ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES

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Alejandro “Panda” Briceño

 

Born in Peto Municipality, Yucatán, México.

 

At the age of 35 years, Alejandro Briceño can be considered an old man in “musician-years. “. He began teaching himself to read music and play instruments at the age of 12 years old. A few years later, Panda gained early noteriety as the lead vocalist of a nationally touring boy-band, “Los ‘Pekis de la Sierra” which was a family affair including his little brother at the accordion, and his double cousin at guitar. 

 

He eventually changed genres and formed “Radio Band” which simultaneously catered to the English-speaking tourists along the Rivera Maya, as well as the local Mexican Rock scene in Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Then, in 2017, Panda decided to concentrate his performances exclusively in Isla Mujeres where he now lives and works full time. 

 

Throughout his 20 year career as a performing musician, he has mastered several different instruments and has also developed an extremely large and versatile repertoire of cover tunes in a variety of music genres like Rock, Reggae, Cumbia, Salsa, Pop, Folk, Mexican Banda, and even a bit of Country and Western.

In addition to lending his powerful vocal chords to Radio Band, he is also a master bass player, a drummer, a guitarist and an original composer. One of his other passions is partnering with his brother at their production and recording studio in Cancun — CBR Labs.

 

When he sits for a solo acoustic show his vocal techniques are likened unto Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Audio Slave, or Dave Groll of Foo Fighters. However, when asked about his favorite genres or favorite musicians he says, “I am a melomaniac. I love them all!” 

Panda’s Professional Philosophy: “Music is the great unifier, and when we musicians use our God-given talents, we are fulfilling our duty to God. We carry a message that everyone understands, no matter the culture or the language, and that accomplishment is its own reward. You will never meet a true musician who regrets being one, not even us poor Isla musicians.”

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ADRIAN HERNANDEZ RODRIQUEZ 

 

Born in México City, México and raised Isleño.

 

Adrian was born into a family full of musical, artistic members.  Hence it was inevitable he would have a love of music too.  His uncles Miguel Hernandez and Ricardo Rodriguez, grandfather Ernesto Rodriguez and cousin Sebastian Hernandez have been his greatest teachers, but he feels his mother was the wind beneath his wings.   

 

At the young age of 11, his initial interest was to play the drums, but for the last 11 years he has focused his energy on the guitar and bass.  Currently, he has taken up the challenge of vocals under Milton Vidal.  

In 2001 - 2003, Adrian felt the need to gain some formal musical education to advance his skill, so he ventured off to Chiapas, México where he attended La Escuela de Musycom and La Escuela de Julio Flores in San Cristobol.  He had the privilege and honor of performing in concerts with both schools.  During these years, he played with The Redemption Band throughout the city for events, gigs and private parties.  He found his interests laid in a variety of genres:  rock, blues, surf, reggae, son Cubano and heavy metal.  The two bands which has provided him with the best inspiration are Red Hot Chili Peppers and Metalica.  

 

Adrian returned to where his heart laid here on Isla.  Here he has played his uncle Miguel and cousin Sebastian forming The Blues Boys Band as well as played with bands Los Motos, The Rolling Papers and Ganjanistas Bands.  At times he enjoys playing the streets for the tourists.  Adrian has had the opportunity to play with Americans John Cain and Big Bob Scoggins gaining more experience.  

 

Adrian loves music because he feels it allows him to express his inner self and La Vida.  He believes when he plays music, he is able to transmit his love of the music to others while making them happy.  

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ALEFREDO & JORGE SANCHEZ HERNANDEZ 

 

Born in México City, México.

 

For these two brothers, the love for music existed throughout generations of their family from grandfathers, to fathers, uncles, brothers and cousins.  They grew up surrounded by music throughout their childhood days with family members playing instruments at every family gathering.  It seemed to be their destiny to both seek careers playing music. 

 

Together Alfredo and Jorge found the artists most influential to them were classic rock and roll - blues musicians Albert King, Albert Collins and BB King and later the rock bands of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. 

