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Victor Jara

The facts of Victor Jara's tragic death are well documented. Arrested in the aftermath of a military coup d'état, Jara was one of many political prisoners led to the National Football Stadium where many were tortured, beaten, and executed. Although his hands were broken or, as many have claimed, amputated, Jara continued to sing a song supporting the ousted Popular Unity Party. After receiving many brutal blows, Jara stopped singing only when a machine gun fired by a military officer took his life. In the nearly three decades since, Jara's songs and spirit have been celebrated by numerous politically minded folksingers including Pete Seeger and Tom Paxton. Arlo Guthrie set Adrian Mitchell's words to music for the ballad "Victor Jara," recording the song on his album Amigo. Undoubtedly, although Jara's heart may have been forcefully stilled, his music has lived on.

The youngest of four children born to a ploughman (Manuel) and a semi-professional folksinger (Amanda), Jara grew up in severe poverty. Raised on a feudal-like farm, he lived on the bags of flour and occasional fruit that his father earned from his labors. By the age of six or seven, he was already accompanying his father to work in the fields. Family life was extremely difficult as his father increasingly began drinking to escape his woes. When a pot of boiling water fell on his sister, he joined his mother and moved to Santiago, the site of the only hospital equipped to treat his sister's burns. While in Santiago, his mother took a job at a food stand at an open market, but in March 1950, Jara received word that his mother had died from a stroke suffered while she was at work.

For the next three years, he struggled through school while sleeping at the homes of friends. At the age of 15, Jara left school and entered the Redemptist Order in San Bernardo, a small village south of Santiago. His quest to become a priest, however, lasted only a year. In 1952, he left the seminary and enlisted in the Chilean army. The following year, he was dismissed with honors. Jara's interests in theater and music soon became the dominant force in his life. Enrolling in the school of theater at the University of Chile, he studied acting. After completing his degree, he continued on to begin studies in theatrical directing. While at the school, he met his future wife, Joan Turner, a teacher from Great Britain. A turning point in Jara's musical career came when he met Violeta Parra, a traditional folksinger and artist and the owner of a small café in Santiago. Taken under Parra's wing, Jara began to sing more and more in the cafe. In 1966, he released his self-titled debut album. Four years later, he left the theater to devote his attention full-time to music.

From the beginning, Jara used his songwriting skills to supply a voice for Chile's working class and peasantry. Strongly supportive of the Communist Party, he was thrilled when Dr. Salvador Allende, the head of the Popular Unity Coalition, became the first socialist to be elected president of a Latin American country. Under Allende's leadership, the Popular Unity Coalition planned to strengthen educational support, increase low-income housing, and furnish free socialized medical care. Jara's dreams began to crumble, however, when on September 11, 1973, a military junta headed by Admiral Toribio Merino and Army General Augusto Pinochet, assisted by the United States via the Central Intelligence Agency, overthrew Allende and launched a brutal coup. Thousands of Popular Unity Coalition leaders and supporters were imprisoned with hundreds being subsequently executed. Jara was working at the State Technical University when it was surrounded by the military. Taken prisoner, he spent five days in a cold, dirty cell without adequate food or water, before being taken to the National Football Stadium. Although he was initially buried in a mass grave, his wife was permitted to provide him with a decent funeral and burial. She later left Chile in secret, taking many unreleased tapes of Jara's songs. ~ Craig Harris
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Antologia Musica Volumen 1

