Peru Negro Presents Two Shows in Chicago

Chicago (Illinois), USA – Peru Negro will perform two concerts at
HotHouse. There will be an early family show on
Sunday, March 5, at 5:00pm. tickets are: $25 in Advance, $30 at the door, (All Ages).
The late show will be March 5 at 8:00pm. Tickets are $30 in Advance, $30 at the door, (21 & Over).

A wooden crate, a tithing box, and a donkey jaw. Not your typical musical
instruments. But if it weren’t for a ban on drums placed on slaves by Spanish
colonizers, Afro-Peruvian music wouldn’t have developed its distinctive sound.
The cajón-evolved from farm crates used to collect fruit-is a wooden box
straddled by its player who bends down to beat the box by hand. The cajita is a
small, lidded box used for collections in Catholic churches. One hand claps the
lid open and closed while the other beats the side of the box with a stick. And
there is no mistaking the sound of the quijada de burro. The side of this
dried-out donkey jawbone is beaten with the player’s palm, which resonates the
tuning-fork shape causing all the loosened teeth to vibrate.This percussive backbone is joined by melodic guitar and passionate singing to
form the heart of Afro-Peruvian music-a genre that was coalesced by the
legendary ensemble Peru Negro.

It is widely accepted that during the international black pride movements, this
ensemble-founded by Ronaldo Campos de la Colina to preserve Peru’s African
heritage 30 years ago-became the national standard other bands emulated. And
they haven’t let up yet. Peru Negro’s first internationally-available recording,
Sangre de un Don, was released by Times Square Records in the US in Spring 2001.

For most music fans in the US, Peruvian music means Andean panpipes. While the
African presence in such music kingpins as Brazil and Cuba are well known,
Peru’s African legacy has only recently gained major attention here.
Furthermore, the legacy of slavery in Peru differed from elsewhere in the
Americas in that slaves were brought from a wide variety of regions in Africa
making cultural continuity virtually impossible.

It wasn’t until 1995 when Luaka Bop released

The Soul of Black Peru
that the
general public became aware of the rhythms and sounds propagated on Peru’s coast
by African slaves brought to work in the mines. But anyone who heard these
recordings was left yearning for more. Peru Negro’s debut US tour was a welcome

Initially Peru Negro comprised 12 family members. Now more than 30 people are
involved and the Lima-based music and dance ensemble runs their own school and
junior troupe, Peru Negrito. Peru Negro has performed all over the world and has
been appointed as “Ambassadors of Peruvian Culture” by the government. Their
latest album,

Sangre de un Don
, whose title means “Heritage of a Gentleman,” is dedicated to founding
member Ronaldo Campos de la Colina, who passed away in 2001. Ronaldo’s son Ronny
Campos wrote most of the songs on the new CD and leads the ensemble into the new

HotHouse is located at 31 East Balbo
Chicago, IL 60605. Phone: (312) 362.9707, Fax: (312) 362.9708.

Author: World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central