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Our International Music CD of the Month selection is The Best Of Inti-Illimani by Inti-Illimani.

The Chilean band Inti-Illimani was formed in Santiago in 1967 by a group of university engineering students. Their songs are inspired by indigenous music from not only their native Chile, but also Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Argentina. In their various incarnations, they have recorded over 50 music albums.

The band has toured with, appeared on stage with, or collaborated with numerous internationally recognized artists including John Williams, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Wynton Marsalis, Paco Peña, Peter Gabriel, Karen Matheson, and Maria Farantouri.

The band supplements its instrumentation of traditional instruments (harp, rondador, zampona, charango, cuatro, quena, siku, and tiple) with more trans-cultural instruments such as bass, guitar, piccolo, clarinet, and saxophone. The band's name is a compound of the Quechuan "Inti," which is the name of the Incan sun god, and the Aymaran name "illimani", which is a culturally revered multi-peaked mountain in Bolivia. Some of their song lyrics are activist, but they are also known for their masterful musicianship. The group famously fled Chile with the advent of the brutally repressive regime of Pinochet which considered indigenous culture to be a threat to the regime's power. They performed in exile until 1988 immediately prior to Pinochet's ouster by a national plebiscite. Inti-Illimani originally came to prominence for their song, Venceremos (We shall win!), that became the anthem for the Salvador Allende government. In 2001 three early members of the band (including the musical director and composer, Horatio Salinas) left the group, and the remaining band became known as Inti-Illimani Nuevo. In 2005 the band members who departed from the original group formed the group Inti-Illimani Histórico.

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