A Chilean folk roots band with a modern spin from the heart of Saskatchewan will make a welcome appearance at this year’s Multicultural Canada Celebration at Water Ridge Park in Humboldt. Andino Suns are based in Regina, but the band’s roots run deep to the traditional origins of music in the Andes in Chile, Argentina and Ecuador.
A prairie based Chilean roots band may seem an oddity, concedes Andino Sun’s frontman Andy Davolos, but its origins are rooted in a historical connection with Chilean people in the province.
“The true story is that Chileans came into the prairies in 1973 to 1978 as a result of a dictatorship,” explains Davalos. “People landed in Regina and actually spread out all over Canada.”
Despite the fact that Davalos was born in Moose Jaw, Chilean music, food and culture were still the bedrock of his family, and that’s where his musical journey stems from. With his cousins and other members of the Chilean community, the love of the traditional music found its expression throughout Andy’s youth until a product evolved around 13 years ago.
The music spins away from Latino hits from the likes of Ricky Martin or Gloria Estefan and revolves around traditional Chilean instruments and folk rhythms, all informed by modern sensibilities. Indigenous sounds and instruments are part of the package, as are electric guitars and western drum kits. Davalos refers to it as a “mish-mash.”
“We use traditional bamboo flutes called quenas and little mandolins called charangoes, so you’ll feel that acoustic vibe mixed with the electric.”
The popular resurgence of folk and roots music in homegrown festivals has played into the band’s hands. While they no longer traverse the country playing large folk festivals, Davolos says their music resonates with people in spite of differences in language and culture.
“Once the show kicks in, people start to enjoy it without necessarily understanding it. It’s not like we’ve followed any kind of trend, but we’ve always been kind of an outlier. It’s been good for us, because being an outlier gives us an in to lots of cultural events in cities. We’ve found a niche to fit ourselves in by not really following any genre or popularity.”
Changes in family and work life for the band members have made Andino Suns a bit more selective about their venues. Fortunately for Humboldt and area music lovers, the Chilean band from the Queen City will make a stop in Humboldt on Canada Day to help celebrate the beauty and diversity of a multicultural country.
Enjoy our interview with Andy Davalos.