The origin of one of Chile’s most famous modern bands, Chico Trujillo, is so well known in music circles in Chile it’s entered popular folklore, and can pretty much be described by two words: an accident.
Born from sporadic jam sessions between classes, travels and commitments with other groups, the band from Villa Alemana in the Valparaíso Region almost never came to be.
If you’re at all familiar with modern Chilean music, you know what a loss that would have been; a decade on and Chico Trujillo has not only carved a name for itself as one of Chile’s most beloved bands, it’s also helped carved out a whole new genre of music, nueva cumbia chilena, or new Chilean cumbia.
It’s a sound that brings the classic sounds of cumbia to an urban environment, and mashes it up with influences as diverse as hip-hop and Andean folk, rock and salsa.
Now fans of cumbia chilena and Chico Trujillo can expect a summer of fresh music with the release of the band’s fourth album, Gran Pecador (Big Sinner).
And even if it’s the first album they’ve released since the band “hit the big time” and went on world tours that included a performance at Lollapalooza Chicago, Chico Trujillo has stuck to its communal ideals – the album is full of collaborations, guest appearances and tributes.
The title track is performed with Banda Conmoción, the popular high energy collective of Andean folk and cumbia, while the instrumental Caleta Vargas and Así es Que Vivo Yo (This is How I Live) are performed with Ángel Parra, the son of Violeta Parra and one of the leading exponents of the Nueva Cancion Chilena (New Chilean Song), a genre of folk that emerged in the 1960s.
Other collaborations include La Banda de mi Vecino (My neighbor’s band) which features popular current singer songwriter Nano Stern on violin and Negra Santa (Black Saint) featuring the legendary Chilean cumbia band from the 1960s, La Sonora Palacios.
The album also includes a tribute to Chile’s iconic Andean folk band, Inti-Illimani, in the form of a cover of their track La fiesta de San Benito.