Alturas (Heights) - A song by Inti Illimani. Follow a condor's flight over the Andes mountain in the slideshow.
For well over 30 years, Inti-Illimani (the name translates as "Sun God") has held a beacon for Chilean music, both the traditional folk styles and the more contemporary nueva cancion. Back in 1967 a group of students at Santiago's Technical University formed a band to perform folk music. Taking their name from the Aymaran Indian language of the Andes, they began playing traditional music — something few did back then — and quickly earned a reputation around the capital, becoming more and more adept on their instruments. By the '70s they'd grown into a political beast, taking on the nueva cancion (literally "new song") of many young groups, and being quite outspoken lyrically — enough to be forced into exile in 1973, where they'd stay for 15 years. However, they refused to be cowed by the Chilean dictatorship. Basing themselves in Rome, Italy, they continued to record, and toured more heavily then ever before, earning a powerful reputation around the globe, and becoming very unofficial ambassadors of Chilean music, as well as opponents to the ruling regime. In addition to performing with a number of famous, political figures like Pete Seeger and Mikis Theodorakis, they were included on the famous 1988 Amnesty International Tour, along with Sting, Peter Gabriel, and Bruce Springsteen.