Tahuantinsuyo was formed by Guillermo Guerrero (a consulting mechanical engineer and folk musician) from Ayabaca, a small town in the northern Peruvian Andes back in September 1973, and ever since the members of the group have been dedicated to the research and performance of the traditional music from the Andean countries that once formed the "Inca Empire" (known as Tahuantinsuyo in Quechua, the native language) which now comprises six countries which are: Ecuador, Perú, Bolivia, Chile Argentina y Colombia.
The Members of TAHUANTINSUYO are: Guillermo Guerrero (Founder and Director), Fernando Leyva, John Freire, Andrés Jimenez, Alcides Loza, Saúl Guerrero and Billie Contreras, in many occasions they are joined by Cesar Vele. They are family and friends who share the common goal of trying to keep the traditional Andean music alive and to help their people to identify with their culture.
The group started perfoming at 2 very special places in NYC, "El Café Latino Americano" and "The Alternative Museum" from where their work got exposed and became popular in the USA
They performed in various concert halls, universities, museums, libraries,international folk festivals such as: Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher hall, Constitution Hall In Washington D.C., The Museum of Natural History, The Field Museum of Chicago, The Museum of the American Indian, The Brooklyn Museum, The Bronx Museum, The New York Open Center, Arts Connection, New York University, Columbia university, City College, Colden Center at Queens College, Jamaica Arts Center,Lake Placid Arts Center, Siracuse University, The Eastman School of Music in Rochester,The Winnepeg festival, The Owen Sound Festival, The Clear Water Festival, The South Street Seaport Summer Festival, New York Pinewoods Folk Music Club and many others.
They also worked with the World Music Institute (formerly The Alternative Museum) and presented several performances at places like the Symphony Space, Washington Square Church (the live recording from this place is part of a CD entitled "Music of The Andes and Argentina"), The Triplex Theatre and other concert halls.
In addition to two recordings available at major record stores and in the internet ("Tahuantinsuyo Music Of the Andes" and "Music of the Andes and Argentina"), they made two recordings for the Museum of Natural History utilizing ancient Andean instruments. They were invited to the 150Th Aniverssary celebration of The Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. and to the international music festival "Voice of Asia" in Alma Atta, in the former Soviet Union. In September 20, 2003, they performed for the opening of the new Zankel Hall at Carnegie.
In March 1993, they won a CAPA award by QPTV for a video of music and dance from the Andes they produced with two grants they got from QCA and QPTV.
In July 1999, they made another video sponsored by Fran Pellegrino, one of QPTV independent producers. This video won the "Alliance for Community Media's Hometown 2000" award in the "Ethnic/Cultural" category.
They are available for performances of music and if required, dances from the Andes. They perform in various settings (Concert halls, universities, museums, schools,libraries, festivals, etc.)
The director worked for over 20 years as resident artist with Queens Council on the Arts and with City Lore and worked also with The Brooklyn Arts Council and with Young Audiences New York (YANY), CTMD (center for traditional music and dance). He was also visiting artist for The Huntington Arts Council, and has conducted many workshops on Andean music and instruments at The Museum of Natural History, The New York Open Center, Museum of The American Indian, Arts Connection and at many festivals, schools, colleges and libraries.
At present time, he is also works as music consultant for NYCHA (NYC housing Authority) and Hospital Audiences Inc. and works as music instructor for after school programs and for PACHAMAMA, a cultural iniciative of CTMD (center for traditional music and dance).
The director has also been invited to participate in several Arts in Education programs at national level and has served as member of the music panels of the National Endowment for the Arts, NYSCA and Queens Council on the Arts.
The group offers series of workshops on Andean Music and instruments including the following:
-Presentation of Andean culture with slide show
on Andean life with live accompaniment. This is an interactive and if appropriate, bilingual program (English/Spanish). Audience is invited to play with the group and there is a questions and answers period.
-Workshops to teach making Andean instruments (Andean materials provided).
-Workshops on playing Andean instruments
-Culminating performance by students.
They are available for tours in the USA and around the world.