The Flutes of Ecuador, great legacy

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¡Así Kotama! The Flutes of Otavalo, Ecuador features an Andean indigenous flute tradition unlike any other. It is the soundtrack of a success story that defies globalization, steers tradition in a new direction, and revitalizes a musical practice that was once considered obsolete. The joyful, multigenerational Kichwa flutists of Kotama village in the historic municipality of Otavalo play, chant, and dance their way into a future that upholds their deepest values and customs. 62 minutes, 40-page booklet with bilingual notes and photos.”

“For centuries, villagers in northern Ecuador celebrated weddings, harvests and other special occasions with songs played on flutes made from a bamboolike plant known as carrizo.

Globalization and a cholera outbreak in the 1990s that killed many local people, flutists included, nearly stopped the music, but not in the town of Otavalo, where master flutists founded the Hatun Kotama Flute School so they could pass on their musical legacy.

¡Así Kotama!: The Flutes of Otavalo, Ecuador, out now on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, showcases 36 performances by the school’s teachers and students. The musicians sing, stomp, blow cow horns and play a variety of other local instruments to create music that is rhythmic and cyclical, anchored by steady beats and call-and-response vocals as the flutes spin dissonant melodies.”

Listen to the Hatun Kotama – Flutes of Otavalo, Ecuador

For more information, and to purchase ¡Así Kotama! The Flutes of Otavalo, Ecuador, visit: