Archive for the South America Category

PERU NEGRO story / Ronaldo Campos de la Colina bio (photography)

Posted in Listen Recovery, Peru Music Icon, Peru Negro, photography, South America on February 1, 2010 by Listen Recovery

Words by Juan Morillo (Peru Negro Management / US)

Eight years ago the three-decade young Perú Negro broke into US cultural territory. Each visiting year the tours extended in time and space and the ensemble’s visibility in the American Performing Arts scene settled into a fixture. After visiting hundreds of universities and schools across the North American continent, audiences are still surprised to find out that the African diaspora extends to Perú. We know this new musical effort will contribute to enhancing that knowledge. When the group prepared for this upcoming album and tour, the creative juices splashed in different directions. Nevertheless, Perú Negro continues to represent the stalwart of Afro Peruvian music and dance and despite the injection of youth and modernity, it’s maximum ambition revolves around the preservation of a musical legacy, a heritage that receives mediocre support at home. I could write extensive notes on the history and the stories of the group, however I am choosing to concentrate on the music that you now find yourself listening to in your car, in the living room, or thanks to technology, at almost any unimaginable place. The stories and the history navigate all over that wonderful globalizing tool known as the internet. Also, we can finally celebrate the publishing of the first academic work on the subject, “Black Rhythms of Peru,” so professionally researched and written by our friend Heidi Feldman. The recording of the album spanned over a period of a year and a few months, partially due to geopolitical circumstances. What you have in your hands now is a musical product like no other that comes out of Peru where the recording industry succumbed to piracy and artists must struggle to phonographically archive their creations appropriately.

Lead by the Cajón, Afro Peruvian music embarked on the path of universal recognition and Perú Negro’s contribution to such effort must not go unrecognized. The cajón, theheartbeat of this music, a simple wooden box originally conceived as a musical instrument on the coast of Perú is now played around the world in a plethora of musical circles, opening borders to cultural integration.

What is left now is for you to make yourself comfortable to enjoy the music on this album, forget about time signatures, academic discourse, or vernacular translations, liberate yourself and enjoy the music, let it boost the palpitation of your heart and uninhibitedly dance it away. Perú Negro expects nothing else from you than to celebrate the music with them.

The Music of Zamba Malató

The repertoire on this album portrays a combination of classics of the Perú Negro performance songbook and a couple of new pieces. Of course most of the songs are best enjoyed watching the group perform and dance them on stage. The opening number Una Negra y un Negro is a festejo, the more festive of Afro Peruvian genres. The song relates a story of newlyweds who after a few mishaps finally consummate their love. So for those curious about the details, the chorus responds “eso no se dice . . .” (that cannot be told). This piece concentrates pure group effort without lead voices. The vocals you hear come from all the members of the company singing in unison . . . The title track, Zamba Malató is a landó, the more sensually captivating of Peruvian genres. Here is where I must warn you that literal translations can morph the original meaning of the song. Blacks in Perú were not socialized in similar experiences as their North American counterparts and the term zamba employed to refer to women of mixed African ancestry does not carry the negative connotations used in the United States. This song is better appreciated with the dance that recreates the relationships developed by women who performed laundry chores together . . . Cañete represents a tribute to the town known as the “cradle of champions” for its fruitful production of Black luminaries including the founder of Peru Negro, Ronaldo Campos de la Colina. . . Que Tiene Miguel is a zamacueca, a sibling of the landó however more upbeat. This song narrates the abuses to which slaves were exposed while working in the farms and haciendas of the Peruvian South. Chronicles tell the story that the liberator Simon Bolivar was an avid dancer of the zamacueca . . . Festejo de Ritmo showcases the percussive chops of the group’s rhythm section. This piece is also a ritual dance that energizes the execution of both musicians and dancers. At the enigmatic Dance Africa in Brooklyn the group performed this piece with the BAM/Restoration DanceAfrica Ensemble, a group of young female dancers from the Stuyvesant neighborhood and together literally brought the house down . . .

