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Preserving Traditional Music and Culture of Latin America

Eco Del Sur was founded nine years ago with the idea to preserve the traditional music and culture from different countries in Latin America.  As a member of the group, Jorge Gomez feels that it is very important to teach the young and adult people about different cultures and the evolution of this music.  During their performance the group introduces a variety of musical instruments, which were created by the indigenous people of South and Centro America more than five thousand years ago.  Other more modern instruments were created as a result of the Spanish and African heritage contribution.  The audience is always curious about the origin of the music and instruments.  Kids always like to get close to the stage to touch or play the instruments that are very unfamiliar to them.  At the end of performances, they also get compliments from Hispanics who rarely have the opportunity to hear the music live.  Others feel nostalgia when they listen to our music. Andean music comes from the general area inhabited by the Incas prior to European contact. It includes the countries of, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Paraguay, and Venezuela.

Jorge Gomez - NBC Interview 2006Jorge Gomez - NBC Interview 2006During the performance, the members of Eco Del Sur introduce the traditional and indigenous musical instruments, which were created by the Pre-Columbian civilizations more than 5000 years ago.  Some of the traditional instruments used by Eco Del Sur include: zampoñas (Spanish for Siku) which is a traditional Andean panpipe. zampoñas are typically made from bamboo shoots, but have also been made from Condor feathers, bone, and many other materials. Panpipes were invented more than 2000 years ago ;  quenas, another popular traditional flute of the Andes which is also made of bamboo ; quenachos which are a larger, lower-toned version of the quenas ; antaras, a Peruvian musical instrument composed of a series of pipes ; zencas, rondador, an instrument from Ecuador, a set of chorded bamboo panpipes that produces two tones simultaneously ; ocarinas, an ancient flute-like wind instrument made usually of ceramic but many other materials are often used ; moxenos, flute, chajchas, etc.  In addition to the traditional instruments, other contemporary instruments used in the group include:  charango, which is a very short 10-string guitar, mandolin, guitar, Venezuelan cuatro, Colombian tiple, bass, congas, bombo, tambora, bongos, Peruvian  cajon, maracas, guiro, claves, rain sticks, and guaza.  

Princeton University, Princeton, NJ - 2007Princeton University, Princeton, NJ - 2007The music of Eco Del Sur includes a wide range of styles and rhythms.  Some of these rhythms include the huayño, sanjuanito, carnaval, chacarera, joropo, zamba, cueca, which were influenced by the Pre-Columbian and the Spanish cultural heritages.  Other rhythms characteristic of the Pacific Coast, Atlantic Coast and the Caribbean include the cumbia, porros, guajira, lando, festejo, currulao, etc; these rhythms had a great contribution from the African heritage and culture.

Andean instruments are as beautiful as the sound that they provide. It is full of energy and vibrates the right vibes into the air offering many musical styles and melodies loved by everyone around the world.

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