In Cusco there are groups of musicians who perform Andean Fusion Music. With their musical instruments– bombos, zampoñas, quenas, charangos y sonajas—they go from restaurant to restaurant to perform for tourists. They play both original music and covers of other, well-known artists. Their audience rewards them with applause and a voluntary economic contribution. Some of these groups already have their own recordings to sell in every one of their performances.
Their costume almost always consists of ponchos and vest woven with Andean colours and designs. The music that sounds from their instruments is relaxing, rustic, and joyful for those who hear it.
You will also find them in the most popular streets of the monumental core: Hatun Rumiyoc, Marques, and Tandapata. For the majority of the people strolling down the street it produces emotion to hear such beautiful melodies. The music is relaxing in the evenings and also sometimes, in the afternoons.
One night, while we were walking down the Hatun Rumiyod Street, we met Inti Arias Huamani playing a popular song, a San Juanito fusion. Those present, caught up in the joyful rhythm, asked for his phone number in order to contract him for different occasions.
He said the name of his song, Inti Suin, with pride and feeling. Everyone was happy with his music and gave much applause.
Inti is from Cusco where he has lived all his life. He is 35 years old and inherited his family’s musical tradition. His father was a musician who had played the charango from when he as very young. He transmitted his art to his children who continued with music. At the present time, Inti and his group play in various restaurants in the city. Sometimes they will make the lunch hour more enjoyable for people by playing an attractive air. At night they and their friends gather in a chichería to continue playing.
We got together with him one morning and decided to record him. He performs Andean Music, Latin American Music, and Fusion. One of his most well known and popular themes is a cover, the San Juanito he calls Inti Suin.
He took us up into the mountains near Sacsayhuaman. It was a beautiful place where we could lookout over the city of Cusco in all its splendour.
We reached his favourite spot, Quenqo Chico. It is a special Inca Huaca and it was there that we conversed. He told of his life, his trajectory as an artist, and his experiences.
“Music is to be shared with the people to whom the pachamama permits us to transmit our culture and our tradition. By means of our music we let ourselves feel,” aid Inti. “Music is part of my life. Me, my charango, and my quena.”