I first heard Golpe e’ Tierra on an old recording by Susana Baca and immediately fell in love with it. The musical and historical value of this song relies on its capture of the legacy of Afro descendants in the northern coast of Peru, a subject otherwise poorly studied. Here, as you can also hear on other tracks, we introduced the West  African djembe now featured as an integral part of the ensemble. Perú Negro was criticized in the 70s for the use of Cuban congas, we expect that thirty years later another effort to reconnect with the diaspora will not be frowned upon.  After the late Celia Cruz recorded Toro Mata, the song turned into the most recognizable from the Afro Peruvian musical landscape. The Toro Mata is a landó and in its dance form becomes a mockery of the minuet and other stiff European dances observed by the slaves in thehomes of their masters. The lyrics also offer double-entendre since the toro or bull embodies a significant symbol of Spanish culture . . . The Afro on this album comes from a compilation of ritual dances performed by the group and as projected by its name,
it pays tribute to African ancestry. On this Afro, the group plays the first part usingwooden instruments exclusively and switch on the second section to skin drums . . . I first came into contact with the artistry of Allan Phillips when recording the trailblazing album of Alex Acuña, Acuarela de Tambores. I lost touch with him for a few years untilone of our last tours took us to UC San Diego and there he was, attacking the piano, at a reception for us at the Faculty Center. The group joined him on stage for an evening of musical magic. That night he told me he had a song for us to record. What you hear now is Allan’s gift to the group, Bailarás, The arrangement asked for the group to be a bit more adventurous and we crossed the line of tradition nevertheless staying true to the roots. The result is this dynamic song that also brought another friend, singer Ricardo Lemvo to lay down Kikongo chants, the dialect spoken by a significant number of the slaves who were eventually taken to Perú. . . Pancha Remolino is an Afro Peruvian classic, also a party favorite. This festejo tells the story of a jarana, Peruvian slang for an informal festivity where musical challenges take place among the participants, part of the lyrics tell: “I moved my hips without asking my bones for permission.” . . .  Su Majestad el Cajón were lyrics that traveled in Rony’s mind for a while to honor the  companion that provides him a living . . . The last track on this album appeared somewhat accidentally. This is a piece we attempted to record and never got around to do it. Strangely enough during a break on this recording we left the lines open and did notrealize this impromptu performance ocurred until we opened up the files to begin mixing. Cajones is one of the signature pieces of Perú Negro that places the mystique of the cajón center-stage. We promise to record it again, this time intentionally and with all the guys in the studio.

Juan Morillo
Los Angeles, CA

PERU Trip: Afro Latinos Tv documentary w/ PERU NEGRO

This story starts in the early 1700s when Peru’s slaves were banned from using drums. Their rhythmical songs were adapted to the cajón, a wooden box of agricultural origins and a mainstay in black Peru. A hybridization of African, Indian, Latin, and European music evolved over the next 200 years, but in the late 1950s the African elements of Peruvian music were reborn. On January 20, 2004, Perú Negro, the only Afro-Peruvian performance troupe to last 35 years, releases Jolgorio, their second CD in recent years, and launched a North American tour that hit a dozen cities.

For those familiar with the music of Perù Negro, many tracks on Jolgorio, which translates as “a state of celebratory frenzy,” will sound familiar. Songs like “Jolgorio” and “Taita Guaranguito” appear on their new CD to show the artistic evolution achieved by the group while maintaining strong ties to their roots.

Two groups set the standards of contemporary Black music in Peru. One was the seminal group Cumanana, founded by Nicomedes Santa Cruz and which disbanded in the ’70s, and the other is Perú Negro. In 1969, Ronaldo Campos was playing cajón in a Lima tourist restaurant. With encouragement from the restaurant proprietor, Campos adapted his repertoire to emphasize black music, and Perú Negro was born. Soon after, Perú Negro won the grand prize at the Hispanoamerican Festival of Song and Dance in Buenos Aires, Argentina and overnight became a national treasure in Peru.

Partial credit for the performance evolution of Black Peruvian music goes to a Cuban drummer named Jesus “El Niño” Nicasio, who performed in Peru in the early ’50s. El Niño and Campos played together in Cumanana, where they incorporated Cuban conga and bongo into black Peruvian music. El Niño invented the first drum patterns used for this genre.

El Niño’s son “Macario” later perfected these patterns as a member of Perú Negro and today el Niño’s grandson “Macarito” continues the tradition as a member of the group. Perú Negro’s adaptations took on their own form and are now accepted as a wholly Peruvian phenomenon.

Perú Negro’s ascent came at a time when a new revolutionary military government sought to gain popular support through the promotion of indigenous Peruvian folklore, writes Heidi Feldman in her forthcoming book, “Black Rhythms of Peru: Staging Cultural Memory Through Music and Dance” (Wesleyan University Press, 2005). “The collapse of the military revolution and its cultural policy in 1980,” continues Feldman, “compounded by evening blackouts and bombings during the Maoist guerrilla army Sendero Luminoso’s crusade of terror—put an end to much of Perú Negro’s local theatrical work in the 1980s. The company stopped performing in theaters and returned to its origins, entertaining tourists in restaurants and peñas (nightclubs).”

