Rumillajta was a Bolivian musical group that performed and recorded music from the Andean region, with an emphasis on their own country. The group was formed in 1980, taking as their name the Quecha word for "(ruined) city of stone". Rumillajta became one of the most important performers of Andean music. They were the subjects of a short documentary by the BBC, and performed on three continents. Although their music was firmly rooted in traditional forms and instrumentation, their lyrics were often more contemporary, dealing with political and social issues. Rumillajta seem to have disbanded in 2001, after the release of their last album, Pachakuti.
The music of the Andes Mountains comes to life through the playing of La Paz, Bolivia-based quintet Rumillajta (pronounced roomy-yaktee). Combining original songs and traditional tunes, the group bring a modern sensibility to the music, singing about such contemporary issues as foreign debt and the plight of Bolivia's miners. While the musical traditions of Bolivia remain the cornerstone of their sound, the band has incorporated music from throughout the Andes Mountain region. Rumillajta, whose name comes from the Quecha word for "ruins of stone," are known for their innovative harmonies, rich instrumentation, and rhythmic complexity. Most of the group's instruments are built by lead quena (Andean flute) player and composer Adrian Villanueva. Prior to forming Rumillajta, Villanueva performed with such Bolivian groups as los Trovodores de Bolivia. The band is rounded out by charango player and composer Juan Jorge Laura, lead singer and zampona (pan pipes) player Nestor Tintaya; guitarist, composer, arranger, and background singer Juan Carlos Cordero, and zampona player and percussionist Max Cordero Ponce.
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