Disc 1

2. Paloma Quiero Contarte

4. Deja La Vida Volar

5. El Cigarrito

7. El Pimiento

8. El Arado

9. La Beata

10. A Luis Emilio Recabarren

11. Duerme, Duerme Negrito

12. Preguntas Por Puerto Montt

13. El Martillo

14. Te Recuerdo Amanda

15. Plegaria A Un Labrador

17. Abre La Ventana

18. La Partida

19. El Niño Yuntero

20. Vamos Por Ancho Camino

22. Las Casitas Del barrio Alto

24. Ni Chicha Ni Limoná

Disc 2

1. Qué Lindo Es Ser Voluntario

4. En El Río Mapocho

5. Luchín

6. La Toma (16 de Marzo 1967)

7. El Hombre Es Un Creador

8. Herminda De La Victoria

13. Poema 15

14. Cai Cai Vilú

15. La Palmatoria

16. Manifiesto

17. Cuando Voy Al Trabajo

18. Vientos Del Pueblo

19. Aquí Me Quedo

20. Arauco

x

Track List: El Derecho De Vivir En Paz

1. El Derecho De Vivir En Paz

2. Abre La Ventana

3. La Partida

4. El Nigno Yuntero

5. Vamos Por Ancho Camino

6. A La Molina No Voy Mas

7. A Cuba

8. Las Casitas Del Barrio Alto

9. El Slma Llena De Banderas

10. Ni Chicha Ni Limona

11. Plegaria A Un Labrador

12. Brigada Ramona Parra

13. Oiga Pues Mijita

14. Muchachas Del Telar

15. Venian Del Desierto

16. Poema 15

17. Danza De Los Nignos

x

Track List: Canto Por Travesura

1. Brindis

2. La Palmatoria

3. Vengan A Mi Casamiento

4. Iba Yo Para Una Fiesta

5. La Edad De La Mujer

6. La Cafetera

7. La Diuca

8. La Fonda

9. Por Un Pito Ruin

10. La Beata

11. Adivinanzas

12. El Chincolito

x

Track List: Victor Jara

1. El Arado

2. El Cigarrito

3. La Flor Que Anda De Mano En Mano

4. Deja La Vida Volar

5. La Luna Siempre Es Muy Linda

6. Ojitos Verdes

7. La Cocinerita

8. Paloma Quiero Contarte

9. Que Saco Rogar Al Cielo

10. No Puedes Volver Atras

11. El Carretero

12. Jai Jai

13. La Beata

14. Se Me Ha Escapado Un Suspiro

15. Dona Maria Le Ruego

16. Decimas Por El Nacimiento

17. Entonces Me Voy Volando

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Hello, Víctor Jara@99
Report as inappropriate
Los hombres grandes de nuestra america entre ellos los poetas y trovadores continuan con la hermosa tarea de educar. Eso continua haciendo Victor, quien mas alla de fisicamente no estar presente, sus denuncias y sed de justicia continuan y continuaran pronunciadas por sus propios labios. Viva America y mi atada Borinquen. Que algun dia sea libre y dignificada. Viva Victor Jara y gracias
Report as inappropriate
ruben4725
Podran matar al hombre pero. Nunca sus Ideales
Report as inappropriate
Podran matar al profeta y le inpondran el silencio pero la historia no callara !!!
Report as inappropriate
9/11 has been a sad day in my family for 41 years.
Report as inappropriate
Estos son nuestros verdaderos heroes,¡¡¡
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hasta la Victoria siempre
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viva victor jara
Report as inappropriate
Su vida tuvo el firme proposito de levantar una conciencia de pueblo, una unidad popular contra la tirania y las condiciones de pobreza que enfrentaba la clase obrera en Chile y el mundo. Levantar tambien la tradicion popular del olvido, afirmar las costumbres y el proposito de luchar contra la asimilacion cultural al imperio. Tambien "Vitin" como le digo cariñosament e tenia gran amor por los niños que a muy corta edad trabajaban arduamente en las minas y en el campo, cantaba sobre el amor y tam
Report as inappropriate
sjgrodsky
Viva Victor diga esta gringa.
Report as inappropriate
Aun me acuerdo la primera vez que escuche esta canción.
Report as inappropriate
Si la verdad que te trasporta alos year de gerra en nuestro paiz el salvador solo esa mucica se escuchaba
Report as inappropriate
¡Un gran hombre este! Me enamoré de su música, y la de Violeta Parra igual, durante mis estudios en Chile. ¡Que linda el país, su cultura, y su gente! ¡Viva Chile y viva Victor Jara!
Report as inappropriate
fraymommy
Por fin.... La version original.... Always remember never forget... That was my 9/11/ 1973
Report as inappropriate
jbospina64
Cuando escuchamos mas de estos poetas se enriquese no solo el alma sino el intelecto
Report as inappropriate
One of my heroes for sure!
Report as inappropriate
wow! one of Chile's greatest!
Report as inappropriate
Victor Jara vive!!
Report as inappropriate
aguilard37
el no a muerto el estara con nosotros por siempre no nos dejemos mas
Report as inappropriate
steinerjess
love victors music and especial el mensaje entre su musica y letra. god bless his soul
Report as inappropriate
Victor Jara fue dado un don en su canto y en su corazon por el pueblo. Aunque el comunismo no es la respuesta, hombres que luchen por la verdad y los derechos de un pueblo oprimido son mas necesitados hoy en dia.
Report as inappropriate
reina_1684
nunca olvidare la musica de Victor Jara, que cante y admire desde los años de mi formacion, alla por los 70's.
Report as inappropriate
Victor Jara lives forever in us.
Report as inappropriate
matadores45
que tristeza que allan matado a este poeta, que desgracia que mala jente
Report as inappropriate
wow por fin escucho la version original... aunque la version de Gondwana es buena
Report as inappropriate
they really should have Zamba al Che on here

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