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Colombia’s Aterciopelados reunites for tour, new recording

February 28, 2015

MEXICO CITY (AP) — More than two decades have passed since Andrea Echeverri first took the stage with the band that would take the name Aterciopelados and would become one of the most acclaimed groups in the world of Latin rock.

The smoky-voiced singer and her musical partner and former boyfriend, Hector Buitrago, moved apart from one another in recent years to focus on solo projects. But a reunion last August at a Bogota music festival has led the two to reunite for a limited tour that starts in March, to be followed by a return to the recording studio and the group’s first live concert DVD.

“Truly, we are enjoying our return to the stage,” the 49-year-old artist said Thursday in a phone interview from her native Bogota. “We are connecting with our old fans and finding new ones, and this is something very exciting.”

After three years apart, Echeverri and Buitrago teamed together in August 2014 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Bogota’s Rock in the Park Festival. Their reunion inspired the band to launch a brief tour that will begin March 13 in Bogota’s Estereo Picnic Festival, followed by appearances in Mexico at the Vive Latino concert, the Cumbre Tajin Festival, and the Pal’ Norte Festival.

The band, whose work has been nominated for multiple Grammy awards and won two Latin Grammys, will celebrate the anniversary of their groundbreaking 1995 album “El Dorado” by returning to the studio in May to re-record songs that have become part of the Latin rock canon for a project led by Sony Music Colombia.

“We also are working on our first live DVD, which we will record at a concert that we’ll have in Bogota in May. It will be a special show, with new costumes and new versions of Aterciopelados’ classics,” Echeverri said.

It’s all far different than what she imagined when she first took the stage at Barbarie, an alternative-scene bar in central Bogota. Known then as Delia y los Aminoacidos, the band was part of a generation of young Colombians looking to escape the violence tearing at the country.

“When I started in music, Colombia was passing through a difficult time. The violence also stimulated things and we were a big group of young people searching for a change,” Echeverri recalled.

“The music then became an opportunity for us to escape for a little bit from our sad reality.”

Echeverri also remembered that, in the beginning, there were few other women playing rock and it fell to her to figure out how to work closely with her male counterparts.

“Unlike those years in which the music scene in Colombia was very small, today things are radically different. There were no managers, no places to play other than Barbarie,” she said.

“We did a lot of touring with Los (Fabulosos) Cadillacs, with Maldita Vecindad, Molotov. I was the only woman. I remember one day our instruments didn’t arrive for a concert and los Molo (Molotov) loaned us theirs,” she said. “They were great moments and really intense experiences.”

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