Los Jaivas

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Los Jaivas
Los Jaivas in 1972
Los Jaivas in 1972
Background information
OriginViña del Mar, Chile
Years active1963–present
MembersJuanita Parra
Claudio Parra
Mario Mutis
Carlos Cabezas
Alan Reale
Francisco Bosco
Past membersGabriel Parra †
Eduardo "Gato" Alquinta †
Eduardo Parra
Ankatu Alquinta
Julio Anderson †
Pájaro Canzani
Alberto Ledo †
Marcelo Muñoz
Fernando Flores
Eloy Alquinta †
Aurora Alquinta

Los Jaivas is a Chilean musical group who perform in folk, rock, psychedelic, and progressive rock styles formed in 1963 in Viña Del Mar, Chile. They are considered one of the most important and influential artists of all time in Latin America.


The origins of Los Jaivas can be found in the family nucleus made up of the brothers Eduardo, Claudio and Gabriel Parra, from Viña del Mar. Together with their friends and classmates from high school at the Liceo Guillermo Rivera Cotapos, located on Calle Montaña (a few steps de la Quinta Vergara),[1] Los Jaivas appeared in Chilean music in August 15, 1963, under the name of The High & Bass as a progressive-rock-andino group, mixing rock with South American ancestral music.[2][3] This name was proposed by Rolando Fuentes (a friend of founding member Claudio Parra during high school).[4]

At that time in Chile, it was customary to use English names for musical bands.[5] Another source indicates that the name is a reference to the members differences in height, since the word in Spanish for bass guitar is the same as that for short (bajo). Another source explains the name as a reference to the bass guitar played at a very high volume compared to the other instruments.[6] During the following six years, and with its stable formation (Eduardo on keyboards, Claudio on accordion and piano, Gabriel on drums, Gato on guitar and Mario on bass) the band develops its musical proposal at parties and social gatherings in Viña del Mar, mainly performing music tropical, cha cha cha, bossa nova and boleros, with good results.[2][7]

They quickly realized that an English-sounding name was not appropriate for a folk band, so they changed it to Jaivas (HIGH-BASS), a "Chileanized" pronunciation of "high bass" which ignores the fact that bass (the musical instrument) rhymes with base and lace in English, as opposed to the word bass (the fish) which rhymes with cass and lass, which is how the syllable vas is pronounced in the band's name. The spelling of Jaivas is a misspelling of the word jaibas, which means crabs in Spanish.[8]

Between 1970 and 1971, and with its Spanishized name "Los Jaivas", the group's concerts became absolute improvisations, without scripts or prepared schemes, and with each musical instrument generating its own atmosphere, even with the help of the audience. Improvisation leads them to the appreciation of Latin American musical roots and to the exploration of the sounds of ancestral instruments, which allows them to combine apparently irreconcilable styles, but which Los Jaivas decide to capture in their subsequent musical creation.[2][7]

Several concerts from this time, including those held at the Vanguard Music Festival of Viña del Mar (January 1970), the Sala de la Reforma of the Faculty of Musical Arts and Sciences of the University of Chile (May 1970), the Cine Arte de Viña del Mar (June 1970) and the Park of the Cultural Institute of Las Condes (May 1970), in addition to the soundtrack prepared for a film that was never made (¿Qué Hacer? by Raúl Ruiz, soundtrack recorded in October 1970), are reflected in the five-disc collection entitled La Vorágine, which documents the stage known as the Prehistory of Los Jaivas.[2]

During this time, in addition, the group participates in the mythical Red Stone Festival and records its first official record label, homonymous, but known as El Volantín, due to its characteristic cover. The album, released in 1971, contains improvisations along the lines of the avant-garde explored previously, but it also includes the first compositional sketches, especially on songs like "Foto de Primera Comunión" and "Que o la Tumba Seras".[9]

The band took refuge in Argentina after the military dictatorship took over in Chile.[6] In 1977, they headed to France, where they resided for a long time. The first major change in the band occurred in 1988 when Gabriel died in Peru in a car crash. His daughter Juanita took his place behind the drums. In January 2003, the main singer, Gato Alquinta, died in Coquimbo, Chile, of a heart attack while swimming in the sea. Gato's three sons soon joined the band to replace him: Ankatu (guitar), Eloy (saxophone) and Aurora (vocals). Aurora left shortly after, and Eloy died of a heart attack in 2004. Ankatu, however, is still a member of the band.[citation needed]

Among various other activities, in 2006 the group performed a historic concert on Easter Island, in addition to the Chilean Navy orchestra, and as part of the celebrations for the month of the sea. On September 20, 2006, Canal 13 broadcasts the television special Los Jaivas en Rapa Nui: Ojos Que Miran el Universo, which includes fragments of the recital, as well as interviews with the group and with inhabitants of the Island. The DVD that includes the event It was finally launched on the market in November 2007 under the title of Los Jaivas en Rapa Nui.[10] On March 22, 2011 Los Jaivas make a presentation in tribute to the then American president Barack Obama in the courtyard of Los Cañones of the Palacio de La Moneda.[11]


