Eva Ayllon

Eva Ayllon

BandWorldLatin

Peru's most celebrated musical artist EVA AYLLON the “Queen of Afro-Peruvian Soul” performs magnificent interpretations of her country's folkloric musica criolla The two-time Latin Grammy nominee, continues her success celebrating an historic sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall November 2008.

Biography

Eva Ayllón was born María Angélica Ayllón Urbina on February 7, 1956, adopting the name "Eva" after her maternal grandmother who initiated her in vocalization at the age of three. A Peruvian singer with a powerful voice, commanding stage presence, and versatile flair for many music styles, Eva Ayllón began performing in Peruvian peñas (nightclubs) in the 1970s. By the 1980s, she had produced popular recordings and collaborated with established Peruvian
groups such as Los Kipus. In 1989, her performance as lead vocalist with Alex Acuña’s Los Angeles-based Peruvian jazz band Los Hijos del Sol sealed her status as a Peruvian national star.

Many would agree that, by the 1990s, she had become Peru’s most popular living singer of both música criolla and Afro-Peruvian styles, with several platinum records and an adoring mass of Peruvian fans around the world. In 2003, Eva Ayllón garnered two Latin Grammy nominations in the “Best Folk Album” category, and in 2008 she sold out the house in Carnegie Hall, reputedly the first Peruvian singer since diva Yma Sumac (in the 1950s) to perform at the prestigious U.S. venue.

In Lima, it is impossible not to know the name Eva Ayllón—nearly every record store prominently features window displays of her CDs, her smiling image are plastered across public spaces on hundreds of posters in commercial districts, and private parties and discos tend to end the evening with recordings of her well-loved songs. Ayllón’s move to the U.S. a few years ago was the cause of great distress to her Peruvian fans, but she returns frequently, and her U.S.and European success shows her appeal is not confined to Latin America.

Ayllón’s musical roots are in two coastal Peruvian styles: música criolla (Creole music) and Afro-Peruvian music. Peruvian música criolla—the legacy of the multiethnic coastal culture that developed among the working classes in 20th century Lima—involves strophic songs with lyrics about lost love, romance, patriotism, and nostalgia for colonial Lima. Genres include the marinera and the vals (waltz), the latter of which is one of Ayllón’s specialties. Música criolla has
been performed, since the mid-twentieth century, on two core instruments that symbolically express Lima’s European and African heritages: the guitar and the cajón (box drum). Although Black Peruvians have long been known alongside their European-descended
neighbors for their contributions to música criolla, a common perception was that African-descended music had disappeared in Peru by the first half of the twentieth century. Beginning in the 1950s, an Afro-Peruvian revival re-created the forgotten music, dance, and poetry of Black Peru.

While other Peruvian musicians are criticized when they stray from tradition, Eva Ayllón seems untouchable. For example, Eva Ayllón has long been known in Peru as the “queen of landó,” and she has moved this folkloric genre in a new direction since the Afro-Peruvian revival, re-imagining it as a kind of sensual and highly syncopated popular ballad with varied instrumentations. An innovator in both criollo and Afro-Peruvian styles, she adds Afro-Cuban
batá drums, West African djembe, jazzy keyboards, and salsa-style horn sections to the mix. Yet, Eva Ayllón’s style remains both fiercely individual and distinctively Peruvian.

Since moving to the U.S., Ayllón has broadened her repertoire and increased her already impressive versatility with respect to style. This is no surprise; Ayllón is continuing the voyage she began in her native Peru. As this recording demonstrates,), Ayllón continues on her journey to connect her music with the sounds of her multiethnic heritage.

Adapted from Black Rhythms of Peru: Reviving African Musical Heritage in the Black Pacific
Heide Carolyn Feldman (Wesleyan University Press, 2006)

Discography

Eva Ayllón Los Kipus y Eva (Iempsa, 1977)
Eva Ayllón Esta noche (Sonodisc 1979)
Eva Ayllón Al ritmo de Eva Ayllón (Sono Radio, 1980)
Eva Ayllón Señoras y señores (Sono Radio, 1981)
Eva Ayllón Cuando hacemos el amor (Sono Radio, 1982)
Eva Ayllón Eva Ayllón (CBS, 1983)
Eva Ayllón Eva Ayllón en escena (CBS, 1984)
Eva Ayllón Para mi gente (CBS, 1985)
Eva Ayllón Para Todos (CBS, 1986)
Eva Ayllón Huellas (CBS, 1987)
Eva Ayllón Landó de la vida y yo (Sono Radio, 1989)
Eva Ayllón Eva siempre Eva (Sono Sur, 1990)
Eva Ayllón Concierto de gala en vivo (Discos Independientes, 1992)
Eva Ayllón Gracias a la vida (Discos Independientes, 1993)
Eva Ayllón Para tenerte (Discos Independientes, 1994)
Eva Ayllón 25 años, 25 éxitos (Discos Independientes, 1995)
Eva Ayllón Ritmo color y sabor (Discos Independientes, 1996)
Eva Ayllón Amanecer en ti (Discos Independientes, 1998)
Eva Ayllón Juntos llevamos la Paz (Pro Estudios, 1999)
Eva Ayllón 30 años en Vivo (Iempsa, 2000)
Eva (Sony 2002)
Eva! Leyenda Peruana (Times Square Records, 2004)
Eva Live From Hollywood DVD (NEMO Presents 2007)
KimbaFa (Times Square Records, 2009)
Eva Canta A Chabuca (Suramusic, 2010)