When Ronaldo Campos died in 2001, his son Rony took over Perú Negro’s direction. Under the younger Campos, the group is experiencing a revival. The latest repertoire features such innovations as the presence of a flute, now becoming integral to black Peruvian music, and Cuban drums made Peruvian, such as the wooden batajón which is a cross between a cajón and a batá (double-headed Afro-Cuban drum). The group reinterprets standards and composes new songs. They also feature some dances they had stopped presenting due to the economic crisis of the ’80s & ’90s; like “Son de Los Diablos,” which requires intricate and costly costumes.

While the paradox created tragedy, the hybrid of influences of Perú Negro has created music rich with profound rhythm, passion, and history.

Marco Campos (PERU NEGRO) / Renz (LISTEN RECOVERY)  Los Angeles CA

Marco Campos, Surco, LIMA PERU

ANDRES LANDERO “his music and story” (video / downloads)

Posted in Andres Landero Music, Colombia Music, Colombian Music Icon, Cumbias, EP downloads, Listen Clothing, MUSIC DOWNLOADS mixes Listen Recovery, photography, Rare, South America, video archives on February 1, 2010 by Listen Recovery


1. Dejame gozar la vida

2. Maria de los Reyes

3. La Muerte de Eduardo Lora

4. Candelaria vida mia

ANDRES LANDERO Selection by Listen Recovery (4 track mp3 download) < link here

Bardo Martinez Thesis of CUMBIA & ANDRES LANDERO bio. 2008  (Link) ^

Los in Civilization: THE ACRE TRIBE of THE AMAZON (Brazil/Peru)

Posted in Amazon Preservation, Brasil, Listen Recovery, movie (cultural) international, new blog intro, Peru, South America on January 3, 2010 by Listen Recovery

Click on photo to (enlarge) (videos)

Uncontacted Indians of the Envira who are in the Terra Indigena Kampa e Isolados do Envira, Acre state, Brazil. These Indians live in six different places, each community has six communal houses.

Brazil’s government agreed to release stunning photos of Amazon Indians firing arrows at an airplane so that the world can better understand the threats facing one of the few tribes still living in near-total isolation from civilization, officials said Friday.

Anthropologists have known about the group for some 20 years but released the images now to call attention to fast-encroaching development near the Indians’ home in the dense jungles near Peru.

“We put the photos out because if things continue the way they are going, these people are going to disappear,” said Jose Carlos Meirelles, who coordinates government efforts to protect four “uncontacted” tribes for Brazil’s National Indian Foundation.

Shot in late April and early May, the foundation’s photos show about a dozen Indians, mostly naked and painted red, wielding bows and arrows outside six grass-thatched huts.

Meirelles told The Associated Press in a phone interview that anthropologists know next to nothing about the group, but suspect it is related to the Tano and Aruak tribes.

Brazil’s National Indian Foundation believes there may be as many as 68 “uncontacted” groups around Brazil, although only 24 have been officially confirmed.

Anthropologists say almost all of these tribes know about western civilization and have sporadic contact with prospectors, rubber tappers and loggers, but choose to turn their backs on civilization, usually because they have been attacked.

“It’s a choice they made to remain isolated or maintain only occasional contacts, but these tribes usually obtain some modern goods through trading with other Indians,” said Bernardo Beronde, an anthropologist who works in the region

Brazilian officials once tried to contact such groups. Now they try to protectively isolate them.

The four tribes monitored by Meirelles include perhaps 500 people who roam over an area of about 1.6 million acres (630,000 hectares).

He said that over the 20 years he has been working in the area, the number of “malocas,” or grass-roofed huts, has doubled, suggesting that the policy of isolation is working and that populations are growing.

Remaining isolated, however, gets more complicated by the day.

Loggers are closing in on the Indians’ homeland — Brazil’s environmental protection agency said Friday it had shut down 28 illegal sawmills in Acre state, where these tribes are located. And logging on the Peruvian border has sent many Indians fleeing into Brazil, Meirelles said.

“On the Brazilian side we don’t have logging yet, but I’d like to emphasize the ‘yet,’” he said.

A new road being paved from Peru into Acre will likely bring in hordes of poor settlers. Other Amazon roads have led to 30 miles (50 kilometers) of rain forest being cut down on each side, scientists say.

While “uncontacted” Indians often respond violently to contact — Meirelles caught an arrow in the face from some of the same Indians in 2004 — the greater threat is to the Indians.

