Richard’s dream to bring a Cuban band to Australia playing traditional Cuban tunes as well as some original compositions of his own, grew into a full tour of Australia featuring Afro Cuban dance and rhythms, with some melodies fused with our indigenous music and dance, plus original compositions of Cuban music with English lyrics featuring themes of Social Conscience.
We also plan to be doing a concert in local indigenous communities in some cities and encouraging active interaction between the cultures.
Kuban Firez will stimulate your senses, stir your emotions and have you screaming for more. The Cuban musicians who are visiting here, are all multi-talented, renowned international musicians who are passionate about the concepts that we are presenting in Australia.
The Cubans will be joined by some amazing Australian talents like singers, Francisco Toledo and Chanelle Violette and also amazing musicians such as Amy MacCarthy, Dominic Kirk and Jacinta Macphillamy. You will be moved by our emotive indigenous artists and captivated by the evocative dance moves of Cuban Australian, Adrian Medina.
The Amazing Duo of Keyna Wilkins and Gumaroy Newman will be partnering with us in the development of the infusion of indigenous music into Cuban music. Keyna, Gumaroy and Richard are incredibly talented individuals who will blow your mind with the awe inspiring and blood pumping renditions that are pouring from their creative minds and hearts.
Below are some of great talents who will be entertaining you in Australia:
Grammy Award nominated and a graduate of the world-renowned Cuban Performing Arts institution ENA. A qualified educator and professional musician with vast experience in Cuba, Sweden and Australia working with children from pre-school, primary and secondary grades as well as a professional musician, composer, arranger, band leader in Salsa, Funk, Latin Jazz and Big Band ensembles on trumpet, percussion, piano. Employment history as an educator Geko Music Academy- Curl Curl Sydney Australia (February 2019). Instrumental Tutor: Brass, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, French horn, Strings: guitar, bass, ukulele. Private Tutoring- Stockholm Sweden (trumpet, piano 2008-2018). Rikskonserten Educational concerts in schools (Oslo-Norway) 2014-2018. Member of ensemble “Luison & Cuba” performing and presenting music education concerts K-12 students. Orion Forskolan (School) Stockholm (Sweden) 2017 to present. (Kindergarten classroom music teacher). Vargen forskolan (School) Stokholm (Sweden) 2016-2017 Kindergarten classroom music teacher. Brage forskolan (School) Sweden. 2013-2016, Kindergarten. Juan B. Quintana Pre-School for disabled children Havana-Cuba classroom music teacher. 1996-1998. As a professional musician on trumpet and piano: Performed in many Salsa, funk, fusion, latin jazz, Afro-Cuban bands: Australia: Salsa Kingz, Aria award nominees Latino Fusion band “Tigramuna” 2018 to present. Sweden: La Jugada, Soneros All Stars 2008-2018. CUBA: Salsa Viva, Cole Cole, Sello L.A, Angelito Bonne, Salsa Brava, 2Ble Impacto, Azucar Negra, Maykel Blanco y Salsa Mayor 1995-2008. Education Olu-Omsorgslyftet-Stockholm (Sweden) 2014. Diploma in early childhood education and care. Escuela Nacional de Arte (ENA-Habana-Cuba) 1986-1990 (National School of Arte) Trumpet Graduate course included two rehearsals a week with The Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. Escuela Vocacional de Arte Juan Pablo Duarte Habana- Cuba, 1982-1986, Main instrument Trumpet, second instrument piano. Languages: Spanish fluent in both speech and writing, Swedish fluent in both speech and writing, English intermediate speaking level.
Jose Gil Pinera
Jose Gil Pinera “Gilito” – Singer, Composer and Conductor. Born in Guanabacoa, Cuba. As a child he was surrounded by the musical environment and at an early age he began his singing studies at the Guillermo Torres School of Music. His idols Benny More, Oscar de León, Celia Cruz and Los Van Van have set the tone in their musical career. In 1989 he introduced the “Salsa de Esquina” orchestra conducted by Roy Rocas Martinez and considered one of the most popular bands of the 90’s. In 1991 they made their first international tour to Sweden. In 1992 they arrived in Chile where they toured the country for twelve months, sharing stages with artists such as Cheo Feliciano, Jose Alberto “El Canario”, Orquesta de la luz, Juan Luis Guerra y 440 and El General. They also participate in the first International Festival of Chile and record their record production “Footprints.” In 1993 he lives in Malmo, Sweden where he forms his own group “Key Group” and records the production “Great Successes” with arrangements of his authorship and bass the Apple Records record. That same year he travels to the Canary Islands where he participates in the great International Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria where he shares the stage with Manny Manuel and Los Hermanos Rosario. As well as placing the theme “Without Documents” in the first places of the “ratting” radio of Gran Canaria. During this stage of his career he performs in big stages and events like the Roskilde Festival in Denmark, Falun Festival and Malmo Festival in Sweden. During his presentations in Europe he has shared stages with great celebrities from the world of Salsa such as Los Van Van, Klimax, Mayito Rivera, Cubanisimo, La Charanga Habanera, Manolito and his Trabuco. In 1997 he recorded “Gilito y su Clave”, a production that compiled great successes of the Cuban timba influenced by Son and the bolero. In 1999 he was invited to the International Vega Salsa Festival in Denmark where he fulfilled one of his big dreams, singing alongside Oscar de León and receiving his blessings. In 2006 he recorded his most successful production “Al Cesar what is of Cesar” with his orchestra “Gilito and his Clave”, which occupied the first places in Sweden and the rest of Europe. In addition to his productions, Gilito has collaborated in more than 70 musical productions. Jose Gil Pinera is currently one of the most recognized exponents of Cuban Timba in the world. Apart from his orchestra “Gilito and his Clave”, he collaborates as the lead vocalist for the prestigious “Afrocuban All Stars” orchestra, directed by Juan de Marcos and which groups the most important Cuban musicians worldwide. Having traveled much of the world.
Biunaiki Marquetti Isasi
Biunaiqui Marquetti Isasi (BIU MARQUETTI) as everyone knows her artistically, was born in Havana-Cuba. Even at a young age she already had a passion for music. At four years, she participated in the “International Festival of Youth and the Students ”in a giant choreography, along with many children. In her primary and secondary years, she participated in singing and dancing festivals, studied two years of acting in the Culture House of her town and she grew in that era of “Music and Art”. Though a graduate of “Bachelor of Science and Literature, she decided to take another course and devote herself to art.
At the age of 19 she showed up for a casting to sing, in a female group called “Ricacha” where once accepted, she began her professional life in music. SELF-TEACHED BY NATURE – she did not attend music schools – she embarked on her way to the future – being part of other female groups such as “The Girls of Taste”. In 1996 she travelled to a festival in Spain, sharing stages with the “Van Van”. In 1998, she recorded his first album called “Hurricane of the Caribbean” with the orchestra of same name and made international tours to Mexico, Canary Islands, Italy and Spain. Then in 2001, she was a member of the “Piel Morena” orchestra that gave her the opportunity to work in Mexico for 1 year with the cast of dancers and musicians from Tropicana.
In 2003, she became a soloist in one of the best orchestras in Cuba, called “AZUCAR NEGRA”, performing as a singer and making herself known throughout the country. In that same year she recorded his first album with this group, touring
nationally and internationally, where she had the possibility in 2004 to participate in important events such as the “Jazz Festival in Montreal, Canada.
In addition to touring throughout that country, she toured Jamaica, Saint Lucia and the French Islands, where she had the honor of singing next to Julio Iglesias, Boyz II Men and Nora Jhons. In 2005, she recorded his second album and made a 4-month international tour to European countries: Germany, Italy, England, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Norway, Finland, Holland and Belgium where she participated in one of the greatest Europeaj Festivals called “Polé Polé Beach” among other events. In December-January she decided to make her last international tour with “Azúcar Negra” to Russia to promote the album.
