Chilean capital celebrates rock icons, Los Jaivas

The Museo de Bellas Artes puts on exhibition and rock show to celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of Chile’s most legendary musical groups.


This year marks the 50th anniversary of the iconic Chilean rock band, Los Jaivas. To celebrate the occasion, Santiago’s Museo de Bellas Artes is hosting a retrospective exhibition featuring photographs, awards, books, instruments and multimedia material compiled over the group’s career.

Los Jaivas formed in August of 1963 in the coastal city of Viña del Mar. The original group was made up of brothers Eduardo, Claudio, and Gabriel Parra, Gato Alquinta and Mario Mutis. They started as a folk-rock group, blending popular styles with traditional Andean music. As they travelled in the seventies during Chile’s military rule, they picked up different influences across Europe, particularly France.

The museum will be showing “Half century of Los Jaivas” and “Five Decades of Chilean Rock” simultaneously from August 1 until September 1. The more than 100 photographs and other collections aim to walk visitors through the evolution and growth of the group and Chilean music over the many years.

The legendary rock group has been marking their 50th anniversary with various appearances, including a lively show at the Centro Cultural Amanda in May. The crowd loved the retro performance, featuring some of the groups earliest hits.

“These are songs we wrote in the 1970s that maintain their meaning,” Parra said. “We’re playing them today, and they’re still relevant.”

The group’s late drummer, Gabriel Parra, was honored with a “National Day of the Chilean Drummer” in July, coinciding with the musician’s birthday. The event featured live drum performances in Santiago’s Plaza de Armas from many of the country’s best, including his own daughter Juanita who has taken his place in Los Jaivas since his death in 1988.

The celebration is far from over, however. This week, on August 15, the capital celebrates the “Day of Rock” with performances by such greats as Inti Illimani, Los Tres, Congreso, Chancho en Piedra, Saiko, Flor Motuda, Juana Fe, Joe Vasconcellos, Tumulto, Sol de Medianoche y Sexual Democracia. The event will close, of course, with a live show from Los Jaivas. The event is free and open to everyone between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. outside the Museo de Bellas Artes.