The sound of HUAYUCALTIA (pronounced why-yoo-cal-tee-ah) is a fusion of the Andean, Afro-American, jazz, classical, and rock influences each group member brings to the band. Their name, inspired by the Nahuatl word huayolcayotl, which means kinship, unity, and brotherhood, is what best defines their endeavor: to bring together diverse cultural experiences in order to create new musical expressions. Playing both indigenous and contemporary instruments, the group takes listeners on a timeless journey of sounds and rhythms through the jungles and rivers of the Amazon and high into the Andes.
Formed in Los Angeles in 1985, Huayucaltia has toured throughout the United States and to Peru. Its recordings and performances have won critical acclaim from Rolling Stone, CD Review, and LA Weekly. They have recorded three albums on their own label; their most recent, Destinos, was released in 1999. They have also recorded three albums on ROM records; Horizontes won the 1989 NAIRD (National Association of Independent Record Distributors and Manufacturers) Award in the category of Latin Music.
The members of Huayucaltia hail from five different countries. Guitarist/composer Ciro Hurtado, a native of Peru, studied at the Guitar Institute of Technology and with Peruvian composer Augusto Portugal. He has recorded three solo albums, In My Mind and Tales from Home on ROM records, and Guitarra, a solo album on his own label.
Cindy Harding hails from Palo Alto, California, and has traveled, studied, and performed extensively throughout Latin America. She plays a variety of instruments and is a founding member of Grupo Sabiá, with whom she has toured the U.S., Canada, and Central America. She is also currently a requinto jarocho player and singer with Conjunto Jardin.
Classical guitarist Antonio Ezkauriatza, a native of Mexico, has studied and performed a variety of Latin American musical styles. While pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree at Cal State L.A., he was a member of the college's Concert Choir and a recipient of the Friends of Music Scholarship. He has performed with local Andean music bands such as Ollantay and Nazca.
Julio "Jimmy" Ledezma was born in the northern Argentinean province of Misiones where, at an early age, he began his musical career playing drums in the Scola of his hometown of Posadas. Ledezma traveled extensively throughout South America, learning about the cultures and musical instruments of Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia, before coming to Los Angeles in 1979, when he became a member of the group Arco Iris, with which he recorded three albums.
Hernán Pinilla is a native of Colombia, where he began his anthropology and music studies. He was a founding member of Grupo Tumbaga and a member of the ensemble Taller Experimental de Música Bitagui, with which he traveled throughout South America. Pinilla is an Artist-in-Residence at the San Juan Capistrano Regional Library under the auspices of the California Arts Council.