A Journey Through The Andes !



The musicians of ANDES MANTA believe that through their music they bring a rare opportunity for cultural understanding between the people of their homeland, South America, and the people of modern North America.

Although we know that Andean music has been played in South America for thousands of years, its beginnings have been lost in the mists of time. Just as the true origins of the native peoples of the Americas continue to elude us, the first players of this wonderful musical tradition remain an enigma.
Despite the mystery, this vibrant and powerful music continues to be played from Colombia to Tierra del Fuego, and none play it better than the four Lopez brothers who make up ANDES MANTA. Fernando, Luis, Bolivar and Jorge bring this unique art form to North America in its purest and most authentic form. Natives of the Ecuadorian Andes, the brothers learned their traditional folk music as it has been learned for thousands of years - passed from father to son, and brother to brother.

Andean music is one of the few authentic prehistoric culture forms to survive the five hundred years of European occupation of South America. Unlike gold and jewels, it could neither be melted nor stolen. Many indigenous South Americans believe that it is the music that preserves the heart and soul of the ancient ones. Far from being melancholy, the music of ANDES MANTA is a joyous celebration of daily life. Songs and festivals mark the blessing of a house, the birth of a child, and the cycles of planting and harvesting. Energetic music and dance animate religious festivals blending pre-Colombian and Catholic rituals. Playing more than 35 traditional instrument, ANDES MANTA brings the Andean universe to North American audiences. They are well known to presenters all over America for their virtuosity and extraordinary performances. From Carnegie Hall to the Discovery Channel, from the National Cathedral to Lincoln Center and in hundreds of schools and universities their powerful and moving performance has played to standing ovation after standing ovation. To quote presenters Stephanie Korobov, SUNY New Paltz; "The crowd would not let them stop these guys are magic."

ANDES MANTA and the four Lopez Brothers

In 1960, Teresa and Luis Lopez moved from the village of San Gabriel in the remote Ecuadorian Andes to the capital city of Quito to find a better life.  In the city in the clouds, they had four sons and three daughters all raised in the traditional way, celebrating the cycles of life with the music and dance of their ancestors.

Like most Ecuadorian children the boys made flutes and panpipes of native bamboo, and learned to play from older musicians.  Then, when he was eight years old, Fernando found an abandoned guitar in a field.  Although it had only three strings, he worked out melodies, played and learned.  A relative had the guitar repaired.  A music teacher noticed an extraordinary talent and sent Fernando to the Quito Conservatory to study classical guitar.  But it was the music of the Pueblo, the folk tradition of the Andes that drew Fernando and his brothers.  At a remarkably early age, the Lopez brothers gained a reputation throughout the music circles of Quito as a formidable talent in the folk music world.  

In 1986 while still in their early 20's, Fernando and his brother Luis were invited to present a series of concerts at Simon's Rock of Bard College in western Massachusetts.  Since that time they have performed on major stages throughout North America, appearing in 48 states in the U.S.  They are now based in the Hudson Valley of New York.  ANDES MANTA tours year round, appearing on major concert stages, in festivals and at countless universities and schools.  They return to South America as often as possible to renew their cultural roots.


Fernando Lopez

A founding member of ANDES MANTA, Fernando has  played the entire range of  Andean instruments since childhood. He specializes in strings, and most often plays the guitar, the  bandolin and the charango.




The second founding member of Andes Manta, Luis is a noted virtuoso on the charango and the quena, the Andean flute.  Luis learned to play in the traditional Andean way, without benefit of written music.  Luis has been performing since the age of 13.



Jorge Lopez

The youngest of the Lopez brothers, Jorge specializes in the Andean stringed instruments. Like the rest of the group he also plays all 35 instruments in their repertory.  Jorge joined Andes Manta in 1991 and continues to learn the art from his older brothers, a cultural pattern repeated for thousands of years in the Andes.



Bolivar Lopez

Like his older brothers, Bolivar learned to play Andean instruments as a child.  He is a noted wind musician, and is the featured performer on the ronadador, an Ecuadorian panpipe that is unique in the world for the "chordal" note that it produces.  It is a difficult instrument to play and requires substantial dedication and talent.  Bolivar began performing with Andes Manta in 1989.