09-16: T. Rex Chicago 1972 - Tosca Callas Bergonzi 1964 - Victor Jara Pongo... 1969 - Rose Royce Car Wash 1976 - Arias for Farinelli : Genaux / Jacobs 2008

1696 – Lambert Pietkin (Belgian composer & organist, Liège Cathedral)
1782 – Farinelli (Italian castrato)
1896 – Antônio Carlos Gomes (Brazilian composer, 1st from Americas to be widely played in Europe)
1945 – John McCormack (Irish tenor)
1965 – Ahn Eak-tai (Korean composer & conductor)
1973 – Víctor Jara (Chilean teacher, theater director, poet, singer-songwriter, guitarist & political activist)
1977 – Marc Bolan (English rock & folk singer-songwriter, guitarist & poet, T. Rex)
1977 – Maria Callas (Greek-American operatic soprano sfogato)
1993 – František Jílek (Czech conductor)
2005 – Harry Freedman [Henryk Frydmann] (Polish-born Canadian composer, English hornist & teacher)
2008 – Norman Whitfield (American R&B songwriter & producer, Motown Records)
2009 – Ernst Märzendorfer (Austrian conductor)
2009 – Mary Travers (American folk singer, Peter, Paul and Mary)

[Víctor] Jara was deeply influenced by the folklore of Chile and other Latin American countries; he was particularly influenced by artists like Violeta Parra, Atahualpa Yupanqui, and the poet Pablo Neruda. Jara began his foray into folklore in the mid-1950s when he began singing with the group Cuncumen. He moved more decisively into music in the 1960s getting the opportunity to sing at Santiago's La Peña de Los Parra, owned by Ángel Parra. Through them Jara became greatly involved in the Nueva Canción movement of Latin American folk music. He published his first recording in 1966 and, by 1970, had left his theater work in favor of a career in music. His songs were drawn from a combination of traditional folk music and left-wing political activism. From this period, some of his most renowned songs are Plegaria a un Labrador ("Prayer to a Worker") and Te Recuerdo Amanda ("I Remember You Amanda"). He supported the Unidad Popular ("Popular Unity") coalition candidate Salvador Allende for the presidency of Chile, taking part in campaigning, volunteer political work, and playing free concerts.

Allende's campaign was successful and, in 1970, he was elected president of Chile. However, the Chilean right wing, who opposed Allende's socialist politics, staged a coup with the help of the Chilean military on September 11, 1973, in the course of which Allende was killed (See Death of Salvador Allende). At the moment of the coup, Jara was on the way to the Technical University (today Universidad de Santiago), where he was a teacher. That night he slept at the university along with other teachers and students, and sang to raise morale.

On the morning of September 12, Jara was taken, along with thousands of others, as a prisoner to the Chile Stadium (renamed the Estadio Víctor Jara in September 2003). In the hours and days that followed, many of those detained in the stadium were tortured and killed there by the military forces. Jara was repeatedly beaten and tortured; the bones in his hands were broken as were his ribs. Fellow political prisoners have testified that his captors mockingly suggested that he play guitar for them as he lay on the ground with broken hands. Defiantly, he sang part of "Venceremos" (We Will Win), a song supporting the Popular Unity coalition. After further beatings, he was machine-gunned on September 16, his body dumped on a road on the outskirts of Santiago and then taken to a city morgue where they found 44 bullet shots on his body.

File under the "That could never happen here" category.


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