Listening to Illapu’s songs is like hearing the whisper of the wind from the Andes. The ensemble was founded already in 1971 by four brothers from Antofagasta in northern Chile. They became well-known for their cultivated rendering of Andean folklore and Bolivian rhythms, a fusion that later developed into the Nueva Canción movement.
In 1976 they released what was to become a huge radio hit in both Argentina and Chile, and they subsequently rose to fame for their guitar-based songs featuring strong vocals, pan flutes and enrapturing rhythms.
Following a tour of Europe in 1981, they were denied re-entry into Chile, which at the time was under the dominance of the Pinochet dictatorship. Forced into exile, they lived in France and Mexico until the political climate in Chile changed for the better. The group was cheered by throngs of fans upon their return to their home country in 1988. Since then, Illapu have continued to produce folkloric, explorative music with songs about love, life, justice and current social issues. They have played throughout Latin America, at Carnegie Hall in New York, at the Olympia Theatre in Paris, and in November they will appear at Cosmopolite in Oslo!