Friday, November 6, 2009

Peña La Salamanca

Tonight, while in the hunt for live music, I stumbled upon this folklore Peña. I was familiar with Peñas from my time in Peru, where most of the "legit" flute and folkorica bands would play. My friend Ali and I peered in the window and upon seeing 6 of our friends rocking out to some 4 part harmonies, we had to go in.

The first group was traditional Argentine folklorica: flutes, lots of drums, guitars and even a xylophone-type instrument. The experience was enhanced by my friends Ihintza and Narua, who broke out their songbook and launched into some folklorica from their Basque homeland. The second group looked like a family project, complete with the weird wacky uncle on bass. They were sloppy to start, but ended up rallying behind their super talented frontman who could play pan pipes, flute, guitar and every other indigenous instrument he could get his hands on.

One of my frequent criticisms of bands are the ones that try to cover too many genres within one set, which was exactly what happened here. We had Peruvian flute ballads, Mapuche Andean sonatas, Guaraní galaguetzas, you name it. The venue Salamanca had a great vibe however, very cozy; reminded me of a Native American longhouse, will definitely return before my time here is up.

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