Jara, Víctor (1934–1973)

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Jara, Víctor (1934–1973)

Víctor Jara (b. 28 September 1934; d. 14/15 September 1973), Chilean singer, songwriter, and theater director. One of the leading figures of the New Chilean Song movement of the later 1960s and early 1970s, Jara was born into a peasant family in Lonquén, near Talagante, in central Chile. After his military service (1952–1953), he studied acting at the University of Chile drama school, later acquiring a reputation as a theater director. Given his innate musical skill and his work with folk groups such as Cuncumén, with whom he toured Latin America and Europe, he soon found a place among the musicians gathering at the Peña de los Parra, an informal club founded in 1965 by Ángel and Isabel Parra, which was the focal point of New Chilean Song as it took shape. Several of Jara's songs (many pointed, some controversial) were to become true classics of the period, while his singing gained popularity.

A loyal but undogmatic Communist, Jara was a devoted supporter of President Salvador Allende and became an immediate victim when the military seized power in September 1973. He was arrested, brutally beaten, and shot in one of the most tragic events of a tragic time.

See alsoAllende Gossens, Salvador; Theater.


Joan Jara, An Unfinished Song: The Life of Víctor Jara (1983).

Additional Bibliography

Aguilera, Pilar, Ricardo Fredes, Ariel Dorfman, et al. Chile: The Other September 11. New York: Ocean Press, 2003.

Sepúlveda Corradini, Gabriel. Víctor Jara: Hombre de teatro. Santiago, Chile: Editorial Sudamericana, 2001.

Sierra I Fabra, Jordi. Victor Jara: Reventando los Silencios. Madrid: Joaquin Turina, 2000.

                                           Simon Collier