Laura Fuentes y Calicanto's Biographies

Calicanto is a bridge of warmth and song between musicians from Latin America, and audiences from all over the world. Founded by Laura Fuentes in 1996, the Calicanto project gets its name from the historic landmark that once united the shores of the Mapocho River in Santiago, Chile. The core duo of Laura Fuentes and Pedro Villagra join togeteher to light a new fire, celebrating the rich diversity of Latin American music from Chile, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

Laura Fuentes

- Lead singer, guitar, cuatro and percussion

Laura Fuentes has showcased at NACA and Folk Alliance Conferences. She has collaborated on stage and in the studio with Chile’s legendary, Inti-Illimani, Santiago del Nuevo Extremo and members of Los Folkoristas. Laura was born to North American parents in Santiago, Chile, until 1973, when a military coup led to the execution and imprisonment of people who were working for human dignity and equality. Laura continued to explore her musical and cultural birthright in Madison, Wisconsin. She received her music degree in vocal performance at the University of Wisconsin. As lead singer of Sotavento, Laura performed internationally and recorded four CD's before releasing her first solo album, Sobrevida in 1998, Delicadeza in 2000 and Donde Vivo in 2004 from which three singles and two videos have been released. She now resides in Santiago Chile.

Pedro Villagra

- Quena, quenacho, sikus, flute, charango, voice and saxophones

From Contulmo, Chile, Pedro's childhood was marked by the intimate and frequent presence of Victor Jara in his life. During the military regime in Chile, Pedro formed Santiago del Nuevo Extremo, one of the most important and popular creative bands in Chile during the 1980's. In 1995 Pedro joined Inti Illimani, touring and recording 3 CD’s with the world famous ensemble before releasing three CDs of his own with his “Pedroband.” His work has earned him a place on Rolling Stone’s best albums of 2000 and a nomination for Chile’s Premio Altazor in 2005.

Patricio Acevedo

- Guitar. Voice. Percussion

Born in Santiago de Chile with a degree in classical guitar from the University of Chile, he now lives in Philadelphia where he is a member of a Brazilian batucada, an all-drum band that plays samba and carnival music. Acevedo is the co-founder of Paramo, a Philadelphia- based group that keeps the neuvo cancion heritage flourishing with new compositions

Orlando Cabrera

- Percussion

Born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Orlando has been playing percussion since age 9. He is the percussionist with the celebrated Latin American music ensemble Sotavento, with whom he has toured the US, Canada, Europe and Puerto Rico, and the salsa and latin jazz ensemble, MadiSalsa. He performs and records in a variety of musical genres, including Latin American folk, salsa and jazz, and has over 25 recording credits. Orlando also has performed in the US with singer/songwriters Guillermo Anderson, (Honduras), Romulo Castro (Panama) and with renowned vocalist, Janet Planet. Orlando hosts La Junta, a popular Latin American radio program aired on WORT in Madison, Wisconsin.

Tomás González Jansana

- Guitar, percussion, cuatro, flute, voice

Formally trained at the conservatory of the Universidad de Chile in composition, Tomás is an accomplished instrumentalist, arranger and composer. He regularly accompanies the legendary Chilean new-song artist Patricio Manns and creates music for theater stage productions. He has released two CDs of his own compositions with the group Antípodas and his more recent project Musicadetom. Also see

Raquel Gonzalez Paraiso

- Violin, Mandolin, sikus and voice

Raquel is a master violinist trained in the conservatories of Salamanca and Madrid, Spain. Co-founder of the acclaimed music school Syrinx, Raquel teaches violin at the University of Wisconsin and is a major creative force in the Latin American folk ensemble, Sotavento.

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