Los Jaivas

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Los Jaivas
Los Jaivas, August 15, 1972
Los Jaivas, August 15, 1972
Background information
OriginViña del Mar, Chile
GenresFolk, folk rock, avant-garde, progressive rock, Latin music, andean music, indigenous music
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.


Los Jaivas appeared in Chilean music in 1963 as a progressive-rock-andino group, mixing rock with South American ancestral music.[1] The Parra brothers met Mario Mutis and Eduardo "Gato" Alquinta (gato is the Spanish word for cat) in their childhood and joined to play music. They acquired fame in Viña del Mar, by playing at diverse parties and shows.

The band took refuge in Argentina after the military dictatorship took over in Chile.[2] 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 [1]. Ankatu, however, is still a member of the band.


The original name of the band, proposed by Rolando Fuentes (a friend of founding member Claudio Parra during high school) was High-bass.[3] At that time in Chile, it was customary to use English names for musical bands.[4] 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.[5]

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.[6]


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.[7]


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.[8][9]


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. ^ 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.
  2. ^ Zolov, Eric (2011-03-18). "Los Jaivas: How The Band Tried To Mend A Broken Chile In The 1970s". NPR. Retrieved 2022-06-02.
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ "'People were put in jail for music': a brief history of Latin American rock". the Guardian. 2020-12-16. Retrieved 2022-06-02.
  5. ^ Zolov, Eric (2011-03-18). "Los Jaivas: How The Band Tried To Mend A Broken Chile In The 1970s". NPR. Retrieved 2022-06-02.
  6. ^ http://etimologias.dechile.net/?jaiba (in English)
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Suárez, Constanza (2017-03-28). "High Bass: preparan la primera película acerca de Los Jaivas". La Tercera. Retrieved 2022-06-03.
  9. ^ Hub, Filmarket (2018-07-23). "Interview with Erasmo Parra, author of "High Bass" Special Mention at 5th Pitchbox". Filmarket Hub. Retrieved 2022-06-03.