Vibraciones International Vibraphone and Marimba Festival in Lima, Peru

I’m back in Lima now for the Vibraciones Festival. It’s put on by the National Conservatory of Lima and features a week of concerts, masterclasses and private lessons by invited guest groups and soloists. I’ll be playing a duo concert on January 29th at the auditorio ICPNA with Maestro Alonso Acosta one of the professors at the Conservatory. Our name, Duo Mestizaje, means a blend, as in our music and cultures. Here’s the full schedule for the festival.

The Music

We took Canadian and Peruvian folksongs and arranged them for marimba and vibraphone or marimba and cajon. I did an arrangement of “À la Claire Fontaine” and I commissioned Montreal composer, Theo Mathien, to arrange the Newfoundland folksong, Petty Harbour Bait Skiff.” Alonso arranged a southern Peruvian folksong, “Melgar” for marimba and vibes, a Northern Peruvian folksong, “Valicha,” for marimba and cajòn, and two others. We’re hopefully playing 4 concerts in Peru – two in Lima, one in Arequipa and one in Trujillo. As part of the festival we’re also giving masterclasses and private lessons to the national conservatory students. I worked with some of the same students two year ago. They are very talented but don’t have access to many teachers or performers from outside of Peru, and they don’t have a lot of music classical percussion CDs or mallets. This trip, I received donations of all these things from Bill Cahn and Robin Engelman. Thanks so much to them both.

A little about Alonso Acosta

He studied briefly with Nancy Zeltzman and recently competed in the Stuttgart marimba competition this past year. He’s traveled internationally to festivals, most recently to Mexico with cajònero Rafael Santa Cruz.

I met him two year ago in Lima at the international cajòn festival here where I played a concert of marimba and cajòn with him (you’ll see a video or two from that in my previous posts).

We’ve been practicing daily at Black Book Studio with sound master, Danny Reyna. He’s worked with lots of local and international groups including Chick Renzo Guerrero, Christian Meyer, Daga, Bulldog, and Koky Bonilla y Afrodisiaco.

We also have a concert on January 25th at the Japanese Cultural Centre in Lima. But I’m looking forward most to meeting the festival’s other invited soloists and groups, including Ted Piltzecker (US), Jenny Arcelia Lopez (Mexico), Euclides Marquez (Brazil), Memmi Ochi (Japan), André Juarez (Brazil), Malletrix Ensemble (Peru), Chak Duo (Chile), Nilda Quispe (Peru),


Amie Watson-Percussionist Innovative and versatile, Amie Watson opens a new style of percussion music with a creative combination of instruments and genres. Combining classical technique with world and folk music, and an expressive concert style, she creates an original musical and visual aesthetic. A graduate of the University of Toronto and McGill University, she has studied many types of classical and world music including Japanese Taiko Drumming, Balinese Gamelan in addition to contemporary orchestral and chamber music. Ms. Watson was recognized as one of Toronto’s “1000 most creative women” in the arts by the Luminato Festival 2008, and is the recipient of a Canadian National Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Grant in Performance Installation Art. She has been invited to festivals through Canada, the US, and Europe, and South America.

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