This is secret music — a collection of beautiful songs and infectious grooves that’s been hidden for years in the coastal towns and barrios of Peru. It’s not the guys with flutes and drums in woolly hats — it’s music of the black Peruvian communities. Black Peruvians? Yes, Peru was involved in the slave trade too — and this wonderful, funky music is part of that legacy.
This music survived (barely) within the black communities, and was not accepted outside of those communities until the spark of black pride, ignited in the 1960s, caught fire in the ’70s and ’80s. Now, in the ’90s, this music is the pride of Peru — cassettes of it are sold on the street alongside techno, Megadeth and Andean folk groups. And while it maintains its funky roots, it has attracted the creative talents of the best contemporary musicians, writers and poets who have furthered the evolution, growth and spread of this music. It’s not a secret anymore — and it’s yours to dance to.