Proud to take Cuban music all over the world – in March 2006, she was called for an international project in Romania – a new experience in her professional career- and became part of the “Mandinga” orchestra, one of the most popular groups in that country. She participated in the “Flamingo International Festival” in Poland, recorded an album and 2 video clips with that group, earning the love and respect of the Romanian public and musicians.
In 2007, she was chosen to be awarded the prize of the best international artist to Sean Paul and at the end of the same year, she made the decision to start her solo career in Romania and to have her music sent directly from Cuba and the Caribbean.
In 2008, she created her own orchestra, along with Latin instrumentalists, becoming one of the most popular artists in the country, participating with her music in all kinds of cultural events, festivals, concerts in large squares, etc.
In 2010 she collaborated for a period of 3 months as an interlocutor in a radio program (Radio 3net- Florin Pitis) and continued her presentations on Romanian television. For a period of 3 years (2011-2014) she collaborated with her group with 2 of the largest hotels in Bucharest (Radisson Blu and Phenicia) and from 2015 to date is hired by
“El Torito” most popular Mexican restaurant in the region.
Promoting her music and cultivating achievements in 2017 she was called to participate for 5 months in one of the most televised programs in the country (Your face sounds to me) winning 3rd place and the respect of the entire Romanian public. In that same year she was invited to sing in one of the biggest theaters with the popular singer Omara Portuondo.
In mid-2018, in collaboration with other Romanian artists, she released 2 video clips, having a great acceptance. In September 2018-2019 for a period of one year she became part of a television cast called (Vulturii de noapte) in KANAL D.
Thanks to her music, talent and charisma today in Romania (Biu Marquetti) she is a popular singer, respected and very loved by all, proud to be Cuban and to defend her roots until the end, bearing the emblem “Music is the paradise of life”.
Luis Medina Capote
Luisón; the percussionist, singer and composer has been playing and singing for the audience from the extreme north to the deepest south for over 25 years. He has played with his own band at jazz festivals such as Molde Jazz, Night Jazz, Oslo Jazz Festival, Mela, Nordlysfestivalen etc. in addition to taking private assignments for agencies and private.
In addition, he has toured just as long and is active with various programs for the National Concerts / Cultural Tank. Like the ongoing programs “Luison and Cuba” and “The Musical Rainbow” for the slightly younger ones.
Luisón Y Cuba
The band Luison and Cuba is a salsa band mainly inspired by Cuban music. There Luisón has gathered a bunch of the best Latin musicians living in Scandinavia. This charismatic group provides high temperature and musical level. The crew has combined experience from a large international register of Latin bands on the top shelf within the genre. The lineup varies according to the size of the assignment from the basic crew of four musicians to a larger orchestra.
Marcos Ortega Blain
More than 40 years of experience playing trumpet
My music studies began at the age of 12 at the Provincial School of Art in Pinar del Río. Continue my studies at the Ignacio Cervantes Professional School in the city of Haban.
In 1976, I started my professional career with the Gloria de Cuba group in Pinar del Río. Professional trumpet with different groups such as Cuba Son, Cristal and Habana, All of Artemisa Province. As director also in the same locality Ofun Nike and Sandunga Tropical groups. I was the first solo trumpet of the National Band of the General Staff of the Cuban Navy. Serving as a trumpet in other orchestras such as Iyá, La Calle, Event, L. M Sobredosis. In 1989 I had the opportunity to play Trumpet with the great Trombonist Juan Pablo Torres for 5 years.
In 1999 I had the opportunity to travel to Mexico with the LM Overdose group and the Cuban Television Ballet. Today I reside in the US in the city of El Paso, Texas. I have not stopped playing and continuing to participate in different projects such as Habana Twins, LM Overdose, Caribean Sound, Tropicalisimo Apache and others. I have participated in important events such as Festivals and activities in nightclubs and the 2017 Jazz Festival in Telluride, Colorado. I had the opportunity to share with renowned musicians of the National and International stature.
I was born on October 14, 1984 in Artemisa, a municipality that formerly belonged to the Province of Pinar del Río. Cuba
My beginning in the art world did not begin precisely with music. At 8 years old I had a lot of interest in plastic, I really liked drawing and sketching. Since then I had as a second task of the day, Plastic Arts classes every afternoon after leaving school. Until one day my father proposed to me to study music, something that sincerely did not attract my attention, nor did I have a preference for any of the instruments at that age.
