Balam Ajpu

Balam Ajpu Public Concert

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Time: 2:00pm
Location: Carpenter’s Square
3016 Nolensville Pike
Nashville, Tennessee

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This concert is free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Global Education Center, Casa de la Cultura Latino Americana, Carpenter’s Square and the Center for Latin American Studies.

Balam Ajpu: Means Jaguar Warrior and represents duality, the opposites that complement each other, masculine and feminine energy. This group is made up of M.C.H.E., Tz’utu Kan, and Dr. Nativo, who crossed paths at Lake Atitlán in the beginning of the Wayeb (Time of No Time, 5 days of the Mayan Calendar) in the synchronization of 12 Sak Bey (Carrier of the Year) in 2010. This project was born in the ancient Oxlajuj Baktun, and continues in the new Jun Baktun, passing between the past and the present.

Currently the three are part of the musical project Balam Ajpu, whose goal is to combine Mayan spirituality with art and to achieve a fusion between the indigenous Cosmovision, or worldview, and music. For the past five years, they have worked with girls and boys from the Atitlán region and Quetzaltenango through their school of Hip Hop Cosmovision, Casa Ajaw. They are part of the movement that is recovering the ancestral wisdom that the Conquest tried to silence, relying on ancient art and combining it with contemporary trends.

The musicians of Balam Ajpu refer to their creative work as “downloads” that they received through a series of ceremonies with spiritual guides like Venancio Morales. The lyrical content is based on a theological investigation in Tz’utujil. It evokes pre-Hispanic music, which it mixes with universal rhythms and influences.

In this way they created the first single, Bat’z, which they presented at the XVIII Biennial de Arte Paíz. In the second phase of the trecena of Jun Naoj (December 18, 2012), they performed four ceremonies that they called “process of downloading” of texts in groups of five: Sak Bey, Aj, Ix, Tzikin and Ajmaq. In these ceremonies, the Ajq’ij (spiritual guide) entered into a trance and spoke about each nawal in the ancient Mayan language, Tz’utujil. In the second session they “downloaded” Naoj, Tijax, Kawok and Ajpu. Later followed Imox, Iq, Ak’abal, Kat and Kan. And in the fourth session, they completed Keme, Kej, Q’anil, Tooj and Tzi.

They received the financial support of Fundación Paíz, Mr. Music & Mr. Films, the Norwegian embassy in Guatemala, Actores de Cambio Asdi-Hivos, Canal Cultural Artists Collective.

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