How it all began by Julie Lozada Ocampo
Flashback to 2003 …. I spent a wonderful summer in Peru where I focused on learning Peruvian culture and history in a program titled “Peru for Spanish Teachers.” One of our more complex homework assignments was to investigate a topic we wanted to learn more about. My focus? Andean music and instruments. As the program wound down in July, I met two Andean musicians in Machu Picchu Pueblo: Carlos Ocampo and his brother, Marco Antonio Ocampo. Both Carlos and Marco Antonio are professional musicians who share their musical talents with audiences of all ages and cultures. As I faced leaving Peru that summer, I realized that my students would likely never have the chance to travel to Peru nor experience the culture and music. Carlos and I dreamed up a cultural project where he and his brother would come to the US to teach the instruments, rhythms, dances, history and geography to my classes in Spanish. “If you can’t bring all of your students to Peru, then let’s bring Peru to them!” After our goodbyes in August that year, I returned to the US determined to make our cultural dream a reality. Back in Peru, Carlos and Marco Antonio began to gather more instruments and get paperwork in order. At the same time, on the US side for the first tour, I garnered support from 15 other teachers who wanted to host a cultural presentation in their classrooms. I created an itinerary of presentations throughout northern Nevada. In December 2003, Carlos and Marco Antonio traveled with 13 bags full of Andean instruments and traditional clothing to make their first presentation at Dayton High School, in Dayton, Nevada. We went on to complete the full itinerary and the presentations were a rousing success, engaging audiences of all ages in schools, libraries, and other venues. We have been presenting Peruvian Andean music in classrooms and other venues ever since. The first article by Teri Vance was published in the Nevada Appeal in December, 2003. The second article by Fernando Gutiérrez was published in El Sol de Nevada on March 7, 2006.
Meet Kantu Inka
Since 2003, Kantu Inka has been teaching Peruvian culture, history and geography with Andean instruments to over 30,000 students of all ages in Nevada and California. Carlos Ocampo and Julie Lozada Ocampo unite their musical and teaching experience performing as Kantu Inka (formerly Dúo Kantu). A professional Andean musician and composer, Carlos is proficient on zampoña, quena, bombo, charango, and guitar. Julie is a national board certified Spanish teacher who plays zampoña and percussion for Kantu Inka. Julie and Carlos have designed presentations in English or Spanish that meet numerous national world language and social studies academic content standards. During the presentations, students are encouraged to play the instruments, to dance to Peruvian rhythms, and to interact with the musicians who present while wearing colorful clothing of the Andes. Kantu Inka also performs concerts in restaurants and cafés and designs Andean instrument workshops.
Carlos Ocampo Santillan
Carlos Ocampo Santillán (artistic name ‘Hatun Runa’ in Quechua: ‘Big Man’) plays guitar, mandolin and charango as well as the Andean wind instruments quena and zampoña. A musician composer, Carlos is founder, director and member of a six person band “Kuntur Taky” in Machu Picchu Pueblo, Cusco, Perú and ex-president of the Association of Musicians Tawantinsuyo of Machu Picchu (AMMTA). He also founded the “Puka Yurak” group in Arequipa, Perú and “Kantu” in Cusco, Perú. As a well known Peruvian radio personality, Carlos has worked at Radio Machupicchu, Radio el Mirador, Radio Santuario, Radio las Orquideas, Radio Las Vegas and Radio Son Latina. Carlos is a proud alumnus of La Universidad Nacional Federico Villareal in Lima as part of the Facultad de Ciencias Financieras y Contables. Carlos was the Secretary of Press and Propaganda for Frente de Defensa de los Intereses de Machu Picchu in Machu Picchu Pueblo.
Julie Lozada Ocampo
Julie plays the zampoña and percussion with Kantu Inka. A National Board Certified Spanish teacher, Julie taught all levels of Spanish for thirty years in northern Nevada. Julie is passionate about teaching Spanish language through culture and has worked to develop instructional programs which combine Spanish and music to teach the culture of Peru. A graduate of UC San Diego with a degree in Spanish Literature, Julie also is active in the Professional Language Association of Nevada (PLAN) and is a board member representing the state of Nevada on the Southwest Conference on Language Teaching.
Marco Antonio Ocampo Santillán
Marco Antonio Ocampo Santillán goes by the artistic name “Toño Zampoña”. He is very entertaining to watch because he is a “One Man Andean Band” playing charango, bombo, zampoña, and chacchas simultaneously. Toño played an important part in Kantu Inka history as he performed with us from 2003 to 2011 (at that time called Dúo Kantu). Currently, Toño is in Peru working on his next projects.