Gino Gamboa leads a percussion workshop at the 2019 event Promise Zone Arts Live! at Levitt Pavilion in MacArthur Park, Los Angeles. Photo: Timo Saarelma/ACTA.

Gino Gamboa, courtesy the artist.

Gino Gamboa

Afro-Peruvian percussion

Gino Gamboa of Encino, in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, has been playing traditional Peruvian music since he was 13 yeas old. He was raised in Barrios Altos en La Victoria, one of the most musical and traditional neighborhoods of Lima, Peru. There, he was able to learn with masters of traditional Peruvian music: Ronaldo Campos de la Colina, Caitro Soto, Eusebio “Pititi,” and Leonardo Parodi. Gino has been working as a professional musician, performer, producer, and music teacher all his life, and is also a notable luthier of traditional Peruvian instruments, including the cajón, the cajita, and the batea. For over fifteen years, Gino has produced the the International Festival of the Cajon in Los Angeles. He travels regularly to different parts of the world offering cajon workshops and lectures, and performing traditional Peruvian music.

Living Cultures Grant Program


Cajones de la Guardia Vieja

ACTA will support Gino Gamboa in purchasing raw materials (e.g., wood, paint, nails, tools) to reconstruct a set of six historic cajóns of Peru.

Apprenticeship Program


Afro-Peruvian rhythms on the cajón
with apprentice Diana Andrea Soto Teixeira

The cajón, a box-shaped percussion instrument from Peru, is the most widely used Afro-Peruvian musical instrument since the late 16th century. Enslaved workers of West and Central African origin in the Americas are considered to be the source of the cajón drum. The cajón was developed during the periods of slavery in coastal Peru. The instrument reached a peak in popularity by 1850, and by the end of the 19th century cajón players were experimenting with the design of the instrument. After slavery the cajón was spread to a much larger audience including the Criollo community.

In 2020, Gino will be working with Diana Andrea Soto Teixeira of Santa Clarita, a graduate student at CalArts’ MFA program in African Music and Dance, and fellow Lima, Peru native. Diana is a singer and percussionist committed to the preservation and diffusion of the music of the African Diaspora in Peru. During the Apprenticeship, Gino will mentor Diana in expanding her repertoire and furthering her technique, including singing traditional songs while playing the cajón.

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