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Los Machucambos

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Biography

Los Machucambos is a group formed in Paris in August 1959 by Julia Cortes, Rafaêl Gayoso a Spaniard, and a Peruvian, Milton Zapata who was replaced by the end of the year 1960 by an Italian, Romano Zanotti.

The name Los Machucambos comes from the word the Indians of South America call the armadillo. An animal which is used to manufacture the charango, a kind of small mandoline, which is played by the group.

The trio quickly became famous thanks to the “Jeunesses musicales de France” network. This network helped release the song “La bamba”. La bamba won the Grand Prix of the l’Académie Française du disque. But the real breathrough came with “Pepito”, which launched them onto the international scene in 1961.

This was followed by many hits thanks to the exceptional and particularly expressive voice of Julia Cortes. Their repertoir is composed of light, dancable songs. But it is varied and comprises also South American folklore and songs written by the great names of the French chanson such as Charles Aznavour or Léo Ferré.

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