The generation of my parents, born in the middle of the last century (1940-1950), grew up under the influence of the Pasillo. This genre travelled from Colombia to Ecuador in the late 19th century, and marked a generation of bohemian musicians who took the music to the streets while wearing fedora hats and elegant suits to serenade their loved ones. The poetic lyrics are very melancholic, and reflect on feelings of loss or longing, they speak of the beauty of women or the bravery of the men, and the sorrow to have lost a loved one. They also pay tribute to certain regions in the country, becoming the hymns of certain places. Because of all this, the Pasillo is considered Ecuador’s national music.
The Pasillo in itself contains many attributes of a generation marked by formal attire, good manners, poetry, nostalgia and romanticism. Some of its most famous musicians have become national heroes. This story attempts to document what still exists of the Pasillo culture. There are still some professional musicians in different cities of Ecuador who play Pasillos for a living, and also informally, groups of friends who are in their 60's and 70's who get together to play this music at home. There are also the young musicians who take after their elders and try to maintain this music alive. Whenever a Pasillo is played, be it in a concert or with friends, it touches people’s souls. This music unites generations of the old, who grew up with it, and the young, who were influenced by their parents.