Photo by Max Fox

Grupo Rompe Cajón is a youth group specializing in Afro-Peruvian music. Formed in 2018, the group's mission is to bring the rich folkloric traditions of Peru's coast to the DC community. It showcases a variety of genres, including Festejo, Landó, and Zamacueca, and brings to life songs about celebration as well as the struggle for Afro-Peruvian freedom before slavery and equality since. The members age 7 to 12, and play a variety of Peruvian percussion instruments, including the cajón (box drum), the cajita (small box), quijada de burro (donkey jawbone), conga, bongo, and cowbell.


Robin Ghertner is the musical director of Grupo Rompe Cajón. He has studied and performed percussion traditions from around the world. He currently studies Afro-Peruvian percussion with Afredo Valiente, one of the foremost cajoneros in Peru today. Visit for more info on Robin.