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Cumbre (The Summit)

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Album Review

Since 1975, Sukay has been at the forefront of reviving and expanding upon the ancient folk music of South America's Andes Mountains. With a limited instrumental base of charango, guitar, bass and various flutes and pan pipes, their music is never lacking in body, and is ever-colorful and rich in dynamics. Cumbre is their award-winning 1990 album and is perhaps Sukay's finest, as all members showcase their extraordinary abilities: Eddy Navia's lightning-fast charango (a ukulele/mandolin relative whose body originated from the shell of an armadillo), Alcides Mejis' array of wind instruments including the zamponas (whose bass variety exudes more authority and stimulates more emotion than perhaps any instrument known to man), and Argentina's celebrated classical guitarist Enrique Coria.


Genre: World

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

Specializing in Bolivian music of the Andes Mountains, Sukay were founded in the late '70s by Edmond Badoux from Switzerland and his then wife Quentin Howard from the United States, musicologists who studied Andean music in South America before settling in San Francisco. The group underwent a number of personnel changes and in its later incarnation was led by Bolivian composer Eddy Navia, who joined Sukay in 1988. Under the leadership of Navia, the ensemble became characterized by a more contemporary...
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Cumbre (The Summit), Sukay
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