Category Archives: Music

Viña Von Siebenthal Presents: Chico Trujillo

Macha / Chico Trujillo

Chico Trujillo celebrating 15 years of Viña Von Siebenthal, November 2012

There are some great stories in Chilean wine, and Viña Von Siebenthal has its share. Wine-loving Swiss lawyer Mauro Von Siebenthal dreamed of making a wine of his own and set about turning wishes to reality in the Aconcagua Valley. Continue reading


WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Light

What photographer doesn’t love light? And while natural light is absolutely lovely, I wanted something different for this challenge:

© Margaret Snook 2009 All Rights Reserved 6th Annual Wines of Chile Awards

These images were shot during the 6th Annual Wines of Chile Awards ceremony in Santiago de Chile in January 2009. The artist is Marcelo Peña-Villegas who performs as Metahue. (See more about him and his music at Etnoelectrónico). Continue reading

Freshly Pressed Again: Accordions are hotter than you think!

It’s happened again… a sign from the hosting honchos at Word that someone over there has their eye on Cachando Chile. Turns out that the “Confessions of a Closet Accordion Lover” caught their eye and they “Freshly Pressed” it, which means that they plucked it from among nearly half a million posts and put it out there front and center for all the Word Press world to see.

Word Press Freshly Pressed / Cachando Chile / Accordion Lover

If you missed the post, take a look: Confessions of a Closet Accordion Lover. Continue reading

Confessions of a Closet Accordion Lover

**This post was “Freshly Pressed” on March 30, 2011

I have just come to realize that I have a thing about accordions. Weird, you say? Cheesy, maybe? Uncool, you think? Sorry, conclude away, but I am here to confess. Truth be told, it took me a long time to realize it, but I have been enamored of the instrument since Carmella Cartino brought hers to show and tell in 4th grade. My parents didn’t take it very seriously that evening when I told them about it. We were neither Italian nor Polish—the two ethnic groups most associated with accordions in our neck of the woods.

Japanese Accordionist in Rome (I promise as soon as I find his card, I will include his name!)

Continue reading

Fuente de Soda: Schop, Cortado, Completo, Cueca Brava & Buddy Richard…

Fuente de Soda La CascadaQuick: where was this picture taken?

It’s a pretty safe bet that there’s only one country on Earth that this picture could have been taken. Do you know? Continue reading

Sandro: Adios to a Legend

Sandro Album: Después de Diez Años (1973)

Latin America is in mourning today. Argentine singer Roberto Sánchez—much better known as Sandro—has died. His fans waited in long lines outside the National Congress in Buenos Aires tonight to say their final goodbyes, and the government has announced that the building will remain open all night to accommodate the millions who have made the trip to honor their hero.

The dark and steamy “Latin Elvis” began his singing career in the 1960s and has driven his mostly female fans wild for more than 40 years. Tonight’s news showed these aging fans, or “Nenas de Sandro,” grandchildren now in tow (as well as many impersonators), clutching prized photos and mementos, weeping in the streets, outside his home, and waiting in the searing sun (followed by evening rain) to file past his coffin.

Born in Buenos Aires in 1945, Sandro was one of Latin America’s first singers to venture into the field of rock, although he later developed his own melodramatic-romantic style of very latino love songs and ballads. In his early years he was inspired by Elvis Presley—and dressed in tight pants and a ruffled shirt, he took his idol’s quiver and shake to heights Presley never dreamed of. Check out the action—from twitching toe to writhing torso—in the opening segment of his 1975 performance of his hit song “Rosa Rosa” in Viña del Mar…

I’ve been hearing about Sandro since I first met my husband, who told me the news with a long face this morning. How he began his career as a young teenager in the 1960s and was huge in the 1970s, how he was known as El Gitano (the Gypsy) for his sultry dark and handsome look, what a great voice he had, how romantic his songs were, how many people swore they fell in love to the sound of his voice and the words to his songs . In fact, the Guachacas blog posted a piece in his honor tonight that said:

How many Chileans owe their very existence to Sandro’s seductive powers? He is one of the few people responsible for our own baby boom in a decade in which freedom and romanticism played hide and seek. (translation mine)

Sandro in "Gitano" (1970)

I have also been told (repeatedly) how he wrote all his own songs, recorded 52 albums, and starred in some 16 movies over the course of his 4-decade career. And then there’s the part where his fans haunted him day and night until he finally built a bunker-like complex in Banfield outside of Buenos Aires and hadn’t left his house more than 3 times in 10 years. And how he smoked 4 packs a day and still managed to keep his voice,  how in later years he adapted a special microphone with a tube that blew oxygen to his mouth so he could keep singing despite his ever-worsening emphysema, and how he was on a waiting list for a lung transplant.

He finally had his surgery—a heart and lung transplant—in Mendoza in November. His Nenas and other fans formed and joined “prayer chains” (cadenas de oración) for his health. At first his recovery seemed to go well and hopes were high, but he took a turn for the worse. At 8:40 PM on Monday, January 4, 2010, Sandro, aged 64, made news for the last time.

RIP / QEPD (Que en Paz Descanse) Roberto Sánchez—Sandro—Sandro de América—el Elvis Argentino—el Gitano—el Hombre de la Rosa, (August 19, 1945–January 4, 2010).

Want to know more about Sandro?

Watch the news over the next few days, the TV (at least here in Latin America) will be full of stories, biographies, documentaries, and old movies in his honor. You’ll find dozens of his songs on You Tube or take a look at Wiki: Sandro de América, for starters.

