If you plan to learn Spanish in Chile, you won’t want to miss out on the local color, including wonderful folk music and dance. The music of Los Huasos Quincheros is a good place to start. Los Huasos Quincheros have produced a sound that embodies the spirit of traditional folk music. This band transcends the variations between Northern, Central, and Southern Chilean folk music, and creates something that all Chilean citizens can be proud of.
Believe it or not, this group has been popular since the 1930s. Four young college students started the group with the goal of popularizing traditional Chilean folk music. Although all the original band members have been replaced over time, the band itself has endured, taking on its own life and identity.
After the rise of the Los Huasos Quincheros’ fame, other groups specializing in folkloric music arrived on the scene, including Los de Ramon, Los Cantores de Santa Cruz, and El Duo Rey Silva. This musical resurgence was not meant to be political in nature, but instead was meant to be a form of entertainment. Traditional folk music became very widespread not only in Chile, but also in other Latin American countries as well.
Musicians in the group today include Benjamín Mackenna, Antonio Antonich, Ricardo Videla and Patricio Reyes. In total, there have been more than 18 members. Some of these musicians have made Los Huasos Quincheros their life’s work, remaining with the band for decades. For example, Mackenna began singing and playing guitar for Los Huasos Quincheros in 1958 and Ricardo Videla began his musical career with the group in 1965.
Los Huasos Quincheros (also known as Los Quincheros) have met with an impressive amount of accolades over the years. They were nominated for a World Music Award in 1970. They’ve traveled to over 70 countries and performed in prestigious venues like the Kennedy Center, the Metropolitan Opera House, and Paul VI Vatican Hall. They are also recognized for selling a million records in London. The group had had 16 albums to date. The last one was from 1977 and called “Las Memorias de Patito.”
They recently staged a show called Tiempo de Recordar, or “Time to Remember,” to help people impacted by the recent earthquake. The goal of this event was to rebuild Chileans’ positive spirit through song.
The music created by Los Huasos Quincheros inspires a feeling of nostalgia for simpler times. It is evocative of traditions, the Chilean people and the country’s landscapes. Clearly, people respond to this music, as Los Huasos Quincheros have been performing for an impressive eight decades. More information about the group can be found at http://www.quincheros.cl/. Who knows? When you learn Spanish in Chile, you just might get to see them perform!