Alfredo and Jorge performed throughout region of México City until 1981 when they decided they wanted more.  They sought someplace new and tropical. In 1986 they stared playing music in various places around.  They arrived at Isla Mujeres, México to play for a short season performing for the tourists.  It was from there they roamed the region performing in various locations.  By 1997 the brothers found the Island of Cozumel where they stayed performing for three years. Cancún had continued to grow in size and opportunity during all these years, so in 2000 they uprooted again moving there for several seasons performing at the various bars and restaurants along the hotel zone circuit.  

 

Later in 2005, destruction from Hurricane Wilma changed everything.  It was at that time, Alfredo and Jorge thought to return to Isla Mujeres.  Here they found a place flowing with music to fulfil their dreams and settle down.  The brothers have performed many places throughout the island.  Currently they can be seen performing in Morgan’s, Kokonuts and their “performance home” Miguel’s Moonlite where they have been for the last 14 years without any interruption in the seasons of greatest influx.  

 

It’s said the brothers and their music are inseparable! 

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HADES ABLERTO FONSE ALVAREZ 

 

Born in Boca del Río, Veracruz, México.

The very first memory Hades has in relation to music is watching my grandmother play trash cans as if they were drums.  He loved it so much that he wouldn't let her stop playing.
His mother also played songs to him from a very young age as she always wished for him to play a wind instrument.

Hades’ older brother was and still is his greatest influence in the music. It was his brother who placed the first instrument into Hades’ hands and taught him how to play the guitar.  He continues to learn new techniques from his brother.  Later on it was a co-band member shared the trumpet with him in addition to teaching him how to play it.

In his hometown of Boca del Río, Hades participated and performed in various projects learning different genres: salsa, jazz, funk, they are Jarocho, Cumbia, Reggae, Ska, Son and Rap.

Three years ago, Hades’ brother invited him to visit Isla Mujeres.  Here he immediately felt the support of the local community of musicians from day one forward.  It was for this reason he currently calls Isla Mujeres his home for the last two years.  Hades lives with his girlfriend.  Isla have offered him a way to earn a living as a musician fulfilling his dreams.  He will always be grateful for everything Isla and the music has given to him.  

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GUILLERMO L. ESPINASSE

 

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

 

 Guillermo L. Espinasse began drawing and playing the guitar at the age of five. A year later he began to take lessons from his grandfather, Emilio Magrini, a tango violinist and guitarist.

At the end of his secondary studies, he won a scholarship to study art in Europe. Upon returning to Buenos Aires, he began to study with the world-renowned jazz guitarist Oscar Aleman and classical guitar with Walter Malosetti. In 1971, he was approved for admission to the Facility of Architecture and Urbanism in Buenos Aires.

In 1972, he worked and recorded with prominent jazz violinist Hernán Oliva and quintet with whom he would continue to play for the next five years, in 1974, he worked and recorded with the Santa Maria Jazz Band, in1977 he obtained the title of Architect and in 1978 he formed the group "Feeling".

In 1981, Guillermo and his wife Alejandra traveled to the United States, where he took classes with the classical guitarist Jorge Morel,  He did solo performances and he formed his group "Papero".   Guillermo performed with famous jazz players such as Tito Puente (with Latin Jazz Emsamble) , Andy and Jerry Gonzales, Milton Ruiz, Fred Lipius, Jorge Dalto, Peck Morrison, Reggie Johnson, Patato Valdez, Andy Dreslles among others.

In New York, he has performedx in venues such as Natural Science Museum, Comelio Café, Rassamatazz, 7th Avenue South, Studio Broadway, Sheraton Hotel, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Brian Park Jazz Festival, etc.

In 1994, he settled in the Florida Keys and recorded his "Winde" CD at Private Ear Studio in Key West.  He played throughout the keys in numerous venues. 

 

After arriving in Isla Mujeres, México, he has become an icon for his personal style of playing at numerous venues.  Music to Guillermo is the only way of life. 

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JAVIER “JAVO” VILLANUEVA CHÁVEZ 

 

Born in Cuautla Morelos, México.


As a young child, Javo was known as a destroyer of pots, pans, buckets or any object with good acoustic resonance that he could get his hands on to use as drums. Later around 8 years old, he found an electronic keyboard in his house and he began to experiment with it.  It was at that time that his parents realized that he had musicality and they enrolled him in a keyboard course.  Javo was so enthralled with the keyboard that he neglected his schoolwork which prompted his parents to abruptly stop his music lessons after only 3 months.  Determined to stay with the music, Javo surrounded himself with musicians, live music and frequently took advantage of the cultural and musical wealth found in the places of Morelos and Michoacán where he grew up. 

