Of the growing ranks of ensembles that fall under the rubric of musical multiculturalism, consider the Los Angeles-based world music group Huayucaltia a veteran in the field. Now 9 years old, the group seems keenly aware of the diversity of cultural roots within its ranks, as heard Friday at the Ford Amphitheatre, in a concert that proved mighty generous--in spirit and length.
The group's members hail from Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina and Palo Alto. Likewise, the music hails from locales and genres far from Cahuenga Pass.
Where once the group focused more on the political content of the Nueva Cancion (new song) movement, more recently the accent has been on instrumental pieces. No doubt that shift allows for the widened appeal that full houses such as Friday's are made from.
At the heart of the eclectic-yet-unified group sound is the tight, two-guitar weave of Ciro Hurtado, who pens most of the group's material, and Antonio Ezkauriatza. Primary percussionist Julio "Jimmy" Ledezma provides a bustling rhythmic grid over which Hernan Pinilla plays pan pipes, coloristic percussion and recorder, often in tandem with Cindy Harding. In this mostly acoustic setting, guest bassist Rami Yanni offered occasional electric bass foundation.