Carlos Arredondo, Carlos, Arredondo, Chile, Scotland, music, poetry, culture, Latin America  

I am a cultural worker

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I am a singer/songwriter/musician

I am a self-taught musician and singer. I play Spanish guitar, Bolivian charango, Venezuelan Cuatro, Colombian Triple and a bit of Bolivian Quena. I have written more than 50 songs. I have been singing in Scotland for more than 30 years, becoming perhaps the oldest Latin-American performer in Scotland. I always sing in Spanish. My music and style have been inspired by the great Chilean folklorists, Violeta Parra, Victor Jara and by the "New Song" movement of the Americas of the 60s and 70s. My music also has been shaped by important events in recent Chilean history: The Presidency of Salvador Allende (1970-1973) and the Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990). As I have been widely exposed to the Scottish folk scene I have also been influenced by Scotland musical culture.

I have performed all over Scotland, Britain and abroad - in Chile, Peru, Canada, Italy and Sweden. I have performed many times in live shows for BBC radio ("Travelling Folk", "The Usual Suspects", Burns Supper celebrations, etc.) In December 2003 I featured for a half hour BBC radio programme called The World on our Streets". "Arredondo has the kind of voice that could chant the Santiago telephone directory and still tug the listener". Alastair Clark, The Scotsman.

Solidarity work:Chilean earthquake and Tsunami 27th of February 2010.
On the 1st of May 2010 I, with a small group of people of a variety of nationalities, organized a huge ceilidh, we called it “Chile in Need” at the Tollcross Community Centre in Edinburgh to raise funds to help fishermen in Chile to acquire a new boat we called “Chiledonia 8.8” to replace the ones that they had lost in the Tsunami that followed the powerful earthquake (8,8 Richter scale).  Musicians and dancers from Scotland, Chile and Spain came to perform for free. The event was a big success. We gather that night about £3000 which served us to buy a proper boat shown on the left of this page.  


The sour note:

At our event we also had raffles of small items and I had written a letter to the Harry Potter's writer J.K Rowling requesting her kindly to donate one of her book, with her signature on it, to raffle on the night of our event. My request was flatly declined by her Public Assistant. See letter above.

realizado por mi amigo venezolano Pedro Rivera.

write poetry and I promote the poetry of others
As I am a keen reader of Chilean poetry I have always encouraged poetry and the works of poet Pablo Neruda has been a constant feature in my cultural activities. I have always involved Scottish poets in my work and in many occasions I have been invited to take part, as a musician, in poetry events. In recent years I began to write my own poetry and although nothing has been published yet I have been invited, as a poet, to take part in poetry events in Scotland and Sweden. Some of my poems have been translated into English and I have translated other's people poems from the English into Spanish.

I promote other people's music
The songs and music of Chileans songwriters Violeta Parra, Victor Jara, Patricio Manns, and of the Chilean band Inti-illimani have always been part of my repertoire. I also sung songs by Argentinean Atahualpa Yupanqui, Leon Gieco, Mercedes Sosa. I also sing Chilean traditional songs and songs from the Latin American repertoire. Also sing songs from what we call in Chile "El repertorio popular" ("the "Popular Repertoire"): boleros, tangos, Peruvian waltzes, and love songs. I have always encouraged to have in my cultural activities Scottish musicians and singers.

I give concerts of my own songs
From time to time I organise my own concerts. I write songs and I want them to be heard. I am normally accompanied by the classical guitarist Galo Ceron..

I founded Latin America Canta en Edimburgo (LACE)
We, Latin Americans, loved singing our songs, and knowing this, I thought that it was a good idea from me to invite members of our Latin American Community in Edinburgh to sing for pleasure. Our reportoire goes from Mexico to Chile and Argentina. We have done already, in a two years period, a good number of public appearances.

I also invited the member of LACE, a wonderful group of dedicated people, to help me to organise the Smallest Latin American Festival in the World. This had been a very interesting an enriching experience for all of us. The Festival had been active in the last two years. Everything had been done with our own effort.

