Sunday, 22 February 2009

New Years Eve with Grupo 5 in Los Olivos

Lima - 1 January 2009 – Last year we spent New Years Eve in the last remaing villa (Victor Delfins studio) along the ocean side in Barranco. So this year we went to another part of Lima: Los Olivos. This is a district in the north of the city and is the centre of the so called Cono Norte, the former slums built in the 60-ies and 70-ies by the migrants from the Andes and that form now the buzzing heart of Lima Emergente.

In the estadio Guadalupano in Los Olivos Grupo 5, the most popular Peruvian cumbia band, organised a new years eve party. To get there we took at nine o´clock a ramshackle micro bus from Miraflores to the centre of Lima. There we boarded an even older bigger bus bound to the north of the city. At Plaza Vea in Independencia we took a taxi for the last part of the journey and arrived half past ten. De stadium was already half full and as a warm up a local boy band was playing.

At half past eleven the guys from Grupo 5 came on stage. Dressed in their customary suits. They played all the famous songs. Cumbia is the Peruvian popular music, where there is a lot of crying (llorando) and suffering(sufriendo) in the songs with an uptempo beat based on percussion, trumpets, trombones and drums. Cumbia origines at the Colombian atlantic coast as a fusion of Spanish and African elements. Originally it had only percussion and song. The chicha culture of the migrants in the Peruvian slums added trumpets, trombones and keyboards.

Grupo 5 exists 35 years and is based in Chiclayo in the north of Peru. Since their start a new generation has formed part of the group. Around twelve o´clock the stadium was completely full with several thousand people. Dancing and drinking beer (no other drink was available). At 2 o´clock we left. The most important cumbia hits of the past year are: Grupo 5 with Me olvidé de tu amor, Hermanos Yaipen with A llorar a otra parte, Orquestra Papillon from Tarapoto with the present number one El Payaso and Caña Brava with Sueño.

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