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John Robles is the harpist for Chucumite.  The Santa Paula, California native began teaching himself son jarocho at the age of twelve, learning by ear from the recordings of such great Veracruzan harpists as Andres Huesca (Los Costenos), Jacinto Gatica (Los Nacionales), and most notably the legendary harpist Mario Barradas Murcia of the Conjunto Jarocho Medellin de Lino Chavez.  Barradas, decades after Robles started learning from his recordings, became a great personal friend and mentor.
At fourteen Robles began performing in local restaurants, and at sixteen began accompanying various ballet folklorico troupes.  He performed several shows with Los Lupenos de San Jose at such venues as the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts and the Spreckels Theatre.  He has also performed with the Ballet Folklorico de UCSB; Ballet Folklorico Alma de Mexico at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles; Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, and several other venues throughout California.  In recent years Robles has taken part in workshops with such harp luminaries as Alberto de la Rosa and Ruben Vazquez Dominguez.  Robles currently resides in Ventura, California, where he also teaches harp.


Roberto Perales was born in New York of a Spanish father and Colombian mother.  That he enjoys listening to and playing Mexican folk music is a product of his years growing up in Los Angeles.  Music was omnipresent in East L.A., where Perales was largely raised, and at the age of 11 the guitar became one of his favorite instruments.  Becoming fluent, Perales later began to play with area musicians, one being Francisco Gonzales, a multi instrumentalist who was one of the founding members of a band which would become world renowned, Los Lobos.  With Gonzales, Perales began studying jarana, a guitar-like instrument from Veracruz, Mexico.  The jarana grabbed Perales’ attention and has been his primary instrument ever since, although he still frequently plays guitar, along with bass, ukulele and occasionally the guitarron, a large Mexican acoustic bass guitar. Perales now resides in Santa Barbara, California.


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This site was last updated 11/15/09