Normally children always want to follow the trajectory of our parents, so at the age of 9 I began to study before everything “solfeo” It all started with my father Francisco Linares, musician with band studies and conservatories. The first methods I read for music theory were Hilarión Slava, all the parts and some methods of music theory my father studied, written by the teacher Norman Milanés Moreno.
My father, seeing that he had conditions for music, proposed to me to play the flute that was the first instrument I chose. I started with a piccolo, and I spent very little time practicing the breathing technique, the tudel and the basics, without neglecting the music theory.
A real interest in music began to wake me up, and my
parents decided to take me to the entrance exams at the Vocational School
of Art, Juan Pablo Duarte, in Güira de Melena. Province of La Habana. Where children from all over Havana Province were presented.
For a bit of fatality, when I went to the entrance exams in the E.V.A, among the instruments to choose was not the specialty of Flute, which is why I had to decide on another instrument, and it was then that I chose Percussion.
The results of the exams were satisfactory, and from that moment my father was in charge of directing me in the world of percussion by going to several veteran friends of our Artemis town. One good day, a good musician from the town “Richard Ortega” came to my house and proposed to go to test me as a drummer for an orchestra called Double Impact in Havana, where I could be a member for a short time because I was 15 years old, I had no working age until 18 years, and for this reason I could not continue in the orchestra. A short time later, an orchestra of Pinareño origin called “Meridance” arrived in my town, where they proposed to me to be a drummer as well, and here if I had a good time developing on the drums and knowing new points of music that are learned with everyday life, with The advice of more experienced musicians.
With this group of Cuban popular music I went to work at the
Matanzas province, to the hotels of the tourist area in Varadero, and soon after being there and meeting other musicians, one day by chance in one of the moments of rest and download as we say the musicians, I dared to take the bass electric and play something I had learned in the student stage, and a friend when he saw me told me that he had conditions for bass, that I was the musician I was looking for for another of the orchestras that were in the Matanzas region … I I said smiling, you will be laughing at me, because I am not a bassist and I dare not assume that responsibility. I toured almost all the provinces of the Island, and also for a long period we were the accompanying orchestra of the Cabaret “Tropicana” of Matanzas. Even as a member of the orchestra, the idea of traveling to Spain where I currently reside came up, and then I decided to go back to my hometown to be with my family, and there in my town while waiting for the moment to leave for Spain, we formed a group Folkloric called “Obbanileke”, with the participation of the percussionist musicians of my town, and among all, contributing ideas, watching many videos of Giovanni Hidalgo, of Jose Luis Quintana, we made like a salad of percussion blocks and we gave him a structure quite similar to that percussion group of which I was part of the EVA It was like moving everything to the neighborhood, and simultaneously I resumed the batá drum, playing at the religious festivals where the Batá are traditionally used.
“When Raciel J. Torres surrenders behind the drums. His intention is to create a wider musical experience so that each listener can get an idea of the musical moment.” – Nadia Herrade Hidalgo, journalist.
Biography: Raciel J. Torres, award-winning drummer, composer and percussion teacher from Cuba, is one of the most versatile drummers of his generation.
Growing up in Havana, now a resident of Oslo, he won the prestigious Havana Drum Festival and the Jojazz International Festival in the hometown. As a result, Raciel has played and travelled the world with world-class musicians from Cuba such as lvan Mazuze, Haakon Graf, Roberto Fonseca, César López, Yassek Mazano, Orlando Sánchez Cubajazz, Alexis Bosch, Bobby Cárcaces, Alejandro Vargas Trio and many more.
Before coming to Norway, he lived and toured in Spain with the project Download ao vivo, a collaborative project between Cuba and Galizia that resulted in the recording of CDs, DVDs and tours in the respective countries.
