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Violeta Parra

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San Carlos, Ñuble, Chile (1917 – 1967)

Violeta Parra Sandoval (4 October 1917 – 5 February 1967) was a Chilean folklorist and visual artist. She is not only one of the best known Chilean musicians, but also a poet and a prolific artist. She was born in San Carlos, Ñuble, Chile to a humble family, with 8 siblings and 2 half-sisters. She and many of her siblings as kids started to write songs, copying circus artists. This talent helped their family when her father got sick, and after he died. She composed several of her famous songs as a teenager. After exploring the folk art and music of Chile, and living in Europe-where she exhibited her art in several museums - Violeta returned to Chile, where she made her last art creations. In February 1967, Violeta commited suicide. She was a precursor to the Nueva Canción or New Song movement, greatly influencing its development in Chile and throughout Latin America. Silvio Rodríguez said of her: “Violeta is fundamental. Nothing would have been as it is had it not been for Violeta.”

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