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  • Writer's pictureGabriel San Roman

Pascuala Ilabaca Gives Chile's New Crop of Musicians a Feminine Feel

Pascuala Ilabaca’s first memory of Chile is a momentous one. Her parents, both artists, returned to the South American nation from Spain to help define its political destiny. A national referendum in 1988 held the fate of General Augusto Pinochet’s brutal reign at the ballot box. Though she was a child at the time, “I remember the day that people voted to end the Pinochet dictatorship,” Ilabaca says. “Everyone was in the streets, very happy and laughing.”

The plebiscite also allowed for a cultural rebirth in a land famed for its poets and folk singers. Exiled left-wing musicians, such as the legendary folk group Inti-Illimani, returned home before the historic campaign. And Ilabaca, an acclaimed accordionist and singer, focused on that memory of a country at a crossroads to become a leading voice of an exciting new generation of Chilean musicians.

Read more on my latest OC Weekly Music feature out on newsstands now!

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