No war, famine, earthquake or blasting of electrical towers could with that mixture of waltz and polka, swaying and salty as it alone. The pandemic slowed it down a bit, no doubt. As everyone. But the nuclear centers of national criollismo, which had stopped working, are being reactivated little by little. In a series of controlled explosions, let’s say. Like the one that El Comercio has just generated about the Day of the Creole song in the legendary Jirón Olmedo 452, Breña, whose impeccable record of services dates back to 1974. The interpreters Marlene Guillén, Gerardo Barahona, Carlos Mosquera, Elio Mendoza and Guayo Álvarez dropped by there.
And as the host, Elsa López (Lima, 1953), who for 46 years has not only danced, sings and enchants in that place, El Breña: she is a specialist in simmering the stews that will be paired with her art . This is, waltz, celebration, alcatraz, polka and Lima marinera. “I even get into the bolero,” he says. “The criollismo in me began with my feet, it got into my blood and now it is feeling, heart and soul,” he adds. “On the other hand, I started singing from the age of 8. When I was nine, I won the Trujillo contest ‘This is how they sing in my valley’, ”says maestro Lalo Llanos (Casagrande, 1949). “When my father brings me to Lima, I win the President of the Republic Cup, which had more than 200 participants. They gave me a scholarship to the conservatory, to the Guadalupe School and a thousand soles de oro ”.
Songs and reinventions
“I was born and raised in a very Creole home, it is a passion that I received as a blessed inheritance from my father”, Says Lucy Avilés (Lima, 1961), daughter of the famous first guitar of Peru. “At first I did not dedicate myself professionally to music because I saw how he had to get up at one in the morning to go to work at a rock. But when he took me on tour to Mexico with Arturo Cavero and Pepe Villalobos in 1980, I decided to sing sporadically. I was lucky enough to share stages with my father and artists from the golden age. I got so involved that I have been singing professionally for more than 40 years and I am more and more committed and happy to deliver Peru.”.
A pioneer in transmitting her show in a virtual way, she confesses to having discovered a new way to bond with her audience. “I have learned to receive, through those little windows on the screen, the enthusiasm and the applause“, He says. “I also had to do some virtual recitals via Zoom,” says Llanos. “Before the pandemic, he sang every week at the Breña Musical Center and in other places, in addition to some private contracts. Being a Creole artist in our country is truly a heroic act and I admire those who do it. I knew how to wear my bohemian style and I am currently retired. But I couldn’t make a living from art ”.
Elsa López thinks the same. “Before the pandemic, the four dancers of the Somos Jarana Cultural Association had contracts and a very full schedule. Until the descent came and I reinvented myself in the food industry, so I could get ahead. Of course, being a Creole artist in Peru is a heroic act”, dice. “I believe that each one speaks from their own experience, in my case I could not say that it is a heroic act ”, replies Avilés. “When I sing I feel a deep satisfaction, the one that gives you the fulfilled duty. Also, I really enjoy it. As a Creole artist, I have paid for my daughter’s professional career, I cannot complain ”.
Of breaks and of slit
And what do you think is the current state of health of Creole music? “Our Creole music unfortunately continues to decline. There are few places where it is spread. There are some musical centers and some clubs where the artist manages to earn something for his performance “says Llanos.
And adds: “In the only television program the participating artists and singers are paid absolutely nothing. I am retired from the commercial business and I dedicate myself exclusively to rescuing issues. And that’s why I got into bohemia, to listen to beautiful songs that are not popular ”. Mrs. Avilés believes exactly the opposite: “
Speaking of which, Master Llanos preferred to be blunt: “I consider myself an interpreter who owns a repertoire that few singers have. I am retired from business and I dedicate myself exclusively to rescuing issues, that is my fight. I have already rescued unpublished songs by Alcides Carreño, who has been dead for about 30 years. I also have an unreleased waltz by Filomeno Ormeño, four songs by Manuel Acosta Ojeda and ten more by Abelardo Nuñez Takahashi. What’s more, at this moment I’m recording songs by Luis Abelardo Núñez, who has passed away 16 years ago “. All of which, in substance, can only speak to the resilient and vigorous moment our post-pandemic flag music is going through. Cheers for that, then.
Willy Terry (Lima, 1960), prominent creator, co-producer, arranger and performer, speaks about the state of health of our music. “If one has developed a proactive musical career, with conviction, projecting, proposing, sharing information and managing, I am sure they will never have an opinion like Lalo [Llanos] nor like Manuel Acosta. And here comes the analysis, and it is not destructive criticism, only to say that above all resentment or frustration our musical identity must prevail, even if it goes wrong artistically. These people are friends of mine for many years and the truth is that I always saw them stagnant despite their own talents. Examples that demystify what they say: Radio program “Otra vez Avilés”, 45 albums on the market, a Grammy nomination with Eva Ayllón, nine years at the PUCP Faculty of Arts, two concerts with the OSN at the Gran Teatro Nacional . In addition, we have brought Creole music to the cinema, theater and television. I am about to launch my second book with pandemic and everything. What reality are these gentlemen talking about? I am very optimistic about the Creole song, I have a lot of faith in it, it is my greatest motivation and I am proud to say that I am a Creole at heart, I live it daily and I will defend this flag until the end.
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