The full spectrum of Latin American music -- from traditional to contemporary -- has been explored by Los Angeles-based band, Huayucaltia. Blending Andean folk music, jazz, classical and nueva cancion (new song), Huayucaltia continuously stretch the limits of their repertoire. The recipients of a NAIRD (National Association of Independant Record Distributors And Manufacturers) award for "Best Latin MUsic Album" for their 1989 album, Horizontes, Huayucaltia has been hailed by the press for their unique approach to Latin music. The Nashville Banner called the group, "passionate, sensual and exotic. They mesh various traditional Latin American and melodies into a distinct modern sound unlike the music of any particular culture or time". In a review of their 1988 album, Caminos, CD Review wrote, "If you heard (this album) without first listening to Incan traditional music, you may not realize how polished, how virtuosic, how cosmoplitan, this updated expression of South American culture has become." The musicians of Huayucaltia are as varied as their repertoire. The group, which takes its name from the Nahuatl word meaning both unity and brotherhood, includes musicians and vocalists from Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Mexico and the United States. Musical director, producer and guitarist, Ciro Hurtado hails from Peru. A former member of Strunz And Farah, Hurtado has balanced his innvolvement with Huayucaltia with solo performances and recordings. His Veracruz, Mexico-born wife, Cindy Harding, who plays requinto Jarocho, Venezuelan cuatro,quenas, zamponas and flutes and sings, was a founding member of Sabia and recently recorded an album, Conjunto JArdin, with her sister, Libby.. Antonio Ezkaurilza, who hold a degree in classical guitar performance, is concurrently a member of several Andean music bands including Ollantay and Nazca. Drummer Julio "Jimmy" Ledezma, who studied at the Scolas Do Sambo in Brazil and Argentina, have been performing in the United States since 1979. In addition to holding down the rhythm section for Huayucaltia, Ledezma plays with Arco Iris and has performed with Lalo Shifrin and the Glendale Philharmonic Orchestra. Hernan Pinilla, who plays mohocenos, tarkas, sikus, quena-quenas, jula-julas, pinquillo, zampona, quena, quenacho, bombo, charango and other percussion instruments, was a founding member of Grupo Tumbaga and also plays with Taller Experimental De Musica Bitagui. ~ Craig Harris

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