Our Story…

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Kuyayky’s story began in the 1970’s when Jose Hurtado Zamudio, a university professor and musicologist, married educator and singer Edda Bonilla Peña (of the Conjunto Alma Jaujina). Deeply committed to fostering the arts and culture in Peru, Jose and Edda embarked their efforts on forming choirs and musical groups throughout Peru’s central region.

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In 1983 Candy, the youngest of their five children was born, and although no one exactly remembers when it was that she begun singing, it was probably in 1988 that she joined her siblings to form Kuyaycamqui. – In 1990 the Hurtado Bonilla family moved to Lima. By this time all of the children had learned to play musical instruments. So they continued to perform, now reaching theaters, auditoriums, schools, television channels and even the Presidential Palace.

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In 1992, the group completed their first recording “Nueva Navidad” featuring classical and traditional Andean Christmas carols. In this production the group decided to work only with their voices and worked with a well-known musician for the musical arrangements. That same year the family worked with an American NGO in one of Peru’s most impoverished shantytowns in Lima- Pumacahua, where everyone in the family became a teacher to teach the children and youth of this area how to play different Andean musical instruments.

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In 1993 the group was invited for several performances in France, but political turmoil in Peru forced the family to move to the United States instead. In 1994 they completed their second recording “Soñadores de Esperanza,” (Dreamers of Hope) in which they played and sang traditional Andean music. Their story was featured by Miñuca Villaverde of The Miami Herald.

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In 1995, the group shortened their name to KUYAYKY (“to love” in Quechua)and continued their performances in different community events such as “ South Florida Sings Out For America” an event held at Pro Player Stadium in Miami to help the families of the victims killed in the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma federal building. Maurice Walsh, BBC radio reporter interviewed the group.

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In 1996, Kuyayky formed Raices Andinas, a folkloric dance and cultural group, and began a series of performances and lectures of Andean dance, music, and culture. Kuyayky and Raices Andinas offered a composite performance and lecture at the University of Florida in Gainsville.

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In 1998, Kuyayky was invited to Chicago for a series of performances in different venues and cultural events.

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In 2000 the group began recording their first CD “Jesus Kuyayky”, and even though the actual recording and mastering took only two days to finish, the group struggled to release the final product.

In 2001 Kuyayky was invited to perform throughout the Carolinas and New York.

In 2002 Kuyayky was featured by PBS as part of the “American Families” series.
In 2003 Kuyayky registered itself as a non-profit organization with hopes to continue fulfilling their mission. They began an annual benefit Concert series to benefit the children of their hometown in Jauja, Peru.

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In 2004 the group continued to perform in different venues across the country, including Tobacco Road, the Wallflower Gallery, Nova University, and DOOR. Kuyayky also began work on their second CD, finalizing research and working on arranging ancient music from the Latin American region…Kuyayky also held its first Annual Benefit Concert for Jauja with guest performances..

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In 2005 Kuyayky began recording their second album “Xauxa: Back to the Beginning”. Because of their extensive repertoire the band was unsure of what to record…In the midst of recording- in July of that year many of them where able to return to Peru for the first time since leaving the country in 1993… Upon returning from Peru, individually, they decided that the music of their homeland was in a losing battle with synthesized pop Andean music, thus they decided to honor the musical legacy and uniqueness of their ancestors by focusing on the ancient music of Jauja. The group also began performing with guest musicians in the base and violin.

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2006: The band finished recording “Xauxa: Back to the Beginning”, re-arranging many of the pieces, studying the musical essence of La Huaconada, La Jija, and the Jergacumu (researched by Jose Hurtado Sr. in the 60s). They also chose to include Afro-Peruvian pieces and other music from the Peruvian coast as a testament of unity and recognition of the musical quality of ALL of the music from Peru. On September 16th they released their album at a sold-out concert sponsored by the Peruvian Consulate and FIU’s Latin American and Caribbean Center at the Colony Theater on Lincoln Road. Their story was featured by Peruvian network show “La Ventana Indiscreta”, National Public Radio, The NewTimes, The Sun Sentinel, the Miami Herald, Radio Caracol, NBC-Telemundo, and many others.

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2007:  Kuyayky was one of the first organizations to respond to aid the victims of the 8.0 earthquake in Southern Peru and presented with the help of a number of corporate partners, the City of Miami and the Red Cross, Concert for Peru ,  produced by The Kuyayky Foundation and Kuy productions, featured performances by Pepe Alva, the renowned singer and songwriter that blends rock with native Peruvian sounds, Chocolatin, a legend of Afro-Peruvian music and Yawar Chicchi, an enigmatic ensemble of Peruvian “scissor dancers” from Huancavelica, the Imaj Tusuy Andean Dance Company among others. The Kuyayky Foundation also co-organized Benefit for Peru with Pisco Montesierpe, raising funds to build 15 new homes in Pisco. Kuyayky also continued their commitment with their hometown of Jauja, organizing a concert with featured acts Minimal, Masis and Imaj Tusuy.

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2008:  Kuyayky presented their concert Xauxa: Back to the Beginning at the Broward Performing Arts Center in February. Later that year they partnered with the new Arsht Center for the Performing Arts Center Chief Marketing Officer to promote the Peru Negro performance, successfully selling out the venue. In June Kuyayky was chosen by the Smithsonian Institution to headline the Smithsonian’s Summer Concert Series- the group received rave reviews from the Peruvian Embassy, the Washington Post and the hundreds of concert goers that filled the Potomac amphitheater. Kuyayky was also invited to present a lecture on Peruvian Culture and the work of their Foundation at the Inter-American Development Bank, the event was sponsored by the IADB Youth Program and the IADB’s Cultural Center. In October the band was invited by Florida Atlantic University’s Music Department to headline a Concert at the University Theatre. Kuyayky’s Imaj Tusuy Andean Dance Ensemble becomes “Sumaj Tusuy” and remains under the direction of its founder Betty Caloretti.

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2009: Many of Kuyayky’s members formally begun graduate school in diverse fields. In February the Kuyayky Foundation presented the Yawar Chicchi scissors dancers at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. The band has also recorded some new material at FAU. Kuyayky also began to celebrate the Day of Andean Song, with a live performance and webcast.

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2011: October-Jose Hurtado Senior (Jose Hurtado Zamudio) founded the Kuyayky Children’s Orchestra. November- Kuyayky debuts its new show “Aya Markay Killa” at the Area Stage Company theater.

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2012: June and August- Kuyayky debuts and due to popular acclaim brings back their original production “Miami Raymi” and relaunches their Annual Benefit Concert for Jauja as the Miami Inclusive Arts Festival….