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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

Francesca Ancarola

By Doug Merlino
Published June 22, 2007

Lonquén: Tributo A Victor Jara
Musica y Marketing Chile S.A.

It’s fitting that this tribute to Chilean singer/activist Victor Jara arrives shortly after the December 2006 death of dictator Augusto Pinochet. Jara, prominent in Latin America’s Nueva Canción movement of the 1960s, sang about such important themes as poverty and human rights. Days after the 1973 coup that overthrew the socialist government of Salvador Allende, Pinochet’s forces executed Jara and his music was banned for years. Ancarola, trained in New York and now a popular singer in Chile (see feature this issue), gives a jazzy rock feel to Jara’s songs, with a band including guitar, double bass and drums. The arrangements open up many of the songs, which were originally performed with just voice and guitar. Ancarola’s powerful voice is an excellent match for Jara’s lyrics, and she delivers songs such as “El Derecho de Vivir en Paz” with passion. This moving tribute raises the hope that Jara’s legacy will supersede Pinochet’s.