For the past 10 years he has resided in Oslo, where he also had the honor of playing with talented Norwegian musicians such as Ivar Antonsen, Frode Nymo, Stig Hvalryg, Sverre Indris Joner and Electrocutango, Sergio Gonzales, Helge Lien and award-winning saxophonist Ivan Mazuze.
Raciel also had a Latin jazz master class at the Norwegian Academy of Music along with piano legend Ivar Antonsen.
Raciel also writes and arranges music for Norwegian Music Publishers and diverse and great Music bands. His current bands are; Urban Gardening Ivan Mazuze Quintet, The Latin Syndicate DR, Magela Herrera Quartet, Cuban Fire and The Cuban Funk Machine. The last band has been nominated for the Danish Music Award in two categories, jazz and world music.
Special Guests from Australia:
Francisco Toledo is a Uruguayan singer and percussionist who has played Latin American music in Australia for over three decades. He is renowned for his vibrant Afro-Cuban style singing, smooth nonpareil voice as well as his warm welcoming presence. He has performed and enhanced a multitude of Latin and Cuban bands in Sydney with his rich and powerful voice. His interpretation of Cuban style rhythms and genres, in the form of Boleros, Cha Cha, Son and Guajiras is romantic, melodic, pure and elegant, and in the realm of Buena Vista Social Club’s, Ibrahim Ferrer.
“I am a member of the Australian Army Reserves with the rank of Musician where I play Principal Trombone and Euphonium. I am also the recipient of the Brian Shearman Memorial Scholarship and am frequently invited to perform with many orchestras nationally and internationally. I am in high demand, having worked with the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra in China, as well as the Korean Philharmonic Orchestra on their Australian tour. I have also toured with orchestras internationally.”
Winner of the Dr Brian Shearman Memorial Trust Scholarship worth $3,000
Finalist in the Fine Music 2MBS Young Virtuoso Competition
Winner of the Trombone round of the Sydney Conservatorium Concerto Competition
Fellow with the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra
Scholarship recipient for the Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Spain tour
Scholarship recipient for the Great Southern Tour outreach programme
Special Consultant to the United Nations for the UN Conference ‘Privacy – a Gender Perspective’
Principal Trombone/Euphonium – 1/15th Royal New South Wales Lancer Band: 2016-present
Trombone – La Classica de Oz: 2019-present
Trombone – The Cosmic Xpress: 2018-present
Lower Brass Tutor – Waverley College Junior and Senior School: 2016 – present
PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT AND CASUAL WORK
Trombone – Korea Philharmonic Orchestra: 2018
Trombone and Compere – Brass Five: 2018
Logistical Director and Administrator – Ironbridge Engineering: 2018-2019
Principal Trombone – Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra: 2016-2019
Principal Trombone – Conservatorium Wind Symphony: 2016-2019
Principal Trombone – Woollahra Philharmonic Orchestra: 2014-2016
Principal Trombone/Euphonium – Bondi Brass: 2014-2016
Lower Brass Tutor – St Clare’s College: 2017-2019
Trombone – Willoughby Symphony Orchestra: 2018
Trombone – Willoughby Theatre Company: 2019
Trombone – Penrith Theatre Company: 2019
Education Bachelor in Modern and Contemporary Dance 1995-1997
Narciso Medina Dance School Havana, Cuba
Bachelor in Popular and Folkloric (Afro-Cuban) Dance 1995-1997
Narciso Medina Dance School Havana, Cuba
Bachelor in Musical and Dance Show Performance 1997-1998
Tropicana Musical and Dance Show School Havana, Cuba
Dancer at Narciso Medina Dance Company Havana, Cuba
“Narciso Medina is one of the most relevant dancer-choreographer in the Contemporary and Modern dance world in Cuba and the world. Maestro of Maestros, as he is called around the world by many Cuban dancers/ choreographers, Narciso Medina played a key role in all my development and training as a professional dancer and educator.
Dancer at Tropicana Dance Company Havana, Cuba
“Tropicana it is one of the oldest, most traditional and famous cabaret-shows in the world and it is the number one musical and variety show in Cuba. Its international caliber and quality it is compared with cabaret shows as famous as Moulin Rouge and Lido in Paris. Tropicana has more than 70 Years of national and international recognition and its company has performed in more than 25 countries worldwide. Tropicana, is the face of Cuba regarding Musical Magazines.
