A Bolivian gift to celebrate the end of our musical tale tour

It’s a wrap! After what felt like a million shows for [admittedly very cute] kids in rural schools of France, we performed our last musical tale of the year! To celebrate surviving the intense tour schedule, we had a little Bolivian ‘encore’ jam yesterday night. In this video you can hear us play a short “Taquirari”, an indigenous folk dance.

Taquirari (also spelled Takirari) is a musical tradition developed by the indigenous peoples of eastern Bolivia. The genre is thought to have originated within the Moxo culture (in the current Beni Department) possibly as a form of ritual music to invoke the god of hunting. It expanded beyond its ceremonial setting as a popular form of dance music combining indigenous and Hispanic elements, thus becoming part of the Bolivian creole culture. During the 19th century, the genre spread to the northern regions of Chile, Argentina and Uruguay; many famous taquirari performances and compositions have been done by artists from these regions.

Traditional instrumentation includes handheld drums (bombo, caja) and flutes (quena), as well as the charango, a small creolized guitar considered the national instrument of Bolivia. Taquirari compositions are structured as AABB or AABBCC and their lyrical content is almost always romantic, even though the genre originally lacked vocals and harmony. The music has a duple 2/4 meter and a syncopated rhythm. Taquiraris are pentatonic, which suggests cultural exchange with Andean Folk Music, especially Huayno.