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Bolivian music is so rich and varied that it is worth discovering as you wait for your trek. We would like to make some recommendations, as well as 2 items of Bolivian baroque music: the first one composed by Alain Pacquier, director of the project "The Ways of the Baroque " and author of the work with the same name (home to Fayard, see section on "Bibliography"). The second one was written by Ramiro Soriano who leads the group "Coral Nova". This country music can be somewhat summed up by four or five famous groups (Pacha): Savia Andina, Rumillajta, Jacha Mallku and Altitude.  All these musicians play wind instruments (sicus or section flutes, quenas, tarkas, quenachos), charango (a small guitar with ten strings and the classical guitar introduced by the Spaniards.  And all have justly won great commercial fame.

What's more, the Kjarkas were the first creators of Lambada, which was taken from the song "Llorando Se Fue" from their album "Canto a la mujer de mi pueblo", which came out in 1981.  This Bolivian group is very popular in Latin America.
Gutierrez, Luzmila Carpio and, a little before them, the group Los Jairas (Can be seen painted in la Pena in "La Paz") began their career in Europe.  Gutierrez, with his group Ukamau, was the first one, before Savia Andina, to tread the stage of the Olympia (famous venue in France).  Luzmila Carpio, the ambassadress of North Potosí in Europe, brings us the mezzo-soprano voice of this region, a voice that resounds with more purity and authenticity and is less commercial. Bolivian music, however, is less easy to access than other, much more popular, Latin American music.

Music List

To help you in your choice, here is a list of music, which is understandably subjective: (go to the shop called " Tu Musica", the best supplied music shop in la Paz, in the shopping gallery on Sagarnaga street, on the corner of Murillo and Discolandia on the Prado, the main road). Los Jairas, “Jacha Mallku”  “Los Jairas en Vivo” (1967) Jacha Mallku (First album), Los Kjarkas    “Rumillajta “  , “Canto a la mujer de Mi pueblo”(1981),  Hoja de Coca, “El Amor y La Libertad” (1987) , Wiracocha “El Arbol De mi destino” (1993),  Urubamba “TecnoKjarkas” (1992)  ,  Savia Andina Altitud, “Lo mejor” (Volume 1),   Mensajero del Silencio,        “Lo Mejor (Volume 2) , Alfredo Dominguez ,   “Chacaltaya”, Juan Cutipa,   “Lo Mejor De Bolivia (compilation)”,    Bolivia Band   “Lo mejor De La Musica Boliviana (compilation),  Bolivia Band “Pacha Luz del Ande”, “First (and last) Album.

More International Music:
 ATAJO, "Personajes Paceños".  This group, led by the prolific Panchi Maldonado, invented the blues of La Paz.  R & B Rhythms and reggae, with the zest of traditional instruments, the songs of living people of La Paz, bus drivers, shoeshine boys, parking lot keepers.  Worth a close look if you are curious and understand Spanish.  This group often gives concerts at the "Equinoccio", calle Sanchez Lima, and La Paz.  To find this CD  (often sold out), email or
Go Go BLUES, a group composed of musicians from different groups (Atajo, the former Loukass, Octavia), whose first current album came out in November 2002.  Very good Bolivian blues. Concerts on Thursdays and Fridays in the stylish bars of La Paz.  Octavia: the fashionable group.  To discover the local "Telephone" local. 
Altiplano, "jazz-fusion".  As the name of the album indicates, this group successfully mixes traditional instruments and more modern rhythms.  Worth a look!
And for the salsa lovers, check out BOLERO SON, a Cuban band, playing on Tuesdays at Mongo’s (near la Plaza Avaroa) and on Thursdays a Lo Cubano on la Arce.
Also playing Thursday and Friday nights, various local bands at Boomerang (near la 20 de Octobre).


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