“Havana Night” Musical and Dance Show Company Havana, Cuba
As one of the principal dancers “Havana Night’s became in 2000 in one of the top five Musical and Dance Shows touring the world, performing full houses and receiving overwhelming response to our performances in more than 15 countries worldwide. It became Cuba’s most successful international Musical Magazine Dance company. success that took the company to work with artists such as Maurice Haynes, artistic director and choreographer of countless Vegas and Broadway productions , and ex-Michael Jackson choreographer (Remember the Time). The company has been performing in Vegas since 2004 and became at one stage the second biggest show in Las Vegas after Cirque de Soleil.
Just Some of his work over the last 20 years.
Special performance with Spanish famous actor/singer Norma Duval Havana, Cuba
Special performance and fashion show with top models Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss Havana, Cuba
Special performance and fashion show with designer Yunko Koshino
Special performance with Tropicana dance Company at the Royal Albert Hall, London 1998
South Australia Male Model of the Year 2003
Australian Male Model of the Year
Manhunt International Male Model of the Year, Shanghai China 2003 (Best Talent Winner, Best Photography Model Winner, 3rd runner up
Lecturer for the Centre of Performing Arts, South Australia 4years
Member of the South Australia Dance Council
Lecturer for the Sheila Dance College, South Australia
Lecturer for the Dance Craft Dance college, South Australia
Lecturer for the Mighty Good Talent Dance College, South Australia
Dance workshops Expressions Dance Company
Dance workshops Leigh Warren and Dancer
Dancer at Australian Dance Theatre
Dancer at Australian Ballet
Dance/Actor at Opera Australia
Dance tutor for Bangarra Dance Theatre
Dance tutor/lecturer and pioneer in the development of the Latin Dance Community in Australia and New Zealand
Awarded with Distinguish Talent Visa (Performing Arts) in 2003 by the Government of Australia and supported by the South Australian (Adelaide) Council for all the work done with the community and the industry.
This is the only visa known that has been awarded to a dancer.
The Amazing Duo of Keyna Wilkins and Gumaroy Newman will be partnering with us in the development of the infusion of indigenous music into Cuban music. Keyna, Gumaroy and Richard are incredibly talented individuals that will blow your mind with the awe inspiring and blood pumping renditions that are pouring from their creative minds and hearts. Check them out on our Indigenous Fusions page here on the Website.
Alex Herran (Born 8 January 1980) Is a Classical & Salsa Trombonist from Colombia. Having performed since age twelve. By age fifteen he was playing in several local bands in his hometown Armenia-Quindio. Alex studied music at the conservatorium of music of ‘Bellas Artes’ in Armenia & following to that he joined the 70-piece Symphonic Orchestra of Quindío ‘Batuta’ where he was a lead trombone player for 5 years playing classical & Colombian traditional music. Alex is an experimented musician and passionate for his instrument, while he was in Colombia he joined some important Latin Salsa Bands such 6.5 Scala Orchestra, Complot Orchestra & Esencia Latina Orchestra, and by the age of twenty he joined the most important musical associations from Quindío, ‘The Symphonic Orchestra of Quindío’ A well-known 60 piece Brass Band from the Colombian government, where best musicians are part of, Alex was playing in this organization until 2003 before he travelled to Australia. In 2004 Alex came to Sydney Australia where he met important bands and musicians that introduced him very quickly to the music scene in Sydney. His first band in 2004 was ‘Club Havana Band’ where he played for one year and then he joined the well-known Latin Band ‘Sonora Galaxia’ for a term of 5 years. Alex then had an invitation to joined ‘Latin Addiction Orchestra’ where he was at some point musical director and lead musician from 2010 to 2016. Alex is a well know musician in Sydney Australia which has giving him the opportunity to be part of important musical projects from Puerto Rico, accompanied singers such Andy Montañez & Maelo Ruiz. Since 2018 to present Alex is part of the most important multi award winning party band ‘Salsa Kingz’ a very well-respected Band passionately performing their contagious rhythms around Australia and the Asia Pacific Region.
