Keltewe - Music from the Andes


Keltewe - Music from the Andes – Is an artistic collaboration of Chilean musicians from Calgary that focus on a specific style of Latin American music called “Andean Music” – a music of a people united by geography and history. Children of a hostile earth, unrelenting winds, snow-capped peaks and of silence.

Instruments such as the “bombo” (native drum), “quena” (flute) and “zampona” (panflute) are very common throughout the Andes region. This music is still very much alive today.

Prior to the arrival of Columbus, instruments like these were widely played by the natives throughout the Inca empire that stretched from what is now southern Colombia, through Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, to the northern regions of Chile and Argentina – an area covering approximately 2,000,000 km2.

The arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century introduced string instruments to the region, which the natives slowly incorporated into their music.

Eventually the natives developed their own string instruments such as the “Charango” and “Mandolins” modelled after the Spanish guitar and other string instruments.

The “Cajon” is a percussion instrument from Peru. Brought to the Americas by African slaves. This instrument has become widely used in Flamenco and other forms of contemporary music.

Collectively, “Keltewe” plays more than 15 wind, string and percussion instruments and variety of styles and rhythms, which is a representation of the diversity of Latin American folk music – a music forged from the legacy of the Inca Empire, European influence and the power of African beats.