The band celebrated its 50th anniversary in an open concert on the front of the National Museum of Fine Arts of Santiago de Chile. Special guests were Inti Illimani, Los Tres and Congreso among others. The concert attracted a multitude of over 60,000 people, causing mayor upheaval in the city, and the police had to intervene with water cannons.[12]


In March 2013, the same year as the celebration of the band's 50th anniversary, Chilean-Dutch filmmaker Erasmo de la Parra (son of Claudio Parra) convinced the musicians to make a biopic based on the band's formative years. The film would be set in the 1960s in Viña del Mar, from the time they were known as "The High Bass" to the time they became known as "Los Jaivas". The director revealed on the film's official Facebook page that the production would have gone through long negotiations with Netflix, but that the production house eventually chose other projects. The film, titled The High Bass, is in pre-production with an unknown release date, and with the participation of Belgian, Dutch, and British producers.[13][14]


Former members[edit]


  • El Volantín 1971
  • Todos juntos 1972
  • La Ventana 1973
  • Palomita blanca (Movie soundtrack) 1973 (Released in 1992)
  • Sueños de América 1974 (Released in 1979)
  • Los Jaivas (El indio) 1975
  • Canción Del Sur 1977
  • Mambo de Machaguay (Compilation) 1978
  • Alturas de Macchu Picchu (based on lyrics from The Heights of Macchu Picchu by Pablo Neruda) 1981
  • Aconcagua 1982
  • Obras de Violeta Parra 1984
  • Si tu no estás 1989
  • Hijos de la Tierra 1995
  • Trilogia: El Rencuentro 1997
  • Mamalluca 1999
  • En El Bar-Restaurant Lo Que Nunca Se Supo (Compilation) 2000
  • Los Jaivas En Concierto: Gira Chile 2000 (Live) 2000
  • Arrebol 2001
  • Obras Cumbres (Compilation) 2003
  • La Vorágine I, Pan Negro (Improvisations 1969-70) 2003
  • La Vorágine II, La Reforma (Improvisations 1969-70) 2003
  • La Vorágine III, El Tótem (Improvisations 1969-70) 2003
  • La Vorágine IV, Mucha Intensidad (Improvisations 1969-70) 2003
  • La Vorágine V, ¿Qué Hacer? (Improvisations 1969-70) 2003
  • Serie de Oro: Grandes Exitos (Compilation) 2004

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Histórica celebración de Los Jaivas, El Mercurio de Valparaíso, September 20, 2003
  2. ^ a b c d "Los Jaivas". MusicaPopular.cl (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 October 2022.
  3. ^ Pareles, Jon (1985-05-01). "Music/Noted in Brief; Chilean Band Offers South American Pop". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-06-02.
  4. ^ This version was told by Claudio Parra and Rolando Fuentes to the audience during a concert in November 4th, 2017 at Colegio Sagrado Corazón de Apoquindo, Santiago, Chile
  5. ^ "'People were put in jail for music': a brief history of Latin American rock". the Guardian. 2020-12-16. Retrieved 2022-06-02.
  6. ^ a b Zolov, Eric (2011-03-18). "Los Jaivas: How The Band Tried To Mend A Broken Chile In The 1970s". NPR. Retrieved 2022-06-02.
  7. ^ a b Stock, Freddy (2002). Los caminos que se abren: La vida mágica de Los Jaivas, Santiago, Grijalbo
  8. ^ "JAIBA". Etimologías de Chile - Diccionario que explica el origen de las palabras (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 October 2022.
  9. ^ "Los Jaivas REBELDE 1". www.dospotencias.com.ar. Retrieved 15 October 2022.
  10. ^ "Este 26 de noviembre LANZAMIENTO DVD "LOS JAIVAS EN RAPA NUI"". APES Asesorías (in Spanish). 23 November 2007. Archived from the original on 11 December 2007. Retrieved 16 October 2022.
  11. ^ "Mini recital de Los Jaivas en La Moneda generó polémica en la red". Cooperativa.cl (in Spanish). 21 March 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2022.
  12. ^ Moraga, Marcos (2013-08-16). "Los Jaivas celebran sus 50 años de historia con más de 60 mil asistentes". La Tercera. Retrieved 2022-06-02.
  13. ^ Suárez, Constanza (2017-03-28). "High Bass: preparan la primera película acerca de Los Jaivas". La Tercera. Retrieved 2022-06-03.
  14. ^ Hub, Filmarket (2018-07-23). "Interview with Erasmo Parra, author of "High Bass" Special Mention at 5th Pitchbox". Filmarket Hub. Retrieved 2022-06-03.