10 Fun Facts About Chile That Every Music Lover Needs to Know with Catalina


Catalina is one of her favorite new up-and-coming voices in the music industry.

Jazzy, soulful, and strong, the singer-songwriter, who is currently based in Nashville, was born in Chile and continues to hold onto her Latin roots by infusing those delicious Latin American influences into her music.

Today Catalina gives Musical Notes Global readers a glimpse at Chile's music culture with a great list of facts every music lover needs to know. Check it out below!

1. Chilean music is as varied as our rich history and geographical features: Chile is a very long country that crosses through many very different seasons, scenery, weather and lifestyles. Especially seeing as we have traditional music from our indigenous Mapuche people, the music out of Rapa Nui (Easter Island), and music that was born out of colonization in different areas of Chile and developed from there.

2. The Charango: is a Chilean instrument from the Andes mountains. It typically has 10 strings, but variations exist. The body of charangos used to be made out of armadillo shells, but since becoming an animal close to extinction, charango bodies are now made out of wood.

3. Thelonious Club de Jazz: is a venue that helped elevate the jazz genre in Santiago and open it up to a younger demographic. It is a pretty legendary spot and I am happy to say that I play there for the first time this past December for their series of Jazz Voices. Such an honor. (They also make ALL of their cocktails from scratch, I am talking freshly squeezed juices and mixes)!

4. Festival de Viña del Mar: First started in 1960. It is now considered the largest and best known festival in Latin America. Featured bands come from all over the world, as well as from the local scene. Earth, Wind & Fire, The Police, Gloria Gaynor, Santana, Soda Stereo and Ricky Martin have played in the past. Chilean media has given the nickname of El Monstruo ('the monster”) to the audience, which averages at 15,000 spectators every year.

5. Ruidosa Fest: new on the scene! This community and festival was founded by Chilean artist, Francisca Valenzuela. Described as a community that "responds to the low participation of women, and sexism, in the music industry and creative industries in Latin America." Personally, I am looking to get myself involved with Ruidosa starting this year, I suggest all other Latin American gals do as well!

6. Cueca: is the national dance in Chile. Every September, we would have two weeks during gym class at school where we would learn and dance la cueca in preparation for Chile's Independence day celebration.

7. Violeta Parra: historically considered one of the main moving forces of folklore in South America and a great promoter of Chilean popular music. So much so that Chile declared October 4th (her date of birth) the national day of music and Chilean musicians.

8. National Anthem: regularly, at different functions that call for Chile's national anthem to be sung, we only sing the 5th verse and the chorus. Originally, the song has 6 full verses and the chorus.

9. Chilean musicians that I listened to growing up: I mainly listened to music in English, but that didn’t mean Chilean sounds didn’t sneak in here and again. Bands like La Ley, Gondwana, Supernova, Kudai and Sonora Palacios were on light rotation. Ana Tijoux and DJ Mendez were artists I listened to, as well. Now, I am trying to submerge myself back into more Chilean music, starting with Mon Laferte.

10. Exile: there are a good amount of Chilean artists that moved to or were born in different countries during Pinochet’s dictatorship. Hundreds fled to the neighboring Peru and Argentina, while thousands made it all the way out to European countries, making Chilean music very worldly as well.

Catalina recently curated a super awesome playlist as part of Musical Notes Global's Women's History Month Celebration. Check it out here.

For all of Catalina's latest news and updates, follow her on social media:

Facebook: facebook.com/catalinasmusic

Instagram: @catalinasmusic

Twitter: @catalinasmusic

Website: catalinamusic.net