A heartfelt tribute to one of the greatest poets and songwriters of South America forty years after his murder. Víctor Jara was a Chilean university professor, theater director, musician and songwriter. He founded together with Violeta Parra and the groups Quilapayún and Inti-illimani the musical, cultural and artistic movement Nueva Canción Chilena. UGO GUIZZARDI and ANGELO PALMA have a long familiarity with Andean and South American music, and this tribute comes from experiencing first hand those cultures.
Víctor Jara was a Chilean university professor, theater director, musician and songwriter. He founded together with Violeta Parra and the groups Quilapayún and Inti-illimani the musical, cultural and artistic movement Nueva Canción Chilena. Politically engaged, Jara supported the coalition Unidad Popular whose leader, Salvador Allende, won the national elections in 1970 and was elected president of Chile. Allende applied his electoral program: nationalized factories and enterprises of monopoly, banks, the production of saltpeter , steel, coal and copper, till that moment still in the hands of Corporation, mainly North American. Víctor Jara died at age 41 years, was assassinated five days after the military coup of 11 September 1973, coup backed by the CIA and the U.S. government of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger. It was one of thousands of victims, including the president Allende, of the repression implemented by the military junta of General Augusto Pinochet.
Since 1974 UGO GUIZZARDI and ANGELO PALMA began to learn and play some of the songs of Víctor Jara and Nueva Canción Chilena through contact with the group Inti-Illimani, in political exile in Italy from 1973 to 1988. Years later, these early musical experiences were incorporated in the work of the group Umami (which they co-founded), active in the first revival of folk Andean music then, more in general, of Latin American songs and today they now present original compositions of the group. In 2013, exactly forty years after the coup, UGO GUIZZARDI and ANGELO PALMA propose this CD with some of the songs of Víctor Jara. With the help of old and new friends it is for the two leaders a way to return at least a part of what they learned and got from this forty years. This work is intended as a small testimony, reworked in a personal way, of how UGO GUIZZARDI and ANGELO PALMA have lived from far away and at the same very close the experiment of the socio-cultural, democratic and peaceful revolution that occurred in Chile in the 70s with its tragic and violent epilogue and its consequences in later years. The message of Víctor Jara is more relevant today than ever. Of course, the era in which he lived the political, economic and social situation in the world has changed a lot but has not improved. The rise of neo-liberalism in recent decades (as already realized by Salvador Allende and expressed in a speech to the UN in 1972) has led to the expansion of global corporations, major banks, financial institutions and rating agencies without control by governments and sovereign states, which indeed, are submissive or accomplices. The logic of indiscriminate profit regardless of the social costs and environmental damages results in a profoundly unjust situation in the globalized world of today. It is certainly not singing a song that you can change the course of history, but as Víctor Jara has taught us a song can leave a mark deeper than that of a bullet. A song helps us not to forget the past history to face the future. A song can evoke and nurture a spirit.