Loren Alain is a Chilean born, Sydney based Afro-Cuban percussionist with over 20 years experience.. in that time he has played & performed all over Australia, as well international work. He has shared the stage with many artists both locally & overseas & has appeared both on TV & Radio numerous times. In 2000 he put together an ensemble with Cuban musicians, pianist Emilio Aranzola & bassist Rodney Morales, where he produced & recorded at the historic radio station “Radio Progreso” in La Habana. One of the musical arrangements was made & used for an Havana Club Rum Radio promotional campaign at the time. Since 2001, he has toured Australia with the iconic group Drumbeat, “The Art of hitting things”. A school based program that introduces students to the world of percussion directed by Mark Stewart. Locally he has played in various Latin groups of all genres, notably recording with Waldo Fabian’s on his album “Muerdeme la lengua”. Since 1998 he has directed & led he’s own project called Club Havana Band, which has toured all over Australia.. since then he has played or directed in various ensembles, most notably co-directing the Sydney Latin All Stars (2000 & 2001) at Darling Harbour’s Bacardi Festival. An ensemble that shared the stage with the likes of Jimmy Bosh, Jose Alaberto el Canario, Ozomatli & Grupo Cespedes. Apart from various events & festivals around town, he currently holds a residency as percussionist & director of Lorenzo y su Swing at Sydney’s “The Cuban Place” where he shares the stage with some of Sydney’s best Latin & Jazz musicians.
Juan Carlos Allende
Juan Carlos Allende hails from Cuba, where he completed his education as percussion instrumentalist and teacher at the Cuban Institute of Higher Education for the Arts. His career spans more than 30 years and four continents, excelling in performing many instruments from cultures around the world and genres that include classical music and popular traditional rhythms just to mention some. Professor Allende has taught in conservatories around the world and has lead workshops of AfroCuban music, one of his specialties, at the international level. He has, and continues to tour internationally with many renowned artists and bands. He’s settled in The Netherlands where he leads SonSiboney, a group that performs traditional Cuban music, and imparts lessons at Elele Music School. To stay abreast of his work and for additional information you can visit Cuba Percussie: https://www.facebook.com/Cuba-Percussie-1527600764175260
1972 – At age 13 Studied DRUMS with renowned Sydney drummer GARY HAYNES. Studies continued
with several other tutors.
1977 – Joined first band Chicago Sound Machine. The band played funk and soul music of the era
and performed in many Sydney discos during the disco craze of the time. Played with many other
bands thereafter, gaining experience in diverse styles of music from rock to Arabic and RnB.
1982 – Joined first jazz band that performed in several Sydney venues for about two years.
1983 – Began jazz studies at Sydney Conservatorium. During that year Sergio joined his first
professional Latin American group Som Brasil, performing at numerous events and venues across
NSW for a period of 4 years, whilst performances, residencies and recordings continued with several
other artists such as Jose Barroso, Salsation, Maria Cuevas, Jorge Do Prado and Batuka.
1987 – Formed and led well known Sydney salsa group Saoco. This band was instrumental in the
growth in popularity of salsa music in Australia and held two important residencies during the Latin
craze during that time. By 1989 the band had become very popular, playing extensively throughout
Australia. Saoco hit the bigger stages with performances such as support band for the Gypsy Kings
1989 – Launched teaching career, firstly teaching at several suburban music schools and eventually
teaching at Billy Hydes drum academy, Redlands SCEGGS College Neutral Bay, and Marist Bros
College North Sydney, where he taught for a period of four years.
1992 – Joined well-known Sydney world-jazz group The World According to James, led by trombonist
James Greening. From this time, Sergio continued performing with numerous other artists as well as
teaching until the present day
1993 – Joined renowned jazz group led by saxophonist Dale Barlow.
1995 – Formed and led renowned Afro-Cuban band Sandunga. This band quickly became an
Australian Latin music sensation that was instrumental in the growth in popularity of Cuban music
and establishing a solid market for the genre during the subsequent ten years. Sandunga later
underwent several transformations in both repertoire and personnel, and continued performing
throughout Australia until 2003.
