Bululú

Tuesday, 12 October 2021 18:02

“Bululú features a multi-talented team of San Francisco Bay Area artists from diverse musical and cultural backgrounds that bring a wealth of sensibilities and ‘sabor’ to the project.”—Lali Mejia.

Lali Mejia

Band Leader / Percussion, Vocals

A native of Maracaibo, Venezuela, Lali Mejia is a percussionist, composer and educator specialized in the Afro-Venezuelan folklore as well as Latin American and styles of music. During her career, she has shared the stage and toured with prominent musicians such as Marco Granados, Aquiles Baez, Jorge Glem and Akira Tana. Additionally, Lali has participated in numerous music festivals around the US, Caribbean, China and Japan, and performed in venues such as the Tokyo Hakuyu Hall, Macau International Music Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, San Francisco Jazz Festival, Venezuelan Sounds at the Smithsonian Institute and SF Davies Symphony Hall. Since 2004, Lali has facilitated many Afro-Venezuelan workshops around the US and internationally.

Jose Roberto Hernández

Music Director / Guitar, Cuatro, Vocals

Jose Roberto Hernández is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer, arranger, producer, music educator, ethnomusicologist and one of the most respected exponents of folkloric music of Latin America in the US today. He was born in the city of Cárdenas (Tabasco), Mexico, where his musical career began, and continued in the state of Oaxaca and Mexico City prior to relocating to the United States. His devotion, creativity and professionalism in the genre of traditional music have earned him the recognition of great musicians from Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil, and Argentina. He has collaborated with renowned masters of Latin music such as Orestes Vilató, John Santos, Jesus Díaz and Bobi Céspedes, among others.

Jose Roberto Hernández

Music Director / Guitar, Cuatro, Vocals

Jose Roberto Hernández is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer, arranger, producer, music educator, ethnomusicologist and one of the most respected exponents of folkloric music of Latin America in the US today. He was born in the city of Cárdenas (Tabasco), Mexico, where his musical career began, and continued in the state of Oaxaca and Mexico City prior to relocating to the United States. His devotion, creativity and professionalism in the genre of traditional music have earned him the recognition of great musicians from Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil, and Argentina. He has collaborated with renowned masters of Latin music such as Orestes Vilató, John Santos, Jesus Díaz and Bobi Céspedes, among others.

Peta Robles

Percussion

Peta Robles Izquierdo is one of the few, most accomplished female percussionists of Peru. She was born in Lima into the “Los Izquierdo” family of exceptional musicians and dancers where she began to play cajon and “zapatear” when she was a child. As a young adult, she became the National Champion of Female Percussionists in Peru and has traveled throughout Europe, North and South America as an ambassador of Afro-Peruvian music and dance. Peta is also an educator—a remarkably charismatic percussion and dance teacher for all ages and levels.

AYLA DAVILA

Bass

Ayla Davila, a Bay Area native of Guatemalan descent, is a highly seasoned instrumentalist, composer, arranger, and one of the busiest bass players in the Bay Area latin music scene. Ayla has been a founding member of bands such as La Mixta Criolla, Carne Cruda and plays for several latin bands among them Mario y Su Timbeko, LaTido and Jesus Diaz y su Qba. Ayla was also a founding member of Mexican roots ensemble “Los Cenzontles”.

Lichi Fuentes

Vocals, Hand Percussion

Lichi Fuentes is a singer, choral director and multi-instrumentalist born in San Fernando, Chile. The youngest of a musical family of 7 brothers and sisters, she came to the Bay Area in 1980. Currently, Lichi is the director of La Peña Community Chorus, a member of Bobi Céspedes Band and Bululú. She has played with prominent Afro Cuban bands such as Conjunto Céspedes, Jesus Díaz y su QBA, Grupo Raiz (Chile) and founder of the all-women ensemble Altazor. Lichi has also worked extensively as an educator of Latin American music.

Fernanda Bustamante

Vocals

Fernanda Bustamante, vocalist and violinist from Peru, has spent a lifetime performing. She started playing the violin when she was three years old and started singing when she was 10. She trained classically on the violin for 15 years before she entered the world of Latin music, rhythms, and improvisation. There, she discovered her love for traditional and folkloric music and dance. Today she performs with various musical groups around the Bay Area including Bululú, The KTO Project, Jose Roberto and Friends, and Vinic-Kay. She is also an Afro-Peruvian dancer and musician for De Rompe y Raja Cultural Association.

