One of the world’s most celebrated Chilean groups, Illapu has been performing since 1971. Forced to go into exile nine years after Chile’s 1973 brutal military coup, their music has roots in the ancestral sounds of the Andes. Illapu’s powerful protest songs have become anthems for millions, and their universal appeal comes from the way they intertwine folk with contemporary, classical and jazz influences. Illapu, which means ‘lightning bolt’, combines a range of sounds, textures, rhythms, melodies, atonalities and harmonic polyphonies that have inspired and captivated audiences around the world. The richness of Latin American rhythms and themes are brought to life by the group’s sophisticated vocal harmonies and mastery of multiple traditional instruments. Illapu sings of life, love, justice, the preservation of culture and the tensions created by modernisation. Most of their compositions are written by band members but they’ve also been nourished by the lyrics of great poets such as Pablo Neruda, Mario Benedetti and Roque Dalton.