“First contact is often completely catastrophic for “uncontacted” tribes. It’s not unusual for 50 percent of the tribe to die in months after first contact,” said Miriam Ross, a campaigner with the Indian rights group Survival International. “They don’t generally have immunity to diseases common to outside society. Colds and flu that aren’t usually fatal to us can completely wipe them out.”

Survival International estimates about 100 tribes worldwide have chosen to avoid contact, but said the only truly uncontacted tribe is the Sentinelese, who live on North Sentinel island off the coast of India and shoot arrows at anyone who comes near.

Last year, the Metyktire tribe, with about 87 members, was discovered in a densely jungled portion of the 12.1-million-acre (4.9-million-hectare) Menkregnoti Indian reservation in the Brazilian Amazon, when two of its members showed up at another tribe’s village.

More than half the world’s 100 uncontacted tribes live in Brazil or Peru and campaigners say many face

threats to their land from illegal logging.

Colombia, Cities & Map.

Posted in Colombia, Maps, South America on December 7, 2009 by Listen Recovery

click on the map to (enlarge)

TOTO LA MONPOSINA Y SUS TAMBORES: @ The Grand Performances, LA (video by Listen Recovery & Cinema Artists)

Posted in Afro Colombian, Colombia, Listen Recovery, South America, Toto La Momposina, video archives on November 13, 2009 by Listen Recovery


Toto La Momposina for the 1st time in Los Angeles.  This is a preview of Toto’s Dvd by Grand Performances & Listen Recovery.  Stay tune for the complete footage of her historical performance along with her “Tambores”.





Posted in South America on October 14, 2009 by Listen Recovery

PIERO (Argentina)



ARTURO ZAMBO CAVERO: R.I.P “Afro Peruvian Master”

Posted in Afro Sounds, Arturo Zambo Cavero, Listen Recovery, Music Negra, Peru, Peru Music Icon, Peru Negro, photography, R.I.P's, South America, video archives on October 10, 2009 by Listen Recovery

El Comercio (Article about the passing of Arturo Zambo Cavero) Peruvian News Paper.


Arturo Cavero Velásquez

(b. Peru-Lima, 29 November 1940 – † Peru-Lima, 9 October 2009),

Better known by his fans by the pseudonym of “Zambo Cavero”. He was a virtuoso Afro Peruvian singer, who enjoys international fame. He was considered by many Peruvians a symbol of the Afro Peruvian identity or Peruanidad because of his particular manner of singing that captivates his listeners, many of whom coincide that Cavero’s intensity makes then feel the melodies with a truly Peruvian taste, as a result in his long artistic trajectory, he was very popular, admired and loved, not only in Perú, but by many people from different parts of the world in which he sold his musical reproductions. “Zambo Cavero”  specialized in interpreting, with a unique talent and inimitable voice, traditional songs from authentic and original rhythms of Perú, some of his best interpretations are songs that were composed by the notable Peruvian composer Augusto Polo Campos, other comes from a profound Afro-Peruvian traditional Música criolla which is actually Afro Peruvian music.

In June 3, 1987 Cavero, was laureated together with also the remarkable Peruvian musicians: Luis Abanto Morales, Jesús Vásquez and Augusto Polo Campos in Washington by the Organization of American States also known as OEA, honoring his merits after that the Inter-American Council of Music (Consejo Interamericano de Música) had a thorough evaluation of his professional career and the contribution and strong presence of the Peruvian Music in the American continent and in the rest of the world.

Arturo Cavero died from complications of sepsis in Rebagliati Hospital in Lima on October 9, 2009.

“Wow!, Zambo Cavero, That guy is amazing, I can’t stop listening to “Cavero” since I discover him.”

” Tommy Trujillo” (Mandrill)

“As far as I can remember in Peru, Zambo’s voice and music was never absent from any gathering in a Peruvian (callejon), I love Zambo Cavero!”

“Renzo Revelli” (Listen Recovery)

“Besides being one of the Masters of Afro Peruvian Culture, he was also my friend, I will miss him dearly.”

“Alan Garcia Perez” (President of Peru)

“I was the one who recorded him first with Aviles on guitar, around the late 60’s, He’s voice was the voice of PERU”

“Agusto Polo Campos” (Peru Music Icon)

“Un Gran amigo con el que cante y hoy canto sus canciones… Me duele en el alma”

“Master Luthier Gino Gamboa” (Eva Ayllon/Peru Negro)



link to vintage video of Arturo Zambo Cavero


Enemigos Intimos TV (Parte Un y Dos) Español. PERU



ARTURO’S Last Presentations in Peru w/ Peru Negro







Peru Negro