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From 10 October to 17 November 2002

Second National Month of Latin American Baroque music.

From 10 October to 17 November, several Latin American and French musical ensembles will be helping the French public discover a recently unearthed Latin American musical heritage.

In the decades following the discovery of America, some of Europe's greatest composers set off for the New World. They turned out to be the source of some very fertile schools of music that developed around major historic centres of colonialism such as the Jesuit missions up to the 18th-century. While all trace of these works was lost in Europe, in the Amazon the indigenous populations jealously guarded their memory: for almost three centuries, and even though the writing was foreign to them, they painstakingly copied out the manuscripts handing them down from generation to generation.

For the last ten years, this fascinating musical repertory, thought forever lost, has been revived thanks to "The Paths of Baroque music" a cultural initiative of the record company K617 in partnership with the BNP Paribas Foundation. The programme has been extended to France with the national month of Latin American Baroque music. This year, it will plunge us into the strange and enigmatic world of Indian Insights, a homage to those that for ever will be considered the first guardians of this musical heritage.

Five musical itineraries ("Fiesta Criolla", "The musical heritage of the Chiquitos and Moxos Indians", "The Caribbean/Cuba: echoes of India and Mystical Rose", "Musical pathways to the New World: from Gand to Texcoco, and Rome to Iguazu", "Guarany and Chiquitany missions") from across the breadth of the Latin American continent will be presented to a wide public thanks to concerts to be held in some 30 towns throughout France. The programme will include a revival of a Baroque 18th-century Creole celebration in Bolivia, a rediscovery of sacred music born of "Jesuit reductions", liturgical and profane music by a Cuban mullato composer of genius, musical journeys from the Old to the New World and the sources of an essentially indigenous Baroque art form born in the depths of the Amazon.

Concerts certainly, but also workshops bringing together the energy of musicians from Latin America with those of French instrumental and vocal ensembles. With some 600 performers, these Indian Insights will surely be a unique occasion: more than 30,000 spectators are expected at the 50 or so events organised over this national month. All this has been made possible as a result of the combined efforts of 45 regional authorities and their cultural offshoots, 25 BNP Paribas local branches and 16 Harmonia Mundi shops.

This cultural initiative is a good example of the approach adopted by the BNP Paribas Foundation, an organisation that likes to consider itself a focal point for the promotion of cultural exchange and encounters. Over and above the financial support provided by the foundation, our commitment is a way of paying homage to the artistic and human qualities of those that work with us: at the same time demanding, imaginative, accomplished and with a determination to make the world around us progress, these are values that BNP Paribas shares and recognises.

This second Latin American Baroque month will be accompanied by the publication of a new "Fiesta Criolla" album based on the works of Roque Jacinto de Chavarria (first worldwide recording). The CD brings the Elyma and Ars Longa de La Havane, Cor Vivaldi and Els Petits Cantors de Catalunya ensembles together with Gabriel Garrido.

K617 is also bringing out 3 new CDs on this occasion : Bresilian/Cuban mullato Baroque, Mexico New Spain and Cathedrals and Missions of Higher Peru.

The Elyma et Ars Longa de La Havane ensemble conducted by Gabriel Garrido will kick off this second national month of Latin American Baroque music in Nimes on Thursday 10 October.

The programme of the second national month of Latin American Baroque music

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