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Peru Negro


When most people think of Peruvian music, they imagine panpipes and mountain peasants in colorful native garb, not Africans. But the country shares a legacy of slavery with the rest of the continent, and the descendents of African slaves live throughout the country to this day. Ronaldo Campos de la Colina formed Peru Negro in the 1970s to preserve the musical heritage of this overlooked group and bring them some needed visibility. Relying on traditional instruments like the cajon and the cajita (both wooden boxes) and the quijada de burro (donkey jawbone), the group sings a mix of new and traditional songs. Initially a family affair, the group swelled to over thirty members after Luaka Bop released The Soul of Black Peru in 1995. The Peruvian government has officially made the group "Ambassadors of Peruvian Culture."

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