Norma Kansau

Vocals

Norma was born in Ciudad Ojeda, Venezuela. She is the 4th sibling of a family of 6 (among them, Jose Gregorio) and started singing folkloric music at an early age along with her brothers. By their teenage years the Kansau siblings had founded a church choir in Venezuela and had the opportunity of touring within the country and parts of Europe, earning a number of awards along the way. Norma has been a Bay Area artist for over 20 years, and has participated as a vocalist in musical projects from Perú, Venezuela and México. She brings a healthy dose of joy and enthusiasm to her performances, which are part of her stamp and sound.

Jose Gregorio Kansau

Vocals

Jose Gregorio Kansau is a Venezuelan tenor with an ample trajectory in lyrical and popular music. For the past 25 years, he has earned numerous awards and recognitions as a vocalist as well as led his own touring ensemble in Mérida, Venezuela, called “Tango Quintet”. His talent, versatility and experience paved the way to various national and international appearances. In 1995, he was endowed with “La Voz Universitaria” a highly prestigious mention which propelled his career as one of the most notable and powerful vocalists in Venezuela. His passion as a singer lies in the areas of boleros, tangos, classical, jazz and blues.

Jessy Díaz

Wednesday, 26 August 2020 04:28

Jessy Díaz is a highly motivated and energetic musician (singer, percussionist, musicologist, and teacher) with international exposure. Originally from Cuba, as a performer she focuses on the Latin jazz, cha-cha-cha, danzón, son, mambo, and bolero genres. Not only is she an excellent singer, she is also competent in playing a wide range of musical instruments. As a multi-instrumentalist artist and music teaching professional, she endeavors to give her all in each single performance and project and is fully committed to providing a solid education and instilling music appreciation in all her students.

Before emigrating to the U.S., Jessy had the opportunity to perform with the Matanzas Symphonic Orchestra (Matanzas, Cuba), University of Arts Symphonic Orchestra (Havana, Cuba), Falide Youth Band (Matanzas, Cuba), and Suns of Cuba (Matanzas, Cuba).

One of the highlights of her career include a performance for President Barack Obama during a Cuban State Dinner in Havana, Cuba, on March 21, 2016. Since arriving in the U.S. in 2017, she has performed at various venues in Florida and Georgia.

A well-rounded music professional, in addition to performing live on stage, working on several studio recording projects, and being a dynamic and energetic teacher, she is also a sought-after Cuban and Aftro-Cuban music lecturer.

Recordings

  • CD/DVD: Arsenio Rodríguez Tribute, EGREM Productions, Havana, Cuba, (2011)
  • CD: Cuba Now Danzon. Alejandro Falcon, ABDALA Productions, Havana, Cuba (2013)
  • CD: Llegó la Failde. Failde Youth Band, EGREM Productions, Havana, Cuba (2016)

Bands

  • Matanzas Symphonic Orchestra, Matanzas , Cuba (2007-2010)
  • University of Arts Symphonic Orchestra, Havana, Cuba (2011-2013)
  • Failde Youth Band, Matanzas, Cuba (2007-2016)
  • Suns of Cuba, Varadero, Matanzas, Cuba (2015-2016)
  • Qband, Miami, United States of America (2017)
  • NSU Orchestra Performance, Florida, U.S.A. (2017)

TV Appearances

  • 2013 – Havana, Cuba: Chispa juvenil, Música y más, Paréntesis, Educativo Channel
  • 2016 – Havana, Cuba: Nuestra Canción, Clave Channel
  • 2017 – Miami, Florida: Esta Noche Si, MegaTV Channel, Miami, Florida
For booking inquiries please contact:
 
Montuno Productions, Inc.
Attn. Luis R. Mendoza
Tel. (510) 586-3215


Bobi Céspedes

Wednesday, 04 December 2019 17:54

Bobi CéspedesGladys “Bobi” Céspedes has been at the forefront of representing and promoting Cuban music in the Bay Area and the United States for over 40 years. Bobi’s music integrates Cuban folkloric and modern elements in an authentic and distinctive sound. Her resonant voice and dynamic stage presence lead audiences on a journey from Yoruba incantations to the Cuban son. She can belt out a rumba or move you to tears through a heart wrenching rendition of a classic bolero. Along the way she shares her narratives of family life and love, and the wisdom of Afro Cuban fables. Always present is her chambo—that vibrant Cuban soul–resilient and creative.

