RELEASE DATE: 01 Jun, 2012


On a La Paz winter night there’s nothing better than the warm strum of a guitar by the fireside, the stirring voices of comrades in song, or even some fast tunes to heat up the dance floor. This month, the Bolivian Express explores the myriad musical influences felt within La Paz. We’ve got an interview with the outgoing musical director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Bolivia, David Handel, who discusses the future of classical music in our fair city. But the classical music establishment is just one part of a smorgasbord of musical samplings, where we explore traditional popular instruments like the charango, and fringe trends like protest music through the ages, and more recently the rebellion of rap and the spirit of Christian rock. With interviews of contemporary musicians Christian Paredes and Verónica Pérez – from Hate S.A. and Efecto Mandarina, respectively – reviews of recent shows across the city, insight to jazz bars and peñas, and not least a list of live music venues, in this issue we immerse you in a printed concert of sounds, beats and rhythms from La Paz.


Songs of freedom

02 Jul, 2012 | Deshan Chetty

‘From Bolivia, heart of dark skinned America, we come: miners, Indian peasants, students, men, women and children. We form a circle of raised fists, we say to those who stomp on our flag and steal our...

The maestro departs

02 Jul, 2012 | Helena Cavell

David Handel’s much-lauded tenure as the head of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Bolivia has come to an end. Helena Cavell has a conversation with him about his time here and the precarious state o...

Drumming for hate S.A.

02 Jul, 2012 | Naomi Cohen, Eleanor Warnick

An interview with Christian Paredes BX: Who was the first musician that inspired you? C.P.: The first musician that inspired me was Igor Cavalera. He’s a heavy metal drummer. I liked his energy,...

Vero Perez

02 Jul, 2012 | Antoaneta Roussinova

Interview with Efecto Mandarina’s Verónica Pérez Verónica, or Vero, Pérez is the singer of the electric- jazz group Efecto Mandarina (which also features Bladimir Morales on bass, Diego Ballón on pi...

Music, money and the messiah: Rocking Out for Christ

02 Jul, 2012 | Naomi Cohen

La Casa de la Casa, titan of the Bolivian rock industry, is not a corporate production house. The difference lies in the details: swap the glimmering skyscraper for a pasty one-storey ‘T’, the jet-set...

Music money can´t buy

02 Jul, 2012 | Eleanor Warnick

For many well-known Western musicians, success means profit and fame. A stereotypical Western pop star has a handful of number-one hits, with merchandise mounted on the walls of hormonal adolescents....

Live music reviews

02 Jul, 2012 | Harry Shepherd

Friday 4th MayATAJO @ Target Urbano, La Paz La Paz’s rightly famous indie-reggae- rock band ATAJO produced yet another accomplished and entertaining performance in Bolivia’s de facto capital at t...

Musical roundup

02 Jul, 2012 | Matthew Grace

La Paz is host to a musical confluence of rhythms spanning the breadth of the country as well as international genres which range from jazz to classical music. While by no means comprehensive, below y...