Chile: Inti Illimani celebrates golden jubilee of its musical career

SANTIAGO – A magical evening, with nostalgic passages of cultural and political nature, allowed music lovers to celebrate 50 years of the career of the Chilean musical group Inti Illimani.

The presentation took place in the southern esplanade of the University of Santiago de Chile (USACH), center of studies of some of its founding members and a space where they met and socialized with Victor Jara.

In the presence of deputy rector of the USACH, Karina Arias and an enthusiastic crowd that did not stop echoing its songs, the concert served also to continue a tour the group made recently.

The event was baptized ‘The Exile from the South’, to render tribute to the life and versatile Chilean artista Violeta Parra, in the year of her birth centennial.

There was, of course, the touch of distinction with melodies of Parra, among them, Run run se fue pa’l norte and some emblematic themes of her repertoire as El pueblo unido, Sensemaya and Viva Chile.

Although its present director and pioneer of Inti Illimani, Jorge Coulon, denied to accept nostalgia as component of the recital, the evocation for example of Jara, cruelly assasinated by the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship, it was moving.

“We were wrong when we wanted social justice, free education, dignified pensions for old age,” said Coulon on very present issues in Chile that unleashed an ovation of over one thousand persons.

In the old Technical University of this capital, today USACH, the group that emerged in 1967, offered a concert of almost two hours long, in which it made a review of hits like Ojos Azules ansd Samba Lando.

The tribute titled Half a Century Singing of Inti Illimani, the musicians, some gray-haired and others of the new generation also pleased the audience with more modern rhythms like La Desnudez de Mario Agüe and La calle de la Desilusión.

The group was joined by percussionist, clarinetist and Cuban Singer Efren Viera by the middle of the 90´s, who added another sonority to the great exponents of the New Chilean Song beside the Quilapayun group.

The origin of the name of the group is from the indigenous words, the quechua Inti (sun) and the aymara word Illimani (Golden Eagle).