edery sings yupanqui

passionate folklore from argentina

In this new program, Gerard Edery presents the songs of Atahualpa Yupanqui (1908-1992), considered to be one of the most influential Argentine folk musicians of the 20th century. Born Héctor Roberto Chavero Aramburo, he adopted the stage name Atahualpa Yupanqui in reverence to two legendary Incan kings. Widely acclaimed for his songwriting, Atahualpa Yupanqui toured extensively throughout Europe in the early 1950s, performing in Paris with Edith Piaf and other luminaries. Nueva cancion artists such as Mercedes Sosa and Jorge Cafrune recorded Atahualpa Yupanqui’s compositions, making him popular among the younger musicians who referred to him as Don Ata.

“Edery sings Yupanqui” brings to life the classic stylings of Argentinian folk music. Gerard Edery interprets the sublime poetry of the repertoire, revealing its cultural depth with reverent sensitivity. Gerard’s vocal and instrumental virtuosity and his masterful arrangements create an unforgettable musical experience.

"In 1991 I had the incredibly good fortune of meeting and singing for the great Atahualpa Yupanqui. A dinner had been organized by the Argentine community in his honor on the eve of what was to be his last concert at Carnegie Hall. I was asked by the organizing committee to sing some of his own songs for him. Yupanqui had been my musical hero and greatest inspiration since my teenage years. I was always deeply moved by his ability to communicate his beautiful poetry through song and masterful guitar playing.

His style was unique, drawing on classical, flamenco and folklore rhythms of Argentina like the Zamba, Chacarera, Bailecito, Vidala and many more. He always performed alone and created deep poetry with every piece. He would launch into recitations of his prose then do an amazing guitar instrumental and then play songs of such beauty and deep emotion that it left you speechless. So you can imagine my excitement, and my fear, when asked to provide music for the evening. I was young, green and sufficiently arrogant that I managed to pull it off to everyone’s satisfaction.

My hero sat quietly, ponderously and when I was beckoned to his side he revealed himself to be a humble and deeply spiritual man. So warm, thoughtful and generous that my love and respect for him grew tenfold at least. I had brought all my LPs of his music for him to autograph which he did adding some lovely and kind words. That evening remains preciously etched in my consciousness and I continued singing his songs with ever greater passion and love. This has culminated in the current project of a CD of some of his greatest songs as well as Edery Sings Yupanqui. I feel blessed to have had this remarkable artist in my life to inspire and comfort me. Con todo mi corazón, gracias Don Ata!"