Connect to Peru

Where Americans and Peruvians Living Abroad Connect to Peru

Posts Tagged ‘art

Peruvian Artist Gian Marco’s Album Listed Top 5 by Billboard Magazine en Español

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gian_marcoNow this is a post that’s very exciting to me and is close to my heart…my favorite Peruvian artist: Gian Marco.

Billboard Magazine en Español just published its list of best albums in 2008, and it is great to know that Gian Marco’s “Desde Adentro” album is listed # 5! He shares this ranking with renowned Latin American artists, including Julieta Venegas, Soda Stereo, Café Tacuba, Juana Molina, Bajofondo, Fonseca, The Pinker Tones, among others.

As El Comercio newspaper reports, Billboard highlights Gian Marco’s album is a unique production, and gives credit to the Peruvian singer and composer for great songs like “Hoy”, “Hasta que vuelvas conmigo”, and “Me cansé de ti”.

For those who are not familiar with the artist, the song “Hoy” (click here to watch the video) was actually written by Gian Marco and inspired by Peru as a country. It was a winner of the Latin Grammy Awards in 2008. When you listen to its lyrics in Spanish it might sound like it is a couples love song, but it really is about the love he has for his country and longing to come back home. Towards the middle of this video, you can listen and watch traditional Peruvian music and dancers. The small guitar his musicians play is called the “Charango”, a native Peruvian instrument and the dance is called the “Huayno”, both go back for many generations since the times of the Incas. It is in fact one of my favorite songs, brings me emotionally and mentally back home…and perhaps even you’ve heard it being performed by Gloria Estefan (check out her version here). In her video, you will notice she tried keeping the Peruvian spirit on it, including the llama, the colorful bag at the beginning of the video, her belt, and of course taping it from Machu Picchu.

For those who want to see Gian Marco perform, he is currently in Mexico launching his first tour around the main cities, and is planning to perform on February 13 and 14 at the Centro Cultural Asia when he is back to Lima, Peru.

Written by Catherine Castro

January 25, 2009 at 9:45 pm

Forbes Magazine Ranks Peru Among “World’s Top 10 Culture Capitals”

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forbes1Forbes magazine ranked Peru among top 10 “World’s Culture Capitals”! 

In the travel section of its most recent issue, Forbes magazine states:

Known both for its textiles and folk art as well as ancient structures and biodiversity, the OECD says Peru classifies 93% of its tourists as cultural tourists. However, Peru is different from many other cultural meccas in that it targets young travelers who spend less per day, but tend to stay longer. Along with volunteer tourism, those with an International Student Identity Card receive discounts on everything from hostels to Inca Trail tours. […]

And according to the Peruvian government, the country’s tourism dollars reached $2.22 billion in 2008, an 11% increase from $2 billion in 2007.

“In a downturn like this, many young people will choose to travel at the end of their degree, rather than immediately embarking on a career,” says Richards. “They might be the most effective target [for cultural tourism].”

To read the full article, click here.

Written by Catherine Castro

January 19, 2009 at 7:29 pm

One of Peru’s Music Young Treasures: Jorge Pardo Joins Other 3 Peruvian Tenors in Concert This Weekend in Lima, Peru

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tenoresOne of Peru’s treasures in vocals is Jorge Luis Pardo Valdespino (second from the left), a good friend of mine and heart-felt, high-range singer and composer who will be performing a new series called “Tenores II” (Tenors II) concert in Lima, Peru this Saturday, December 5 and Sunday, December 6 with Sony Center among one of its sponsors.

Jorge and other 3 Peruvian tenors will be performing songs by Queen, Coldplay, Elton John, Joan Manuel Serrat, Verdi, legendary Peruvian singer and composer Chabuca Granda, among others. Around 30 musicians will be on stage.

Jorge is a former winner of the singer awards “International Music Festival Vina del Mar”. If you’d like to watch the hit song “Mi alma entre tu manos” (My soul between your hands) that made him a glorious double-award winner, click here (go to 4:50 in the video to listen him perform this amazing song).

Well done, guys! Wish you as much success as your first series “Tenores I”.

Written by Catherine Castro

December 4, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Miami, Mark your Calendar: Friday December 12. The Last Jose Val Concert in 2008!

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jose-valJose Val, a very dear friend of mine and an amazing, heart-felt Peruvian song writer and actor will be giving his last Latin pop concert of 2008 in Miami, Florida on Friday, December 12 at 10 pm at Macondo restaurant in South Beach.

You might remember him from his participation at the Billboard Video Music Awards, one of his many performances in Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, Puerto Rico, or Panama with the hit children’s show “Nubeluz”, or perhaps on his co-lead role in the Peruvian show “Sueños”.

Click here to RSVP on his Facebook event page.