Sigall’s Surprise: Classical Guitar Competition ends on unexpected note

One of the things about competitions is that they are prone to surprises and upsets. They don’t always turn out as expected and often not as desired. Proof enough was the very unexpected twist of events at Saturday night’s final round of the Dr. Luis Sigall Classical Guitar Competition in Viña del Mar. (See “Classical Guitar in Viña del Mar: 36th Dr. Luis Sigall Competition” for information leading up to the finals).

Eighteen young guitarists from 12 countries were invited to participate in this prestigious competition. Eight made the semi-finals, and the 3 finalists, Marco Sartor of Uruguay, Sebastian Montes of Chile, and Daniela Rossi of Argentina, performed with orchestra on Saturday night.

Marco Sartor of Uruguay

Marco Sartor, 30, of Uruguay

The finalists were assigned the piece they would play.

Luck of the draw.

Marco Sartor was the first to take the stage and performed Concierto para guitarra y pequeña orquesta, by Héitor Villa-Lobos of Brazil. His execution was flawless, but unfortunately his guitar was drowned out by the orchestra, and even during the solo passages it was hard to hear, a fact that the judges neither missed nor dismissed.

Sebastian Montes, Chile

Sebastian Montes, 30, of Chile

Sebastián Montes followed with Fantasía para un gentil hombre, by Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo. He played beautifully and moved the audience such that they applauded until he returned for a second bow.

I am not impartial. He is my favorite. We, his family, were there en patota.”


Daniela Rossi, 25, of Argentina

Daniela Rossi closed the show with the most famous of all pieces for guitar and orchestra: Joaquín Rodrigo’s Aranjuez. She played with confidence and personality, and those in the know commented on her creative interpretation.

Intermission. Nerves. Tension.

The audience voted for their favorite.
Smokers smoked.
Hair was combed; lipstick reapplied.
The evening’s 3 stars paced.
The public congratulated them.
Some asked for a photo or autograph.


The remaining 15 participants speculated.
The musicians in the audience opined.
Everyone commented.
What was taking so long?


More pacing.
More smoking.
More commenting.

Time drags on–3 0 minutes… 45… an hour–and this can only mean one thing: the jury is not in agreement.

The lights flash, we return to our seats. One look at the jury, now on stage, and we know. They have done serious battle. Our hearts begin to sink.

The usual round of speeches begins. Why is it that every speaker has to repeat interminable lists of Illustrious Toms, Esteemed Dicks and Honorable Harrys, along with their mothers and brothers and cousins and important neighbors? All the blustering blah-blah must have added at least another 20 minutes to the already torturous suspense.

Finally, the awards:

Best Chilean non-finalist Award: Renato Serrano (29) (trip for 2 to Laguna San Rafael)

Audience Favorite: Sebastián Montes (Yay, Seba!)

3rd Prize: Marco Sartor… surprised murmurs…

2nd Prize: Sebastián Montes… shocked audience response…

1st Prize: Daniela Rossi… stunned

Sartor and Montes were far and away the favorites going into–and coming out of–this event. Those who had been following the competition considered it a toss-up for first and second. The final outcome was completely unexpected and frankly, unexplainable.

And with that, I will refrain from further comment, lest I be accused of sour grapes. Not the case. There is much to be said about the outcome of this event, but I will wait for others more qualified and less involved to say it… while I bide my time, mulling this mystery and weighing my words.

El Mercurio: “Un duro round vivió la final de “Dr. Luis Sigall

El Mercurio de Valparaíso: “La compleja votación en la final del Dr. Sigall

El Mercurio de Valparaíso: “Final de “Dr. Luis Sigall” envuelto en la polémica”

Classical Guitar in Viña del Mar: 36th Dr. Luis Sigall competition

36th Concurso Dr. Luis Sigall-Guitarra

Click for ticket information

Attention all Classical Guitar Lovers!

One of the many charms of Chile’s Viña del Mar (in addition to beaches, casinos, and lovely old homes) is its annual classical music competition, the Concurso Internacional de Ejecución Musical Dr. Luis Sigall. This invitation-only, all-expense paid event is considered to be among the most prestigious in the world of classical guitar in which talented young musicians compete with their peers from around the world. The instrument rotates, and guitar appears once every four years… and 2009 is our year!

This year’s 18 contestants arrived on Friday, Nov 6 from Argentina (1). Australia (1), Bosnia (1), Croatia (1), Germany (2), Israel (1), Korea (1), Mexico (1), Russia (1), United States (1), and Uruguay (1), and 6 from Chile. Eight of these talents, ranging in age from 21 to 30, passed on to the semi-finals, and just three—all latinos—will vie for the top place title tomorrow, Saturday, November 14, at 7:00 PM in Viña’s Teatro Municipal.

The three finalists are:

Finalists Marco Sartor, María Daniela Rossi, Sebastián Montes

Marco Sartor, Daniela Rossi, Sebastián Montes

María Daniela Rossi, 25, of Argentina, who will perform Joaquín Rodrigo’s famous Aranjuez

Sebastian Montes, 30, of Chile: Joaquín Rodrigo’s Fantasía para un gentilhombre

Marco Sartor, 30, of Uruguay: Concierto para guitarra y pequeña orquesta, by Héitor Villa-Lobos

Winning is not just a matter of a trophy and an attention-getting line on a resume. No sir. The stakes are high indeed:

  • 1st prize is $10,000 USD, a trophy, plus a minimum of four concerts (solo and with orchestra) in Chile during 2010
  • 2nd prize is $4,000 and trophy
  • 3rd prize is $2,000

And now, for the best part of all—full disclosure—I have an invested interest in the outcome of this event… I’m not rooting for the Chilean candidate solely out of adopted national pride. I am very proud to say that Sebastian Montes is my step-son!

So…  Go! Seba Go!

For tickets and reservations: 32-268-1739

For more information, see: base_banner_secundario