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Los Kjarkas» Los Kjarkas Biography
Los Kjarkas Biography

Los Kjarkas Biography

The Kjarkas is unquestionably the most representative group of Bolivia they don't only managed to cross borders with their music but they also reach thousands of persons becoming part of their lives touching their harts and feelings. The Kjarkas emerged in 1965 from their beginnings they start to impose their own style creating a new way to interpret folkloric music being the ones that revolutionize the way of thinking and feeling of the folkloric music fans.

The Kjarkas in they're beginnings
The group of Bolivian music “Los Kjarkas” born as a quartet that played all kind of folkloric music, specially Argentine Zambas, they played just as diversion and also impelled by an economic necessity. On the other hand, the musicians comment, in those times people wanted to listen to Argentine Zambas. But little by little spaces in wich “Los Kjarkas” can play Bolivian music opened. They have presentations in “peñas” and there is where the group acquires importance, they spread rates like: cuecas, huayños, bailecitos, etc.

The Kjarkas of those days were the 3 Hermosa brothers: Wilson, Castel and Gonzalo, Edgar Villaroel who became the guitarist and first voice joined the group. Shortly after three of the members left the group with the purpose of dedicate more time to their professions.


After a transition period Gonzalo Hermosa built “Los Kjarkas” again with new talents: Hedí Carpio, Antonio Canelas and Alcides Mejia. Together they went along 10 years of trajectory, and perfectioned their art. They appeared in several scenes of La Paz city.

Kjarkas “The legend begins”

During these years “Los Kjarkas” started performing in several alternative events, and private parties.

In 1975 they represented Bolivia in the folkloric musical festival in Brazil , turning this presentation into the first international performance of the group.

In 1976, their first album “ Bolivia ” was recorded and released in Mexico City by the Heriba record company.

This album includes nine singles, most of them composed by Gonzalo Hermosa, being “ Bolivia ” the most representative song, which became a second national anthem.

The Kjarkas gradually began to gain popularity national and internationally.

New members joined the group, among them two of the Hermosa brothers: Elmer Hermosa and Ulises Hermosa, Gastón Guardia, Guillermo Ponce and Edgar Villaroel.

A new and fresh band arise, giving birth to songs composed by Ulises Hermosa that trough the years would become important themes in their musical trajectory.

There is no doubt that there were two key elements for the success of the band: the exquisite voice of Elmer Hermosa and the interpretation of the wind instruments by Gastón Guardia.

“Los Kjarkas” through the years

The 70's

•  1977

The band reaches the public with their second album “ Sueño Milenario de los Andes ”.

During this year they begin performing in Europe, United States , South America and Japan .

The 80's

•  1980

Their third album “ Condor Mallku” is released. T his album is characterized by the romantic tone included in the songs, moving away from the until then used lyrics and rhythm. At this point the influence and talent of the Hermosa brothers becomes remarkable.

•  1981

The proliferate production of “Los Kjarkas” continues , they released the album “ Desde el alma de mi pueblo” . The band continues growing as Julio and Ramiro Zerda become members.

•  1984

“Los Kjarkas” are invited to the X Festival of Popular Music in Japan , where the composition of Ulises Hermosa “ Florecita Azul” is awarded 10 th place among more than 1.800 songs. This historical moment consolidates the band in Japan .

•  Towards the late 80' s

By the end of this decade a mayor incident happens. A brazilian band releases a song in a “lambada” rhythm, this song reaches the highest positions on the international ratings.

The problem was that this song was an original composition of Ulises Hermosa “Llorando se fue”. That song was registered by “Los Kjarkas” and after litigation the band was compensated.

Also by the end of this decade Edwin Castellanos and Fernando Torrico join the band the played an important role on the history of “Los Kjarkas”, later they created a new band “Tupay”.

In conclusion the decade of the 80' marks the takeoff and the beginning of “Los Kjarkas”, nowadays the most famous group of Bolivia . They're success is because of the solid beginning they had. During these years they composed several songs that are of great importance in the trajectory of the group such as: Wayayay, Imillitay, Oruro , Tiempo al tiempo, Chuquiago Marka, Solo, etc.

The 90's

In 1992 the disease of Ulises Hermosa affected the musical group. Until that then continuous production of the Kjarkas decreased by the damaged health of Ulises, regretfully after a hard fight against the cancer Ulises passes away in the city of Huston , the U.S.A.

•  1993

In this year they release the album “Hermanos” in which the main song is “Tarajachi”, composed by Ulises Hermosa, but Gonzalo Hermosa wrote the lyrics.

The same year is founded in Lima , Peru a musical school named “Escuela Musical de Kjarkas”. The purpose of this school is to spread the Andean culture and music, by teaching young people how to perform Andean instruments.

•  1994

The foundation “La fundación Kjarkas” borns in Ecuador and Bolivia

•  1995

This is the year the “Pacha Proyect” peruses the same goals as the “Kjarkas foundation” but with this foundation they wanted to teach music to kids who have the talent for becoming artists

•  1997

The Kjarkas released their first video “ Por siempre…” This is a video of a live concert in the Presidente Hotel of La Paz city.

•  1999

Among the most important moments in the career of “Los Kjarkas” there is the called “evento del siglo” (the century event). In this concert they performed in front of 40.000 fans. This concert is considerate as one of the biggest and important presentation of the Bolivian band.

The 90's are characterized for the innovation, Eduardo Yañez, Alcides Mejia, Miguel Mengora, Ronaldo Malpartida y José Luis Morales join the band. They composed various important hits: “Mi pecado, Ave de cristal, La picara, A los 500 años y El líder de los humildes”

XXI Century

Century XXI arrives loaded from surprises, innovation and changes for “Los Kjarkas”; they incorporate new young members to the band: Gonzalo Hermosa Jr, Lin Angulo and Makoto Shishido. This new members bring fresh ideas and talent. They help to compose songs such as: Saya sensual, Kamanchaca, Lección de vida , Mentiroso, etc.

What does “Kjarkas” means?

The name “Los Kjarkas” born with the band, the protagonists of this musical adventure tells that on June 23 of 1971 (in the celebration of San Juan),Wilson, Castel, Gonzalo Hermosa and Edgar Villarroel decided to crate a musical group called “Los Kjarkas”, name that accompanies them until today.
The Kjarkas means: Force, Strength.