Inti-Illimani Returns to Harris Center for 50th Anniversary Tour

Inti-Illimani Returns to Harris Center for 50th Anniversary Tour

The music of Inti-Illimani has intoxicated audiences around the world. Harris Center is honored to present the return of this beloved and legendary Chilean ensemble in the year of their 50th birthday. Their longevity is no accident: performing on more than 30 wind, string, and percussion instruments, Inti-Illimani is a veritable institution, a celebration of the traditional folk sounds of Latin culture fused with messages of social change. With over 36 recordings to their name, Inti-Illimani have worked with John Williams and appeared on stage with Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Tracey Chapman, Youssou'n'Dour, Mercedes Sosa, Wynton Marsalis, Emma Thompson and others. In advance of their 50th Anniversary tour Inti-Illimani will release El canto de todos (Song of All) celebrating the centenary of the birth of Violeta Parra, the most important Chilean artist of all time.

"An Inti-Illimani concert is a wild ride through Latin music, a whirlwind of Andean folk tunes, tangos from Argentina, Brazilian sambas, and throbbing, sobbing love songs from Mexico. ..all the players displayed relentless virtuosity in a concert that was pure exhilaration to the very end" (Washington Post).

Inti-Illimani returns to the Harris Center Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 8 pm. Tickets are $24-$49, Premium $54. Students with ID $12. Tickets are available online at or from Harris Center Ticket Office at 916-608-6888 from 12 noon to 6 pm, Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket. Harris Center is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, CA, facing East Bidwell Street.

Inti-Illimani has transcended our idea of the musical ensemble and has become a cultural location, a liturgy expressing the essence of the Latin-American ethno-musical experience. Founded by Jorge Coulon in 1967, for 50 years Inti-Illimani has performed world-wide to hundreds of thousands of fans, collaborated with folk legends, earned awards and honors for their activism and masterful musicianship, and produced one of the richest discographies in Latin-American recording history.

Known for their open-minded musical approach, Inti-Illimani continues to allow for its own evolution while staying true to its musical roots. Over the past two decades, the Inti legacy has strengthened as some founding members retired, and new members joined. Manuel Meriño, its musical director and member since 2000, sees Inti-Illimani's 2002 release Lugares Comunes (Common Places) as the point at which the present ensemble came together. Daniel Cantillana (violin, vocals) posits that the classic repertoire, which the younger Intis have mastered, is not a constraint but rather that it "establishes an intangible aesthetic framework that lets us know whether a song can fit...It is our identity, and if it determines what we do, it does so very subtly." And, founder Jorge Coulon remarks, "What pleases me about this group today is that the creative risks it is taking are very much in keeping with our history while opening us up to many perspectives, many possibilities."

Nueva Canción (new song) is not only the name of the early Inti-Illimani recording which propelled them into global recognition and popularity, but is also the name of the socio-political, artistic movement of the 1970's and 80's throughout Latin America, seeking to resurrect and celebrate the traditional folk sounds of Latin culture while delivering messages of social change and revolution. It played a powerful role in the many uprisings against oppressive governments during these times, and many of its messengers faced censorship, exile, forced disappearance and worse. Inti-Illimani was no exception.

In 1973, Chilean president Salvador Allende was deposed during a coup d' tat when Augusto Pinochet took control of the country; overnight the democratic atmosphere of Chile disappeared. The Intis were on tour in Europe, and found themselves without patria or passport, in sudden political and artistic exile. Italy became their home for the next 15 years. Separated from beloved family members, friends and their homeland, the coup d' tat and their subsequent exile dramatically changed their personal stories, as well as the story of Inti-Illimani, forever. Inti-Illimani became, and remains, South America's ambassadors of human expression.

In 1988, they were unexpectedly allowed back into Chile by the same military government which had banished them. They were warmly welcomed home by the Chilean people, with 6,000 fans greeting them at the airport; their arrival was symbolic of the end of a tragic, stifling era. They soon after gave a home-coming concert, attended by 130,000 people for whom Inti's music had become a common voice, a communal place for the dispossessed as well as for the Chilean spirit. They moved home permanently in 1990, coinciding with the official resignation on Pinochet.

Fast forward to 2009: Inti-Illimani collaborated with French Canadian singer Francesca Gagnon, aka the "Voice of Alegria" of Cirque du Soleil. Like Inti-Illimani, Francesca toured the world, inspiring audiences with her powerful, singularly sparkling voice and energy. In 2010, they released their recording, Meridiano (Warner Latin), which highlights the most stunning moments of this collaboration in a spellbinding, dreamlike, intimate and alluring collection of compositions from both Cirque de Soleil and Inti-Illimani.

March of 2014, Joan Baez invited Inti-Illimani to perform with her at her concerts at Teatro Caupolican in Santiago during her South American tour. A week later, Inti-Illimani performed at Lollapalooza Chile. August 6, 2014 Inti-Illimani performed at the National Day of Bolivia in Chile, which is also the date that Inti-Illimani first performed under its current name. September 2014, Inti-Illimani was the honored guest at Omara Portuondu's concert in Santiago, the legendary Cuban performer known best as a member of the Buena Vista Social Club.

This Year Marks Seven Seasons of Great Shows. Up Close. In Folsom!

The Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College brings the community together to share in cultural experiences featuring the work of artists from throughout the region and around the world. Built and operated by the Los Rios Community College District, the $50 million, state-of-the-art regional performing arts center boasts three intimate venues with outstanding acoustics, an art gallery, a recording studio, elegant teaching spaces, plenty of safe parking and all the other amenities of a world-class performing arts venue. Each year the Center hosts over 400 events attracting more than 150,000 annually.

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