Jorge González, icon of contemporary Chilean popular music, remembered the first time he had been to Argentina with the band he knew how to lead: Los Prisioneros. And not always with good taste. While in the rest of Latin America he wrote the legend of him, in those shows in Córdoba and Buenos Aires he felt like a weird who was interested only in his answers on the Pinochet dictatorship. He was one of the so-called New Chilean pop artists who, like El Electrodomesticos and others, attempted in the mid-1980s to establish links with this side of the Cordillera. Always through music. However, what at the time was a headless and somewhat kamikaze landing, starting Monday night may be remembered by history as a formal, sincere and optimistic antecedent of the Commonwealth.
And it is that the first official international release of the new president of the Chileans, Gabriel Boric, served as a pretext to resume that old desire for Chilean-Argentine brotherhood with artists as mediators. This was precisely the intention behind the title of the event that brought together musicians from both countries at the National Auditorium of the Kirchner Cultural Center: “Concert of the Chilean-Argentine brotherhood”. It is known that the president of Chile is a major consumer not only of his country’s music, but also of the international offer. He including Argentina. In fact, before taking up his position in the Executive, he was spotted walking into a record shop in a popular neighborhood in Santiago de Chile to purchase a vinyl version of Vida, Sui Generis’ debut album.
The proposal of the event that had Boric as guest of honor brought together representatives of the musical scenes of Argentina and Chile, as well as different generations and different musical currents. Such was the case of Chilean rapper MC Millaray, who in Mapudungún showed the power of her fighting flow by interpreting the song “Mi ser mapuche”. “When we talk about fighting, we want to be there,” said the native artist of La Pincoya, after finishing her performance. “We will continue to resist and raise our voices.” All this in front of the attentive gaze of the winner and his guest, President Alberto Fernández, who average the last part of the varied program. Both arrived at the scene around 7.45pm and were greeted with a long ovation.
Especially the Trans-Andean president, whose charisma puts him one step away from the stars of pop culture. His youth too. Few world leaders today have the life to address not only the problems of their countries, but also those of the musical idols of their generation and a large part of their voting mass. Suffice it to recall the surprising tweet of support that the American singer Taylor Swift received from Gabriel Boric, for the neglect suffered by the English musician Damon Albarn. But it was in January, when the Chilean president had just been elected after an arduous second round in which he had the support of artists, especially musicians. Some of them have been part of this “Concert of the Chilean-Argentine Brotherhood”, among which Nano Stern stands out.
But the gala was inaugurated by a bulwark of Argentine popular music, Víctor Heredia, after an orchestra of twenty musicians and conducted by Carlos David Jaimes entered the National Auditorium and opened an opening to create the atmosphere of joy that was breathed Subsequently, and behind those huge flags of Argentina and Chile that hung on the stage, the troubadour interpreted “Still”. Then he made an adaptation of an ode he called the “best Latin American poet of all time”. He was referring to Pablo Neruda and his poem “El pueblo victorioso”. Before leaving the scene, Heredia introduced the next artist: Nano Stern, who premiered a new song with guitar in hand: “Inventemos un país”, which he featured with “Volver a los 17”.
In the mythical theme of Violeta Parra there was the first collaboration linked to the slogan, when the Argentine chamamecero Chango Spasiuk joined. Afterwards, the missionary remained in front of the audience interpreting “Chamamé crude”. While the young catamarcana Nadia Lercher sneaked into a classic by Luis Alberto Spinetta: “Plegaria para un niñita dormita”, the trans-Andean queer duo Yorka, recently and successfully passing through Buenos Aires, presented a song of theirs, ” Mira niñita ”. In that finely curated comings and goings, the trans-feminist singer-songwriter and activist Valen Bonetto sent “La jardinera”, also by Violeta Parra, preceded by another hymn of Chilean popular music, “I remember you Amanda” by Víctor Jara. This time by Nahuel Pennisi. Moment enhanced by Beatriz Pichi Malen.
After the Argentine Mapuche artist sang Sergio Marihuan’s “We Küjen”, MC Millaray’s rap scene arrived. This was followed by his Argentine counterpart, Shitstem, accompanied by DJ Gizza. Although in this case they have dipped their hiphop metrics in tango nostalgia. Announcing that the end of the show was coming, the so-called Chilean “Commander of Folk”, Manuel García, in complicity with Georgina Hassan and Carmen Paz González, invoked a song by Mon Laferte, “The dance of the dragonflies”. While the folklorist from Valparaíso, Elizabeth Morris, sang one of her songs: “Give you light”. It is here that the historian Inti Illimani appeared, who, together with Morris, reviewed “Samba Landó”, a composition that is part of their anthological repertoire.
At the end of the song, Horacio Durán, leader of the Santiago band, evoked his debut in Buenos Aires, 54 years ago, and his admiration for Argentine musicians. The perfect excuse to call Teresa Parodi, who pulled out one of his songs, “La Lucha”. Then the singer thanked those who made the event possible and invited all the participants to the concert on stage to revisit one of the great classics of Chilean popular music, which has become a Latin American anthem: “Thanks to life” by Violeta Parra. Joined by León Gieco (Boric used “Los salieris de Charly” as a jingle for his presidential campaign). After that version, with an orchestra included, both presidents went up to greet the artists. At the same time a euphoric audience conjured up another Chilean hymn, this time from Quilapayún: “The united people will never be defeated.”