A vocalist in the Cuban son tradition, composer, band leader and educator, Bobi first won international recognition as director and lead singer for Conjunto Céspedes. The band was recognized as an early exponent of world music for their unique approach to Cuban dance music, incorporating jazz elements and folkloric idioms with the Cuban son. With them she recorded 4 albums, including Una Sola Casa and Vivito Y Coleando which won awards for Latin Album of the Year in 1993 and 1995 from the National Association of Independent Records Distribution (NAIRD).  Conjunto Céspedes toured nationally and internationally, winning raving reviews in every major city where they performed, and opening for such notable stars as Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Ruben Blades, El Gran Combo, Los Van Van  and Brian Ferry. 

Bobi gained a wider audience touring and recording with Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum and Bembé Orisha projects,  appearing on his Supralingua and Spirit into Sound releases. 

Since 2003, working in a septet format, Bobi has continued to perform and tour, and recorded two albums under her own name: Rezos on Six Degree Records, and Patakin on VL Sounds. Rezos, a blend of Cuban son and electronic beats, included the track “Awoyo,” a composition featured in season 4 of the smash Showtime series Dexter.  (Other film credits include Les Blank’s Sworn to the Drum, and Peter Bratt’s, Follow Me Home.  Her recording with Conjunto Céspedes, Na’ Ni Na’,  was part of the soundtrack for the 2006 film Half Nelson).  Bobi is proud to have been invited to perform at the Freedom Sounds Celebration for the dedication of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in September 2016, sharing the bill with such illustrious world music divas as Angélique Kidjo and Meshell Ndegeocello.

An offspring of a large Cuban musical family that kept alive African beliefs and practices and Lucumí priestess for over 50 years, Bobi has played an essential role in bringing Afro-Cuban rhythms and rituals to the Bay Area for nearly half a century. By providing fresh ways for contemporary audiences to be touched by Cuban music, she furthers the legacy of the great soneras, Celia Cruz and Omara Portuondo.  “Ms Cespedes’ voice is supreme: powerful, full of strength, even when she whispers…” (Descarga.com). In the rich field of Cuban music, Bobi Céspedes stands out as a gem and can rightfully be considered one of our national cultural treasures.

Bobi Céspedes’ electrifying ensemble features some of the Bay area’s finest Latin Jazz musicians:  Musical director, Marco Díaz on piano, trumpet and vocals; bassist Ernesto Mazar Kindelán; conguero Javier Navarrette; Julio Pérez on bongos and percussion; José Roberto Hernández on guitar and vocals; and Lichi Fuentes on vocals, chekeré, and güiro.

Booking inquiries:
Tel. (510) 586-3215 (call or text)

Juan Escovedo

Sunday, 15 September 2019 19:24

As a child, Juan taught himself to play bongos, congas, trap drums, timbales, percussion, and other instruments. When he turned 14, he went from studying his father, Pete Escovedo, to proudly performing with him.

VibraSÓN

Sunday, 23 June 2019 02:05

The VibraSÓN band was formed in mid-2013 to fulfill a long yearning of its leader Jake Jacobs, an accomplished salsa dancer and instructor for over 20 years to bring some of the greatest dance music back into the live music scene

Silvestre Martinez

Sunday, 23 June 2019 01:45

Silvestre Martinez was born in Puerto Angel, Oaxaca, Mexico. He grew up in a large family of musicians, who played chilena, merequetengue and charanga music, which is Afro-Mexican music from the coast.

Julius Meléndez

Sunday, 25 January 2015 07:28

Some musicians dream of someday becoming accomplished enough to become professionals; some professionals dream of someday being nominated for a Grammy award. Julius Meléndez has done both… and has not only been nominated for a Grammy, but has won multiple Grammys.