una pena – 7. Corazón maldito / Volver a los 17 / Gracias a la vida – 8. Sikureada de carnaval – 9. Tres, tres – 10. Por si me olvidas – 11. A las orillas del Chungará – 12. El danzarín del sol – 13. De Bolivia vengo bajando / Batallón segundo – 14. Años / Como la cigarra / Llegó volando – 15. Maruca – 16. Takisolo – 17. Mi charango – 18. Soy pan, soy paz, soy más / Te recuerdo Amanda / Plegaria del labrador – 19. Rosita de Pica – 20. Charango del sol
Héctor O. Soto Veloso began his career as charanguista towards the mid-sixties, taking part in several Chilean folk groups (mostly Los del Pillán/Los Collas), and it was in 1970 when he launched his solo career. One year later he became one of the first Chilean charango players in going into a studio and recording an album featuring charango solos ("Charango"). He went on to release several other albums featuring his own compositions as well as traditional folk pieces from the north of Chile. During the Chilean military dictatorship (1973-90) some Andean instruments, including the charango, were banned and Soto's works were distributed in cassettes and mostly in close circuits./p>
Besides teaching Geography and History he continues working as concert player and maintains the website "Charango para todos". The album "Mis mayores éxitos" is a journey through his most popular songs, played in quite a simple style (which moves away from virtuosic effects and too much complexity) that works out fine.
(Lauro – 2001)
1. Celos – 2. Selección de huayños: Siway sí / Era pampa palomita / Cuculi – 3. Selección de huayños: Ay, ay, ay amor / Del altiplano hasta tus valles / Achacacheñita – 4. Canutos canutillos – 5. Las palmeras – 6. Amarguras y llanto – 7. Quién si no tú – 8. Selección de kaluyos: Ay, amor / Cintita celestita / Estás pensando agraviarme – 9. Selección de kaluyos: Encadenado me encuentro / Valluno borracho / Aguacero pasajero – 10. Las ilusiones del alma – 11. Selección de bailecitos: Algún día / Dos besos / Se fue mi negra – 12. Decepción – 13. Linda cochabambinita – 14. Rosas y violetas – 15. Blanco y azul – 16. Mujer obrera – 17. El carretero – 18. Selección de taquiraris: Estás por demás / No volveré a querer / El carretero – 19. Aires de Aiquile: Raq'aypampa / Q'ochicito / Duros pesares / A mi jardín – 20. Aires de Ayopaya: Chinchiri / Las tarukas / Pueblo de Independencia
Alfredo Coca was born in Cochabamba (Bolivia) in 1953. He is an architect by profession and a masterful charanguista whose music retains the traditional character of his homeland. Besides having been part of famous Bolivian groups such as Savia Andina, Proyección, Tarpuy, Amaru and Sacambaya, Coca has released a dozen solo albums where he is credited with music composition and performance.
On "Charango tradicional", Coca displays a beautiful style sprinkled with dense arpeggios, delicate finger picking and energetic and powerful strumming. The album features several selections of Bolivian traditional songs including huaynos, taquiraris, a fantastic series of quick and agile bailecitos, two collections of kaluyos played on metal string charango, and two traditional tracks from Ayopaya and Aiquile.