Famous Musicians from Bolivia

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The following are some famous musicians in Bolivia. You can read about more famous Bolivians by visiting our Famous People from Bolivia home page where you'll find many other categories. You can also ask questions about any famous Bolivian person or add another famous person from Bolivia to our list.

Los Kjarkas
This group is among Bolivia's most famous musicians and was created in 1965 by the three Hermosa brothers of Cochabamba. At first only the three oldest members of the family formed the group along with Edwin Villarroel, a friend of theirs. When two of the brothers, Ulises and Wilson, died another brother and several other members joined the group, which has changed members several times throughout its history. Current members of the group are Elmer Hermosa, Gonzalo Hermosa, Gastón Guardia, Gonzalo Hermosa II, Lin Angulo and Makoto Shishido from Japan.

Nilo Soruco
Another of our famous musicians, and also a composer, born in Tarija in 1927. Of humble origins, he had several jobs, working first as a shoemaker until a teacher discovered his talent with the guitar and helped him enter the Sucre College for Teachers where he graduated as a music teacher. His composed mostly folkloric rhythms from Tarija, such as the “cueca”. He died in 2004.

Yalo Cuellar
A musician and composer born in Yacuiba (Tarija) in 1963. He ha played the guitar and composed music since he was eight years old and for a time was a member of a “trio” until he launched his solo career in the 1990’s. His music is folkloric with rhythms that are typical to the Chaco region and for this he is a welcome guest at the Tradición Chaqueña festivals that are celebrated in Bolivia as well as in Northern Argentina and Paraguay. He has recorded 7 albums.

Gladys Moreno
A singer born in Santa Cruz de la Sierra in 1933. Known for her pretty voice, she recorded records over more than four decades as a folklore singer from Eastern Bolivia and was named the Bolivian Song Ambassador. She died in 2005.

Urubicha Choir and Orchestra
This orchestra began as mere singing classes taught by Rubén Darío Suárez Arana to Guarayo children in the little town of Urubicha (Santa Cruz) in 1996. Convinced that the children had an innate aptitude for music, he put violins in their hands and although they had never touched these instruments in their lives, he encouraged them to practice. The children learned so well that Suárez Arana formed the Children’s Choir and Orchestra with 65 of them and presented them that year at the First Renaissance and Baroque Music Festival in the Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos in Santa Cruz where they surprised everyone. Since then both the orchestra and the choir, the only ones whose members are exclusively indigenous, have been the stars of both the national and international versions of the Baroque Music Festival and have also traveled overseas. Suárez Arana has received many awards, from the Bolivian government and even the King of Spain.

Kalamarka is an Andean group that travels all over the world. We had a the chance to interview them. Read all about Kalamarka here.

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