Wandering around the mural and stray dog sprinkled streets of Santiago is a fairly new band called Andú. A colourful mix of vagrants, musicians and instruments, they tour the city playing their lilting gypsyesque tunes wherever they go.
The band is comprised of four guys. The vocalist and founder, Sebastian Castillo plays guitar with an Andean style. The French accordionist, Corentin Restif conveys the harmonies of his country. Alvaro Maturana’s cajón (large wooden box-like Peruvian drum) has a Brazilian flavor, Jon Toselli’s darbuka (a Middle Eastern goblet shaped hand drum) adds an Arabian air, and together, they are a band that makes crowds dance with happiness in each place they appear.
About five months they first met and describe that meeting as a “very organic thing.” At a party, Sebastian was carrying his guitar and Corentin was playing his accordion. The two collaborated and it has proven to be a magical recipe for amazing music.
Due to the nature of their instruments, they consider themselves to be a portable band, meaning that, they can carry them wherever they go, play as they’re going and start a party wherever they wind up. It isn’t unusual for them to play at several different parties in one night and to play on the metro while en route.
Often, their opening song is, “Leo,” an alluringly melodic French song, sung by Corentin that helps start the party and get people dancing. In fact, they describe their ideology and purpose in music in beautifully simple terms as intended to bring happiness to people and bring people to dance. And if their intoxicating music isn’t enough to inspire people to dance, they bring a bottle of rum to share, just in case.
Similar to the band’s organic joining; their creative process seems to be just as naturally impromptu. They consider it to be very “rapid and jovial.” They may start out with a word, or a string of words and poetry and then the music just springs forth, happens spontaneously with the people who are present. Their song, “Trikahuena,” is about a beautiful bird from the South of Chile as a metaphor for a girl who doesn’t speak and “Una Yerba” uses an incognito way of speaking about the mixing of various “herbs.”
Right now, the band is actually on a “South American tour” in Jon’s Volkswagen van, until approximately the beginning of March. Their intention is to travel the world playing music and learning more and more of the richness of other cultures in order to incorporate it into their music.
Since they don’t have any official venue, keep an eye out for them this coming autumn, in the metro or on the street. They also usually get together to play at least once a week at the bar, Navetierra.
They declare their message for the world to be, “Dance… dance… open your eyes every day, every morning, enjoy the glorious springtime, listen to our music, by all means, please dance.”
Wandering the streets of Santiago, a new band called Andú is touring the city, playing lilting Gypsy-like tunes wherever they go.
A colorful mix of vagrants, musicians and instruments, the members consider themselves a portable band–they can carry their instruments wherever they go, play as they wander and start a party wherever they wind up. It’s not unusual for them to play at several parties in one night, even playing en route on the Metro.
The musicians met at a party about five months ago in what they call a “very organic thing.” Sebastian Castillo, carrying his guitar, spotted Corentin Restif playing his accordion, and the two collaborated in what has proven to be a magical recipe for amazing music.
Vocalist Castillo plays guitar Andean style, while French accordionist Restif serenades with the harmonies of his country. Alvaro Maturana plays his cajón (large wooden box-like Peruvian drum) with Brazilian flavor, and Jon Toselli’s darbuka (Middle Eastern goblet-shaped hand drum) adds an Arabian flair. Together, the band makes crowds shimmy, spin, skip and sway wherever they perform.
Their opening song is often “Leo,” an alluring French melody sung by Restif that gets crowds grooving. In fact, the band describes its ideology and purpose of making music in beautifully simple terms: to bring happiness to people, and to get them to dance. As if the foursome’s intoxicating music wasn’t enough to inspire people to dance, they bring a bottle of rum to share.
Similar to Andú’s organic formation, its creative process seems to be just as naturally impromptu. The members consider it to be “rapid and jovial.” They may start out with a word or two and some poetry, and the music springs forth spontaneously among the people present. Their song “Trikahuena,” about a beautiful bird from southern Chile, is a metaphor for a girl who doesn’t speak, and “Una Yerba” cleverly describes the peculiar train of thoughts that occur after mixing yerba maté and another not-so-legal substance.
The band is now on a South American “tour” in Toselli’s Volkswagen van, traveling the lands, playing music and learning more about other cultures and musical influences.
Since they’ll be roaming the continent until about the beginning of March, keep an eye out for them back in Santiago this fall, in the Metro or on the street. They also usually get together at least once a week to play at the bar Navetierra downtown.
“Open your eyes every day, every morning. Enjoy the glorious springtime, listen to our music; by all means, please dance,” they tell the world. For any vagabond in Santiago, track down Andú for some music to soothe your travelin’ soul, to quench your thirst for experiencing other cultures and, above all, to inspire you to dance.