White Plains concert features music, dance of Bolivia

WHITE PLAINS — A Port Chester-based ensemble will bring an assortment of flutes from the Andes to the stage tonight at ArtsWestchester’s Arts Exchange as part of a series highlighting the traditions of local immigrants.

The 10-member Grupo Ujyuna draws on a heritage of indigenous music from Bolivia, with pan pipes and a square-shaped flute called the tarkas, along with string instruments that date to the Colonial era.

They will be joined by a Bolivian dance group from Queens called Incallajta New York.

“We’re trying to emphasize each different national, cultural community,” said Tom van Buren, director of ArtsWestchester’s folklore program.

The series began with a Colombian music concert in February. It continues April 17 with Peruvian performances, including “tijeras” dancers and Andean harp and violin music, and May 1 with Guatemalan dance, marimba music and art.

Grupo Ujyuna was founded by Bolivian families in Port Chester, and now includes two musicians from Ecuador. The tarkas flute is native to Bolivia. Van Buren said its dissonant sound was used in indigenous resistance to the Spanish, and has been adapted along with other flutes into a variety of musical styles.

Jerry Riveros, a 23-year-old member of Grupo Ujyuna, said he didn’t fully appreciate Bolivian music until he moved to the United States.

Source: Lohud.com

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