Fernando Rios is Assistant Professor in Ethnomusicology at the University of Maryland. He specializes in Latin American folkloric and popular music, with a concentration on the traditions of the Southern Andes. Dr. Rios’s dissertation won the Nicholas Temperley Award for Excellence in a Dissertation in Musicology, a biennial prize for ethnomusicologists and historical musicologists. For this project, he interviewed over 250 individuals during 23 months of fieldwork in Bolivia, Argentina and France, and conducted extensive archival research at La Paz’s Congressional Library. Currently, he is revising the dissertation into a book manuscript, which elucidates how urban La Paz society, from the 1930s to the 1970s, came to conceptualize folkloric musical representations of Andean rural indigenous community (ayllu) traditions as highly emblematic forms of Bolivian national culture, demonstrating that this complex process was simultaneously entangled with local nation-building projects and international artistic currents (e.g., popular music fashions, nativist movements) throughout this entire period but whose successful articulation occurred for the first time within the socio-political conjuncture of the mid-to-late 1960s. The book devotes particular attention to the initial popularization in Bolivia of the Andean conjunto, the mixed-instrument ensemble format (kena-charango-guitar-bombo was the standard line-up in this era) and overtly nativist performance style that from the 1970s to the present has been the most recognized Andean musical tradition worldwide.
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