Cristal Andino was founded in Lund (Sweden), in the spring of 1986, as a response to events that occurred in many Latin American countries. Cristal Andino’s members have roots in different countries, which gave the music a unique sound. It can be described as a mixture of Latin American and African music with clear elements of e.g. pop, rock, jazz, reggae and bossa nova. The band sings in Spanish, Swedish and English. Cristal Andino has been, for more than 30 years, on several scenes and has performed for a wide and varied audience in countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Chile, Uruguay, Germany, Cuba and Spain.
Cristal Andino is, in many aspects, a unique music group and is known for its ability to captivate its audience, whether in schools, hospitals, industries, large concert halls or in streets and squares. The concerts not only provide a musical experience; Cristal Andino, with its great social commitment, also poses important problems to its spectators.
In 1998, the band was awarded the Lund’s Municipality’s cultural prize.
The band has played, for instance, at:
- Festival Latino in Malmö, 2019 & 2017
- Poeten på Hörnet in Malmö, 2019
- Mejeriet in Lund, 2017 & 2015
- Malmö Festival several times (seven times)
- Festival for “Solidarity between the Peoples” in Badalona, Spain, 2001
- Festival of “Justice and Impunity” in Badalona, Spain, 2000
- “Jubilee 2000” in Cologne, Germany, 2000
- Several concerts in Havana, Cuba, 1999
- Semana de la Cerveza in Paysandú, Uruguay, 1998
- Theater Cariola de Santiago and el Altillo del Cantor in Valparaíso, Chile, 1998
- Several universities and places to celebrate the memory of Victor Jara, Chile, 1991
More about Cristal Andino’s story:
Cristal Andino was founded in Lund, in 1986. The aim was to tell the world about the atrocities that happened in Chile after September 11, 1973. Those who formed the group were youngers, children to Chileans exiles who had to leave the country because of the military coup that overthrew the President Salvador Allende, democratically elected.The band’s young members were in a new country, with a new language, supported by crushed dreams, strongly influenced by the violent Latin American tragedy they recently had experienced. The music became their most important tool and through it, they could communicate with the new country. Cristal Andino’s endeavor was to contribute a “tiny little” to a growing wave of international solidarity, with victims around the world, who are oppressed by the prevailing economic system and neo-liberalism growing throughout the planet.
The band’s musical repertoire consisted, at this time, of large Latin American artists, as Violeta Parra, Víctor Jara, Atahualpa Yupanqui, Mercedes Sosa and Silvio Rodríguez, among others. Cristal Andino changed over the years, and that meant not only the development of the individuals in the band, but also of the music style. At this time music and text starts being composed by Galo Espinoza. The group follows the developments in the world, and in combination with many years of experience of active work against injustice, this is something that strongly influences Galo Espinoza’s texts and Cristal Andino’s message further.
In 1987, the band started a new activity together with the student priests’ choir led by Andres Gustavsson. Together they worked with the Farmer’s Fair from El Salvador and Nicaragua and performed several concerts in Skåne (south of Sweden) and Denmark. This leads to contact with other choirs, such as from Gothenburg, Örebro and Skåne. Ultimately, the Cathedral in Lund, churches in Denmark and Skåne could experience music from Nicaragua and El Salvador. It is during this period that the first self-composed song is created.
In 1988, Cristal Andino was an obvious participant in events organized by various cultural, political and solidarity organizations. They drew a large audience and performed several times in cities such as Malmö, Lund, Gothenburg, Sundsvall, Arboga, Stockholm, Örebro, Västerås and Copenhagen.