Macondo restaurant is located in 665 Washington Ave., Miami, FL 33139.

Written by Catherine Castro

December 3, 2008 at 2:28 am

Peruvian Artisan Fair in St. Louis Benefiting Artisans in Peru

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If you are planning to be or if you already are in St. Louis, you might want to check out a Peruvian Artisan Fair that will take place at Northminster Church on Sunday, December 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the church on 1570 Chambers Road in Dellwood.

What’s neat about it is that proceeds will be sent directly to local artisans in Peru — a very talented group of Peruvians that given unfortunate lack of funding and access to the international market they cannot demonstrate the immense business and art potential they have to the world.

This is indeed a cause very close to my heart. My grandfather (who is now in Heaven and resting with God) was one of the most renowned ceramic artisans (“retablistas“) in Peru from Ayacucho. Love ya, bulito!

Written by Catherine Castro

November 29, 2008 at 9:23 pm

Posted in Events, News, Travel

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Peru: Intro to Living the Legend

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Perú, the land of the Inca Empire and located in South America, is a magical spot which involves one of the richest biodiversities of the Earth, and is a melting pot of different cultures who together are forging the promise of a better future.

Over 40,000 restaurants across the country reflect the diversity of a nation that has mixed its native traditions with the cuisines of Europe, Arabia, China, Africa and Japan. The result: unique flavours that make Peruvian cuisine one of the best and most varied in the world.

Ten thousand years of history are lived through 180 museums and historical places. While Peru inevitably evokes images of Machu Picchu and the Inca empire, the country is also riddled with archaeological sites which are a legacy of even more ancient times, when great civilizations bequeathed a legacy of their art, customs and rituals, their wisdom and skills.

Is Peru a “green” country? Of course and for many years! It is home to 84 of the 104 life zones that exist on our planet, making it a privileged destination for nature lovers. Close to 20% of the world’s birds and 10% of the world’s reptiles live in Peru. And it has converted 13% of its territory into Protected Natural Areas.

So what is this mysticism all about? Take a look at this video, and let me know what you think!

Written by Catherine Castro

November 29, 2008 at 5:23 am

Posted in General, Travel

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Welcome to “Connect to Peru”

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Welcome to “Connect to Peru”, my new blog for YOU to become part early on of this whole new revolution that Peruvian cuisine and its culture is starting to emerge as it becomes the “next big thing” in the US and around the world. Maybe you will laugh today, or you might think I am exagerating. But wait, and see!

Perhaps you know nothing about Peru, perhaps you don’t even know where the land of the Inca Empire is located in the world map. No worries. That is the whole purpose behind my blog.

I am a native Peruvian who has lived her first 20-something years in Lima, Peru. But don’t let my accent confuse you (I might be fluent in English — hehe). Deep down inside there is this girl who was born, raised, educated, and left her whole life, friends and family many miles south of the US to come to this country for which I am thankful for the many opportunities it has, and keeps, offering me on a personal and professional level.

It’s with this feeling of thankfulness and reciprocity that I’d like to share with you what to be a Peruvian in the US is all about, for you to learn more about my culture, about where I come from, what makes me be the person that I am — and particularly, how you can also learn the many wonders and mysticism that the land of the Incas can perhaps bring to your life and hopefully have you visit someday soon!

The idea of creating this blog was also to create the first “one-stop” source of information for Peruvians living abroad, Americans or other foreigners in an easy-to-read format where you can find useful and entertaining information, not just plain news reporting or a whole bunch of links to other different sites that god forbid eventually turn into Spanish. In fact, one of the biggest challenges I have noticed these past years from living in the U.S. is that most of the information that my friends in the U.S. and abroad might be interested in reading and learning about Peru is all in Spanish or they don’t know how to access it. Today’s news wires and international publications rarely cover a Peruvian story that is not related to the global economy, an unfortunate earthquake, or a crisis of some sort that would make it worth covering.

A lot of the stories that give examples on how Peru is progressing as a country, is serving as a role model around the world (such as its green efforts or its renowned FTA with the U.S.), cultural and artistic forms of expression that are capturing many people’s attention around the world, its food, and even great deals you could get on airlines or hotels to visit Peru for less than what you think, are the type of stories I am looking to post in my blog.

I am not trying to become an expert of Peruvian economics, politics, etc., but rather just someone who’d like to share interesting things about my country that you can enjoy even if you live abroad. And if you happen to visit someday Peru, I hope the information in this blog helps you in finding out what could be the things you’d like to do during your stay.

Hope you enjoy this blog, and I welcome your thoughts and comments to make this blog…YOUR blog.

Thanks for visiting, and make sure you add it to your “favorites” folder and/or subscribe to RSS feeds!

Catherine Castro

Written by Catherine Castro

November 28, 2008 at 5:34 am

Posted in General

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