From 2003 until today, Sergio continues performing and recording with numerous artists of various
1997 – 2007 Sergio launched the Manly World Music Festival, an outdoor event which presented live
world music during the month of April every year. This festival ran from 1997 until 2007.
2007 – Sergio was manager of Musica Viva’s renowned multicultural music program Café Carnivale,
where he managed and grew the program to more than 180 concerts per year.
Iswara Luna Silva
Iswara Luna Silva originally from Chile, studied violin from the age of 8 years old. She moved to Australia in 2017 to further develop her English skills with the goal to study music education.
At the age of 16, she continued her formal studies of violin at University of Chile majoring in Performance.
She performed at a variety of distinguished theatres across the country. The most notable places are Quinta Vergara, Teatro Municipal de Santiago, Teatro del lago de Frutillar and Teatro de la Universidad de Chile, among others.
Further, she developed her craft as a musician with the National Young Symphony Orchestra of Chile touring Europe in 2012 and throughout Chile for several years.
Luna also taught violin in schools of low socioeconomic status, giving them opportunities for better education through musical scholarships.
Stephanie Hill grew up in the Gloucester region, having begun lessons in violin with Juen Vanhand at five years of age.
After moving to Sydney in 2010, She began tuition with renowned Acacia quartet founder Lisa Stewart, and joined the Northern Beaches Orchestra (NBO), where she was fortunate to perform with artists such as Richard Tognetti, James Morrison, and Emma Pask.
She returned to Gloucester in 2012, performing solos throughout the year as part of her scholarship entitlement with the local Sinfonia MNC orchestra, then moved back to Sydney two years later to further her musical study.
In 2016, she completed a BMus performance (classical) at the Australian Institute of music under the tutelage of Zhu Wen, Matt Bruce, and Stefan Duwe, and during that time premiered a violin and piano arrangement of “Blood count” by Lyle Chan.
Awards Stephanie has attained include the AIM university scholarship, the 2011 James Hannah and Sinfonia music scholarship, and, from Taree Eisteddfod, “most promising string player” 2005, two SMILE scholarships, the 2012 senior instrumental champion, and several others.
Some of the highlights of her career have included partaking in the 2009 Sydney Symphony Playerlink; being a long-serving member of numerous orchestras, including Sinfonia Mid North Coast, String Beings, NBO, and Stringfonia; performing on TV shows, such as X factor and the voice; acting/performing in Alex Giblin’s “Siloam”, a film that premiered at the Sydney film school festival in 2015; touring around a large number of different cities of China, Performing Puccini’s ‘Turandot’ (2017) and Verdi’s ‘Aida’ (2018) with the Australian International Opera Company; and, more recently, was a featured violinist in the 2020 Myer ‘Bigger than Christmas’ TV campaign.
She also performs regularly with a number of different opera companies and musical societies, and works as a violin tutor
Juan Andres Mulet
Born in Sydney, Australia, into a musical family and always surrounded by the pulsating rhythms of Latin America. Born to a Uruguayan father and Chilean mother, Latin American culture and particularly its music has always been a huge part of Juan’s life. Starting originally on Latin percussion and drumkit at the age of 8 years old, and then around 11-12years he started sitting in on local gigs and jam sessions.
As a teenager, Juan picked up the bass guitar and further developed his musicality as a bassist, having a strong foundation of rhythm thanks to the drumming years.
15years on, he has had extensive experience playing live shows and music festivals all around Australia with numerous groups of varied musical genres, particularly Cuban, Reggae and Funk music.
Both as a session musician and as member of several bands, music has taken Juan all around Australia, performing in iconic venues, festivals and recording studios.
Olympia has been involved with Latin music since the 80’s with her involvement in the Latin American Cultural Centre, La Pena, and the all female group Chimiguin. She has worked with the band Papalote touring Australia and New Zealand presenting educational workshops and concerts for many years and is currently performing side percussion and vocal backups.