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Jennifer Carolina Gómez Menjívar

was born on 7 February 1954 in Lima, Peru. She was raised by her maternal grandmother, who taught her to sing when she was 3 and nurtured her dreams of becoming an artist from an early age, encouraging her to perform at school events as well as on children’s programs on radio and television. Born María Angélica Ayllón Urbina, the artist adopted her grandmother’s name as her stage name upon launching her solo career. Cherished by fans on two continents, Ayllón has released over thirty albums and has become a successful artist with a solid foundation in Peruvian “Creole” and Afro-Peruvian musical styles.

Ayllón began performing in the early 1970s in commercial venues in Lima that had a reputation for showcasing Creole music. She began her career alongside notable artists, and in 1973 she became the lead singer of Los Kipus a musical trio They toured Peru performed for ...

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Daniel Nuñez

was born on 10 October 1955 in the town of Cata, on the coast of the state of Aragua, in Venezuela. Born José Francisco Pacheco Croquer, he was one of nine siblings in the home of his father, Pastor Pacheco, a farmer, and his mother, Paula Elvira Croquer, a folklorist and community leader. Early in his childhood, Pacheco learned many of the local Afro-Venezuelan musical and religious traditions from his mother and other cultural leaders in Cata. Growing up, Pacheco participated in the Diablos de Corpus Christi ceremonies, and attended other local religious celebrations, such as the Fiestas de San Juan, the multiple days of celebration in honor of Saint John, the patron saint of Afro-Venezuelans in the Central Coast region. It was during festivals like the Fiestas de San Juan and the Christmas parrandas that Pacheco learned the broad repertoire of local traditional Afro Venezuelan songs and percussion ...

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Jonathan Ritter

was born on 4 March 1927 in Carondelet, a small village in northwestern Ecuador near the Colombia border. She has spent the majority of her life in the city of Esmeraldas, where she established a reputation in the mid-twentieth century as one of the leading performers, teachers, and choreographers of traditional Afro-Ecuadorian music and dance.

Raised in a musical home emblematic of the musical and cultural mixtures typical of Esmeraldas Province, Palma learned the songs, melodies, and dance steps of the traditional marimba ensemble from her father, a musician and instrument maker who himself had absorbed the repertoires of his Afro-Colombian father and indigenous Cayapa mother. In addition to these indigenous and black traditions, Palma’s musical influences as a child included the popular string band music associated with highland mestizo culture, as performed by her mother’s family.

Palma came to the city of Esmeraldas from Carondelet while still in her ...