 

Javo’s paternal grandfather was a double bass violin musician in the Pu’rehpecha Music Group in Paracho Michoacán.  His parents, melomaniacs and lovers of live music, took Javo to many parties with live music. When he was 15 years old, they provided him with his first drum set, because some friends had invited him to play cumbias with them. 

Javo ventured on to perform in several local bands within the musical circuit of México City and its surroundings, performing mainly five genres rock, pop, salsa, cumbia and eventually experienced reggae.  By 17 years old, it didn’t take much for Javo to decide between studying "something that would provide an income" or pursuing music.  He studied and obtained a degree in Music Production at the Universidad de la Musica G. Martell along with Ethnomusicology at National Autonomous University of México (UNAM) in 3 years.  His Academic training included:  music production at Universidad de la Musica G. Martell, Ethnomusicology at UNAM, Latin percussion with Yeismel Grandal who currently is Gloria Stefan percussionist, traditional violin under Ivan Salgado, Nahuatl language and culture under Tlacatzin Sivalet, Contemporary Theater under Nydia Paz and Wire Wrap Art with Anna Strauch.  During his studies, he never ceased to interact with the local musical environment. 

 

While at the Universidad de la Musica G. Martell, he met Alex Machado, who later he become good friends with, but at that time was an adjunct professor at the university.  Together with Alex at his side, they had many escapades such as performing on stage at National Auditorium of México City as well as many performing at youth parties and varies other gigs until Alex decided to leave México City to return to his birthplace, Isla Mujeres.

 

Time passed when in 2007, on a normal school day in the morning Javo’s cell phone rang and it was Adrian Ramos who invited him to travel to Chiapas.  He experienced the normal fears about leaving the security of home, but decided it was time to apply what he had learned in real life.  So, he looked around, picked up his violin, a birthday present from his mother, and pocketed his total $300 peso savings.  That’s all it took.  He left a letter on the table explaining how he wanted to independently earn a living while discovering what he could do with his musical skills, he would be fine and would be in contact at family some point. By time the letter bomb exploded at home it was too late, he was already in San Cristobal de las Casas with his adventurous friends.  It was there where he started his musical career by performing with his violin in the streets. 

 

One day in Palenque by a bus station that Javo spied a sign “Cancun for $300 pesos”.  He had performed in the streets, earned some coins and it occurred to him, “Why not go to Isla Mujeres to visit my friend Alex Machado?”.  Without much thought, he purchased a ticket, traveled the 30 plus hours to Cancun, caught the 7am ferry, arrived in Isla Mujeres with his violin in hand and started inquiring to find Alex.  Unfortunately, he found that practically no one was awake at that hour!  He did not know that the island thrived best late at night.  Unknown to Javo, Alex had worked to such a late hour in the night prior, therefore not responding to his many phone calls.  Not really knowing what to do Javo just started walking to end up in Punta Sur and feeling disoriented still not having found Alex.  In the afternoon upon finally reaching Alex by phone, he didn’t even recognize Javo’s voice thinking he was some crazy stranger.  Alex assumed Javo was joking about being on Isla, so he asked for a description of his surroundings.  Shortly after that Alex swung by to pick him up with two ice cold loggerheads and headed straight to Allen Bermúdez's for chilpachole and fish to eat.  It was in that moment Javo knew he had found his home to be.

 

It has been with Roberto Valencia, Tosito and Javi Martínez, Miguel and Seblues Hernández Julio Andrade, Payo Borges, Guillermo Spinaze, among others that Javo feels he has been so fortunate to have shared such a beautiful musical journey. 

 

Currently Javo performs with Sol Rockers, Kaskep, and is working on a personal project performing on the Handpan.  

 

Javo thanks the mighty power and fruits of music for having provided him opportunities to have traveled and known many parts of Europe and South America, along his life on this beautiful island. He is appreciative of each opportunity to represent his country and culture abroad, always living, playing and dancing with all his heart.

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JONATAN MORAL 

 

Born in México City, México.

