100 Blossoms for Violeta Parra – a musical celebration of her 100th birthday.
100 years after Violeta’s birth on October 4th, 1917, we celebrate her extensive musical compositions and ethnomusicological breakthroughs. Violeta’s Gracias a la vida is a fixture in the Latin American imagination, a song heard around the world. This year the world has joined our festivities with 100 years of Violeta echoed in Spain, Finland, Mexico, France and Greece, among many other places. Hence, the Bay Area welcomes 100 Blossoms for Violeta Parra, a festival of music and dance by local bands and Inti-Illimani as our special guest direct from Chile.
Organized at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, this event offers a multi-generational interpretation of Violeta’s music. Doors open at 7:00 and we encourage you to come early because there will be a welcoming show (un esquinazo a la chilena) in the lobby beginning at 7:20 PM with young musicians – Jesse & Danie and Foreign Planet presenting the voices of Morgan & Camila Valdivieso — all playing the music of Violeta including two cuecas which will be danced by the East Bay’s own Araucaria.
On the main stage, the show will begin at 8:00 PM with Madelina y Los Carpinteros and the Marci Manríquez Bay Band. The show will end with the multi-instrumentalist and world renowned Inti-Illimani. Each band will bring Violeta Parra’s compositions to life with their unique styles traveling the gamut from traditional Chilean folklore to jazz and rock.
Celebrates 50 years of Music, Activism & Education
Inti-Illimani has transcended our idea of the musical ensemble and has become a cultural location, a liturgy expressing the essence of the Latin-American ethno-musical experience. Founded by Jorge Coulon in 1967, for 50 years Inti-Illimani has performed world-wide to hundreds of thousands of fans, collaborated with folk legends, earned awards and honors for their activism and masterful musicianship, and produced one of the richest discographies in Latin-American recording history. Indeed, Inti-Illimani’s premier album, Nueva Canción, or “new song,” spoke to their role in dreaming a new vision for Chile during the volatile socio-political landscape of South America during the 1960’s and 70’s. They have endured political exile, embodied creative leadership through decades of transition and evolution, and enjoyed an invaluable, truly majestic career.
Inti-Illimani’s poetry- a sound that captures memories of persecution, love, loss, revolution, social justice, and freedom- has enchanted the ear of legendary artists with whom they have shared stages, including Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Mercedes Sosa, Holly Near, Patricio Manns, Youssou’n’Dour, John Williams, Joan Baez and Paco Peña.
Renowned for their humanity and arts-activism, they have appeared on Amnesty International stages, lectured extensively on Latin-American folk and indigenous music, culture and social change; and most recently, founded an arts-centric charter school, Sol Del Illimani, which the group saved from closing in one of Santiago’s most vulnerable neighborhoods.
Inti-Illimani has toured in dozens of countries at prestigious concert halls, festivals, and benefit concerts. They have recorded 36 studio albums, and their newest release is dedicated to the legendary Violeta Parra.
Inti-Illimani means “sun of the mountain,” taken from the indigenous Aymara dialect. We celebrate the incredible light Inti-Illimani has deposited into the world’s treasury of exquisite, enduring, and activated musical artistry.
Marci Manríquez Bay Band
The Marci Manríquez Bay Band is an ensemble of Bay Area professional musicians who have joined to celebrate Violeta Parra’s music — On the lead guitar, the dexterous fingers of Hugo Wainzinger, rocking rhythm guitar by Ricardo Valdivieso, multi-layered sudaca percussion by Axel Herrera and Mariela Mena, walking bass by Joel Gimbel and Héctor Zapana covering the spectrum of Andean Instruments, lyrics in the melodious and powerful voice of Marci Manríquez.
Prior permutations of the band have performed concerts and participated in the Encuentro del Canto Popular in San Francisco, festivals in the Midwest, Florida, Chile and France, including the stages at prestigious colleges such as the University of Iowa, UC Berkeley, Menlo College, and San Francisco State University among others. Cultural centers such as the Mission Cultural Center in San Francisco and La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley, are some of the venues that have hosted our eclectic mix of Latin American contemporary music. During the past five years, the core duo Marci and Ricardo have participated and produced several festivals throughout the Bay Area.
Marci continues her late father Rafael Manríquez’ tradition of promoting Latin American culture through song and poetry. She is a songwriter, classically trained singer and producer who has recorded with Espacio Temporal, Duamuxa, and Rafael Manríquez. Marci will be presenting her first solo CD this fall.
MADELINA Y LOS CARPINTEROS
Madelina y Los Carpinteros is a multicultural Latin American ensemble following the tradition of the Nueva Canción and Nueva Trova – movements that came out of The Americas’ liberation struggles to freshly embody the folk roots with an enriched lyricism – The group sings original compositions as well as unique interpretations of music from South American and the Andes, from Cuba and Puerto Rico to Mexico and the US. The group features the vocal interpretations of Madelina Zayas (Puerto Rico) and Brandon Vance (US), and the richly layered and deeply rooted acoustic performance by Fernando Feña Torres (Chile), Denis Schmidt (France), and Craig Thomas (US).
In the Lobby:
Jesse & Danie – a duet with the talented and singer and actress Danie Valdivieso and Jesse Vaughn.
Foreign Planet is a recently formed band of young musicians exploring songwriting in many musical styles from rock to heavy metal and Latin American folk, with Joel Gimbel on bass, Chris Levy on percussion, Lorenzo Plazola on guitar, and Morgan Valdivieso on voice. Foreign Planet will be joined by Camila Valdivieso on vocals.
Araucaria has been delighting audiences in the Bay Area for over 20 years with their beautiful renditions of traditional Chilean dances. They will be dancing during the lobby show to Foreign Planet’s cuecas and in the auditorium during the Marci Manríquez Bay Band performance.
Violeta Parra Bio
Violeta Parra, Violeta del Carmen Parra Sandoval (born October 4, 1917, San Carlos, Chile—died February 5, 1967, Santiago) was a Chilean composer, folk singer, and social activist, known as one of the founders of the Nueva Canción (“New Song”) movement. A multi-platform creator, she painted, wrote poetry, sculpted, and wove arpilleras (tapestries).
Violeta was born to a large, poor family in the small town of San Carlos in the southern province of Ñuble. She started writing songs at an early age, initially performing in the streets, bars, small ballrooms, and circuses. In 1952, encouraged by her brother, poet Nicanor Parra, she traveled throughout Chile to document the breadth of Chilean folk music. Her exposure to that music served as her inspiration for Nueva Canción, and her work began to synthesize Chilean folk traditions and her growing concern for social conditions.
In 1954, having been awarded what was referred to as the «Chilean Oscar» at the Caupolicán Theatre for her music, Parra was invited to Poland to play at a youth festival. She popularized her music as she travelled throughout the Soviet Union and Europe, and she finally settled in Paris for two years, where she recorded several albums. Parra’s stay was cut short by the sudden death of her youngest daughter, and she returned to Chile in 1956. In 1957, she met with folksinger Víctor Jara and inspired the young artist to join the Nueva Cancion movement. Violeta maintained a “Peña – a Chilean social event where various singers, poets, dancers and bands perform in front of a seated audience” at a tent located in the La Reina commune of Santiago upon her return from Europe until her death in 1967.