The Smallest Latin American Festival in the Word is a first attempt to put together a modest and meaningful programme to reflect the lives of ordinary Latin Americans living and working in Scotland. As a group, we hope to achieve many interesting things in the future. See Interview ( In Spanish)

Video 1 of 3

Part 2


I have written extensively about my life in Chile.
I can explain nothing about me, about Chile, my political commitment if I do not provide those interested in Chile with an account of my background in the social and political context of my country. Years ago I began to write, "Una Detallada Reflexion de mi Barrio" ("A Detailed Reflection on my Neighborhood") with a view to preserve in writing a story of my barrio which is in fact, "the Chile" of my nostalgia. I am proud to say that a tiny bit of Santiago of Chile has a written story. In some ways the Scottish Statistical Accounts provided me with ideas to write about my barrio.

I consider myself an enthusiastic keeper of the history of Chilean exiles in Scotland.
On the 10th of October of 1974 a group of Chilean political exiles left London on a coach for Glasgow. It was the first group of poltical exiles in Scotlad and I was one of them. A small group of Chileans from that bus, continued their journey towards Edinburgh. We were in Scotland as a direct result of the bloody coup of the 11th of September of 1973 and carried out by General Augusto Pinochet against the democratically elected Socialist Government of Salvador Allende.

Since my arrival I have been busy collecting all type of material related to the Chilean refugees in Scotland and the relationship that existed between them and the Scottish Solidarity Campaign. It is quality material which shows that our experience, as refugees, contrast greatly with those asylum seekers coming today to Scotland for safety.

Based on the material that I have collected through the years, I decided to write my own account about the Chileans refugees in Scotland with a view to preserve our history in the collective memory of this country and Chile. I called this account: "Una Detallada Refexión de mi Exilio y la de Muchos chilenos en Escocia" (A detailed Reflexion about my Exile and that of Many Chileans in Scotland)

I am proud to say that those Chileans, who in this country assembles as political refugees, in the 70s and 80s, have a written account of their experiences. In some ways the Scottish Statistical Accounts provided me with ideas to write about Chileans in Scotland. Extract of this accounts, are found within this web page. See Memories.

In 1998 Chile beat England 2-0 in a friendly football match and I was at Wembley celebrating the victory. I began immediately to write a story about my trip to London. A few months after the football game, General Pinochet left Santiago for London which resulted in his detention here. It was not difficult for me to return to my original story about the football match in order to continue with my London story this time with Pinochet in the middle: the Chileans football stadiums, after all, had been used by General Pinochet to torture and kill his opponents. As a result I wrote, in Spanish: "Detalladas Reflexiones de una Adventura en Londres" which translates into English as a: "Detailed Reflexions of an Adventure to London".

I founded FABULA (For a Better Understanding of Latin America)
FABULA is my cultural umbrella that I use to promote in Scotland anything related to Latin-America. My view is that Scotland bei part of the UK, is not concerned with Latin-America culture.

Through Fabula I try to remedy it. In 2006 Billy Kay invited me to take part on his BBC radio programme "Freedom is a Noble thing" It was about Lord Cochranne, the Scottsh admiral, involved in the Chile liberation struggle against the Spanish colonist in the 19th century.


1997: University of Edinburgh (Faculty of Arts).
Degree obtained: The General Degree: Master of Arts (with merit). I did Hispanic studies and subsidiary subjects: Scottish Ethnology. The History of Western Art, the History of Western Music and Western European History. Sept.. 1993 - June 1994:

The University of Edinburgh (Access course).
1990 - 1993: Employed as a tutor of Latin-American studies at: The Centre of Continuing Education of the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. My programme for this course included the exploration at introductory level of: Pre- Colombian civilizations, Post- Colombian culture, civilizations and history, Latin American literature, theatre, cinema, paintings, music, geography, topography, flora and fauna and current affairs.

OthersFluent in: Spanish, English and Italian.
I have been a member of "The Performing Royal Society" (P.R.S.), since 1989.

I used to be a Unison Shop Steward.

I love football. Colo Colo is my Chilean team and  in Scotland I am a Partick Thistle supporter.


  Carlos Arredondo, Carlos, Arredondo, Chile, Scotland, music, poetry, culture, Latin America