In January of 2011, I had the privilege of accompanying the Dean’s Research Travel Colloquium at NYU Steinhardt for a music ethnography study of Peruvian Music. I served as the technical and multimedia producer for a team of over 30 students from a wide variety of discipline.
The goal of the project was to document the key players in the relatively obscure, yet culturally vital, subculture of Afro-Peruvian music. From the introduction to the website:
The very existence of an Afro-descendant population in Perú is news to many. On these pages the visitor will find five biographical snapshots of artists that are considered to be pivotal within the “eco-system” of coastal criollo music in Lima. Taken together, these profiles portray the feeling, mood and spirit of Afro-Peruvian coastal music.
José “Pepe” Villalobos, Carlos Hayre, Wendor Salgado, Rosita Guzmán and Freddy “Huevito” Lobatón are our protagonists. Significantly, these five artists have quietly preserved the most important aspect of this music—the jarana—through its development in the city of Lima. Employing video, audio and photographic registration, the life and times of these artists are now preserved for the world to see and appreciate.
You can watch an introduction video below, featuring music recorded live in a Peruvian jarana by our team. But I invite you to visit the website about Afro-Peruvian music to learn more about these icons of culture.