 

Jonatan was born into a multigenerational family of musicians.  At the adventurous age of 17, he has recently joined the performing world.  Back when he was 5 years old, the family moved to Isla Mujeres.  On arriving his grandfather, Miguel Hernandez, placed a harmonica in his hand and a little while later he placed him on stage to perform together with him and Jonatan’s uncle, Sebastian Hernandez.  Jonatan felt like he belonged on that stage and soon performed around Isla including Faynes, Bahía Tortuga and La Peña.  One night in La Peña, Jonatan performed a single song on the harmonica.  For that one-minute performance, he received $600 pesos in tips.  Feeling so proud of his performance that night, he took his family out to dinner for pizza with his tips!

The men in Jonatan’s family are all musical, but it is the women from who he says he gained his determination and strength to pursue music.  His mother, Marcela Citlalli del Moral Morales, his aunt Estela Xarene Piña Morales and maternal grandmother Estela Morales Morales have always been there encouraging him forward.  His Aunt Estela felt so strongly about his talents that she provided his tuition to attend La Casa de Los Musicos for vocals in Cancun.  During his two years at the school, he chosen to sing in many concerts receiving standing ovations. The school director stopped Jonatan and his mother after a performance stating, “Jonatan has “buena madera!” meaning he has the good music inside.  Since COVID19, Jonatan has sung with the family virtually over social media providing him a new challenge and has stepped in with family members performing in Snappers Bar and Grill.  

 

Jonatan has been influenced by Mark Anthony, Alejandro Fernandez, Hector Lavoe and Luis Miguel.  He prefers to sing the genres of rancho, salsa and ballads. He is currently studying to advance his guitar and bass skills under his grandfather’s instruction.  His goal is to sing in front of an audience with thousands of people all over the world!

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JOHN CAIN

 

Born in Rockville Center - Long Island, New York.

 

John has been listening to music since he was little child.  It was his Mother who loved music and influenced him during his earliest years. He had a brother who was 6 years older than him whom he looked up too.  During his brother’s late teens, he would play 45 RPM records with songs by the early rock and roll greats.  John, who was an impressionable 10-year-old, unkonwn to his brother stood outside the room listening along with him. A little later, it was The Beatles tunes flowing from his John’s room.  From those influential family experiences that John’s passion for music developed.      

 

The music within John would lead him to dance around the classroom with rubber bands wrapped around his ruler as an imaginary microphone.  As a result, his classmates nicknamed him Elvis.

 

Along came the hippie generation and the great music of the late 60’s and 70’s.  John picked up the guitar in 1967 when he was 14 years old and has rarely laid it down since. 

John has been a gigging musician for 47 years. He attended Ohio University and Western Reserve University studying Music Education. John was fortunate enough to have studied Jazz Guitar and Theory with Richard Lurie, an adjunct guitarist with the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as Jazz Guitar and theory with John Stebal.  

 

John toured around the US and Caribbean for years, before he and his wife Katie chose to permanently move to Isla Mujeres in 2010.  Currently, he regularly performs both solo and in a band at multiple locations on Isla as well as private parties and frequently has been honored by requests to perform at weddings. 

 

Previous to Isla, John had the opportunity to perform as the opening band and with renown musicians such as The Chiffons, Judy Collins, America, The Brooklyn Bridge, New York Voices, Collin Raye, Diamond Rio, Tower of Power, The Intercontinental Jazz Quintet, John Cain Quartet, Natural High, blues artist Haywood Gregory and countless other bands, duos, trios, etc. He has done extensive studio work and currently has a repertoire in excess of 80 plus songs actively streaming online or available on Amazon Music, Spotify, Deezer, YouTube among others. John said his current band, the one and only Sol Rockers, is the one he best loves to jam with. 

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JORGE SANTOYO 

 

Born in Colima Colonia, Colima, México.

 

It was as a young child that Jorge’s musical talent began to emerge.  With the goal of further developing his musical talent, he relocated to the City of Quéretaro seeking new and exciting experiences.  

