“The performance for Hispanic Heritage Month was fantastic! It was an engaging and family-oriented and made you feel a part of the group. The best part is that the group is actually family! You could feel the passion exuding from the performance and energizing the audience. We learned about the history of the music and traditions and got to participate through dance, signing, and playing. I can still hear the songs and visualize the smiling faces in the audience. I would welcome them back again and again!”
- Event organizer, Prince George's County, Maryland
Grupo Rompe Cajón is a musical ensemble specializing in Afro-Peruvian folkloric music, based in the Washington, D.C. area. Formed in 2018, the group's mission is to share the rich folkloric traditions of Peru's coast to people of all backgrounds. We showcase a variety of genres, such as the Festejo, Landó, Panalivio and Zamacueca, and bring to life songs about celebration as well as the struggle for Afro-Peruvian freedom before slavery and equality since. We do this through music, dance, and education. Audiences leave our performances appreciating the diversity of Afro-Peruvian music, understanding the cultural and historical context, and, we hope, some songs to sing, rhythms to play, and steps to dance. We play a variety of Peruvian percussion instruments, including the cajón (box drum), the cajita (small box), quijada de burro (donkey jawbone), checo (large gourd), conga, bongo, cowbell, guitar, and violin.
Our members include professional musicians young and old, starting at the age of 10. Robin Axel is our musical director of Grupo Rompe Cajón. He has studied and performed percussion traditions from around the world including in Peru, Cuba, Korea, and India. Visit robinaxel.com for more info on Robin. Martin Zúñiga - one of the most in-demand percussionists in the East Coast - grew up playing Afro-Peruvian music in Lima, Peru, before migrating to the U.S. Henry Campos, from Lima, Peru,
grew up performing alongside the legendary Peru Negro, the longest-standing Afro-Peruvian ensembles in the world. Arjan Ghertner (age 16), Gabriel Ghertner (age 12) and Jaimal Ghertner (age 10) have each been performing Afro Peruvian and other Latin music genres since they could read and write.