Chilean ensemble illuminates Three Stages
FOLSOM — For four and a half decades, the music of Inti-Illimani has intoxicated audiences around the world. Performing on more than 30 wind, string and percussion instruments, it is a veritable institution, a cultural icon of the group’s native Chile. With more than 40 recordings to its name, Inti-Illimani has appeared on stage with Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Tracey Chapman, Youssou’n’Dour, Mercedes Sosa, Wynton Marsalis and others.
Inti-Illimani will perform at Three Stages at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27.
“Nueva Canción” (new song) is not only the name of the early Inti-Illimani recording which propelled the group into global recognition and popularity, but is also the name of the socio-political, artistic movement of the 1970s and ’80s throughout Latin America, seeking to resurrect and celebrate the traditional folk sounds of Latin culture while delivering messages of social change and revolution. It played a powerful role in the many uprisings against oppressive governments during these times, and many of its messengers faced censorship, exile, forced disappearance and worse. Inti-Illimani was no exception.
In 1973 Chilean president Salvador Allende was deposed during a coup d’ tat when Augusto Pinochet took control of the country; overnight the democratic atmosphere of Chile disappeared. The Intis were on tour in Europe, and found themselves without patria or passport, in sudden political and artistic exile. Italy became their home for the next 15 years.
Separated from beloved family members, friends and their homeland, the coup d’ tat and their subsequent exile dramatically changed their personal stories, as well as the story of Inti-Illimani, forever. Inti-Illimani became, and remains, South America’s ambassador of human expression.
In 1988, the members were unexpectedly allowed back into Chile by the same military government that had banished them. They were warmly welcomed home by the Chilean people, with 6,000 fans greeting them at the airport; their arrival was symbolic of the end of a tragic, stifling era. They soon after gave a home-coming concert, attended by 130,000 people for whom Inti’s music had become a common voice, a communal place for the dispossessed as well as for the Chilean spirit. The group moved home permanently in 1990, coinciding with the official resignation on Pinochet.
In August 2012 Inti-Illimani launched its 45th anniversary with “La Máquina del Tiempo” — The Time Machine: two concerts held at the traditional Teatre Caupolican in Santiago, Chile. Joining Inti-Illimani for these concerts were some of the most important figures in Chilean music: Illapu, Luis La-Bert, Andrés Perez, Nano Stern, Joe Vasconcellos, Alexis Venegas, Fernando Ubiergo. A few days later Inti-Illimani and guests got together at the Universidad de Chile radio station’s Sala Master for a live recording of this encounter. The official release of this recording — a double CD with a bonus DVD with La Siembra and a “Making of” — will be available in March 2013. Exclusive advance copies will be available at the Three Stages performance.
Tickets for Inti-Illimani are $19 are $29 with premium tickets at $39; students with ID $12. Tickets may be purchased online at threestages.net or from Three Stages ticket office at (916) 608-6888 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Three Stages is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, facing East Bidwell Street.