 

In Quéretaro, Jorge studied at the Ex-Prepa Centro Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro.  His studies promoted his emergence into the professional arena of music. Not only did he perform music, but he discovered he had a talent in musical composition.  He spent time writing and performing some of his originals which audiences have enjoyed ever since.  Jorge learned and performed a variety of musical genres including Mexicana, Trova, Cubana, Boleros and Son.  After these genres, he later learned and added the genres of Brasileña, Blues and Funk.  

 

Jorge’s musical career expanded even more when moved to Quintana Roo eventually making Isla Mujeres his permanent home.  He has performed in concerts and had media interviews within numerous cities including but not limited to:  Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos.  He performed at the famous Festival de Queso y Vino.  Jorge feels the influence of Jazz music assisted him in the improvisation of his voice.

Jorge holds a love and passion for good music.  Currently, he is performing at Rosa Sirena’s Restaurant and Rooftop Palapa Bar and Javi’s Cantina on Isla.  Music has become a way of life for him as a professional and as a person.  He expresses his gratitude for the talent that has touched him and his life.     

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JUAN “PANDA” CARLOS ANDRADE PEREREA 

 

Born in Mérida, Yucatan, México.

 

At a very young age, Panda found rhythm in music.  He started formal music lessons at the age of 8 studying piano with his brother in their hometown of Dzidzantun Yucatan for two years.  As an adult, Panda moved to Mérida Yucatan to study the electric guitar at the Yamaha Music Academy.  

 

In 2003, Panda and some of his peer musicians founded a band called Oxlahuntiku performing gigs locally, on Facebook and on YouTube.  He performed with this band for six consecutive years as the guitarist and vocalist.  It was Panda’s internal rhythm that first drove him to begin to compose.  His first original was called Kanlekal.  He continued on to add 12 more originals to his repertoire performing with Oxlahuntiku which audiences greatly enjoyed.  

 

While in Mérida, Panda pursued his desire to play the saxophone.  So in 2008 under Maestro Svilvain Verges, he fervently studied and experienced a profound love for the sax.  Later he ventured to the city of Morelia Michoacán to continue his saxophone studies.  Here he also discovered Afro-Latin percussion which he studied under Maestro Roberto Vizcaíno.

During 2009 after Oxlahuntiku disbanded, Panda joined Mama Ruda from Mérida performing as the group’s electric guitarist.  With this band, he continued to generate videos for Facebook and YouTube.  He continued to love music composition and wrote the song Urban Rock.  

 

Two years later in 2010, Panda arrived to Isla Mujeres joining his brother Julio Andrade and learned from many local musicians.  Panda’s ability to perform with anyone has offered him many experiences and learning opportunities.  He has performed with numerous International traveling musicians.  Panda’s newest original, Caribe Mexicano Nuevo Lanzamiento, can be found on YouTube under Panda Andrade y Bulines De La Sasca.  Here you can also subscribe to his YouTube Channel.  Recently he formed his new band Bulines De La Sasca here on Isla.  

 

Panda will tell you that music means everything to him.  It’s the activity that he has spent most of his time doing since childhood.  Driven by his internal passion, music continues to consume most of his days.  For him, it is a therapy for all life’s problems, his eternal companion and his way of life.  He feels he would not be without the music.

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Norman Iván Estrada Cortez 

 

Born in Mérida, Yucatán State, México.

 

Born in the city of Mérida Yucatán, it was here in the State of Quintana Roo where Norman grew up and has continued to live the remainder of his life performing as a percussionist and drummer keeping time and embellishing the musical timbre for a number of bands on Isla. His musical career began at the time he was conceived in his mother’s womb. His mother and all her percussionist brothers surrounded him from day one of his beginning performing their percussion rhythms.   

 

Norman’s musical endeavors began when he was six years performing with one of his uncle's orchestra called "Karismas Show".  All of his uncles together taught him about each different drum, their sounds and uses as well as those of the different minor percussion instruments. It was from them that he learned the importance of blending them and when to use them within the music.  

Later his family sent Norman to the music school in Chetumal where he studied the basics of music theory. During his studies, he began to play congas, bongos and more of the minor percussion instruments.  He also studied in Mérida Yucatán at the choral school.  There he joined to the Youth Symphony of Fine Arts in Mérida Yucatán.  Norman preformed all around Mérida.  He became recognized by many for his musical abilities.   Mérida is capital of Yucatán State.  Some City Officials approached him about joining the Yucatán State Band representing the people and the state government.  Excited for this experience, Norman signed a six-year contract.  During those six years, he had so many opportunities in which he was able to learn more, to understand more and to adapt the more advanced skills into his musical performances.  

