"A potent mix of Latin American folk music and jazz"
- Jesse Hamlin, SF Chronicle
"Using various methods of artistic expression, Quijeremá is more than just a band. They are poets and multi-media designers. Combining sounds from almost all over Latin America, their music contains a multi-cultural vibe that is guaranteed to impress anyone."
The SF Chronicle calls them “A potent mix of Latin American folk music and jazz.” Quijeremá is a dynamic force of song, story and musical virtuosity driven by sweeping bandola choruses, with a firm foundation of acoustic bass and the deep reverberations of the Cajon, a Peruvian “beat box”. Surprisingly, melodies are based in the percussion and interwoven with trumpet and the complex rhythm of Venezuelan maracas. This band has performed at festivals and intimate venues, as well as for the president of Chile. Quijeremá was also nominated by the International Documentary Association for Best Soundtrack in 2009. Their current work, Al Son del Tunduki is a musical journey to unearth and celebrate the importance of the African Diaspora in the Americas.
Founded in 2002, Quijeremá is:
Quique Cruz (Chile: strings, Andean wind instruments & percussion)
Jeremy Allen (USA: bass & percussion)
Maria Fernanda Acuña (Venezuela: percussion & venezuelan cuatro)
Henry Hung (USA: trumpet, percussion)
John Calloway (USA: piano, flute & percussion)
Quijeremá is a fine-tuned Oakland, CA (SF BayArea) based ensemble that recreates the concept of mixtura in World Music. The blending of verse, rhythm, and emotion color Quijeremá’s music seamlessly and transparently. Delighting audiences over the course of a ten-year, five-album career, Quijeremá mixes the best of roots music with spontaneity and verve.
Quijeremá has earned a place in the vanguard of Latin American folkloric music and brings it headfirst into into the 21st century. While steeped in tradition, Quijeremá transcends the genre, performing music that is truly modern and unique by infusing original contemporary Latin American compositions with a deep sense of unique, ancient musical traditions.
The ensemble has performed throughout the US, Canada and Latin America, including collaborations with a variety of distinguished international musicians such as John Santos, Anthony Blea, Manuel Moreno, Mads Tolling, as well as members of renowned Chilean groups: Congreso, Illapu, The Latin American Sax Quartet, La Pedro Band, Entrama, and Santiago del Nuevo Extremo. In 2006 they were invited to Venezuela to perform as part of the Fiesta de la Diversidad Cultural music festival. In 2007 they were invited to inaugurate the memorial amphitheater Parque por la Paz Villa Grimaldi, and toured in Santiago, Chile.
As writer Willy Lizarraga states, Quijeremá “...manages to render a whole constellation of South American rhythms into a jazz idiom... how the cueca from Chile, tango from Argentina, waltz at its most Latin, landó from Peru, joropo from Venezuela, huaino from the Andes fuse into a musical continuum whose identity, no matter how jazzy, always remains rooted in the deep South, not of the U.S. but of the Americas.”
Quijeremá performs in theaters, festivals, museums, cultural centers and corporate events. They also perform and conduct workshops for schools, libraries and other educational institutions. In addition to performance, Quijeremá specializes in scoring music for film.
Members of the ensemble play over thirty instruments, and have performed worldwide and appeared on regional, national and international radio and television.