 

Searching for new and difference performance experience, Norman relocated to San Miguel de Allende.  It was there that he worked for a year with Sr. Gabriel Hernández, former pianist of the Cuban orchestra of Buenavista Social Club. 

 

Currently, Norman is studying under the instructor, Virgilio Zaldívar, with the goal of obtaining a certification which will enable him to instruct children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Down syndrome.  His goal is based on a personal situation from which he has generated his great passion to spend time instructing and enriching the lives these special children.  Norman feels that his music can and will make a difference to improve each child’s life and enhance their personal ability to express themselves. 

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MILTON VIDAL GUTIÉRREZ

 

Born in Veracruz, México.

 

During the years of 1991-1998 at Instituto Vercruzano De Bellas Artes, Milton strived to reach his dream through completion of rigorous coursework accomplishing the level of Musical Instructor of Piano and Arts.  Some of his coursework included intensive courses in fundamentals of music education, vocal technique, instrumental and advanced music theory, orchestra practice and conductor. He graduated in 1995 with a Diploma in Harmony and Contrapunto and in 1998 with a Diploma in Jazz.      


Milton holds vast amounts of experience as well as education.  He competed in the 2nd National Meeting of Youth Orchestras and Conductors of México placing second. Later in the 3rd National Meeting of Youth Orchestras and Conductors, he performed with more than 2000 members of the Youth Orchestras in La Palacio de Los Deportes in México D.F. executing 15 musical works which continues to hold the Guinness World of Records for the largest orchestra in the world.

Some of Milton’s experiences between the years of 1990-1998 included performing as 1st saxophonist for Danzonéra Orchestra and 2nd clarinetist in the Daniel Ayala Symphony Orchestra at the Instituto Veracruzano de Bellas, Artes.  He worked 1993-1998 as a band musician performing in hotels, restaurants, and social events interacting with many different musical groups playing genres of jazz, cumbia, salsa, rock, dance orchestras and Cuban.

 

In 1999, Milton performed as the sax player in Splash Group (founders of Mexican Reggae) in Cancun.  He toured the entire hotel zone and practically all of the Mayan Riviera.  With this group, he participated in the RAZTECA festival in México D. F. with more than 1000 attendees.  

In 2001, Milton was the saxophonist of the reggae group Rakes in México D. F. He was fortunate enough to tour Vancouver, Canada through an International Multicultural Festival.  Still in Vancouver, he took 2nd place at an international competition sponsored by Tommy Lee Music.  In addition, Milton performed with Linton Kwesi Johnson in the Commodore Lounge.  He also ventured out to work as a session musician, composer and arranger at recording studios.  At the Theater Under The Stars, he performed as a clarinetist and saxophonist for the musical show “The Big”.

After leaving Canada, Milton traveled back to México D.F. accepting a position as the 1st saxophonist for a band formulated with members from many schools of music.  After which he moved to Chiapas, México and accepted a position as a Sax Instructor at University of Sciences and Arts of Chiapas teaching future young musicians as well as to performing in numerous musical presentations with peer instructors.

 

In 2009 Milton met my wife Aimee Maldonado Castle in a musical project in the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas.  Aimee was basically just beginning as a performer.  She attended at his school and musical projects.  Milton believes she has developed into one of the most advanced students he has mentored to date.  The undeniable evidence of her ability is when they perform together in Vibrati which they are currently developing a musical platform here on Isla. They have been preparing their art together for 11 years to build this platform which he hopes one day in the not far future, it will encompass their whole family of their 8-year-old daughter and their 6-month-old baby. 

Milton also holds 40 years experience in physical conditioning for boxing and martial arts.   Part of his project dream is to create a recreational program combining music with martial arts in order to strengthen both cerebral hemispheres and the physical side for children and adults.  This project is in current development. 

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Aimeé Maldonado Castillo 

 

Born in Petatlán Guerrero, Mexico.

Aimeé loves to sing!  She has been singing since she was too young to remember when she started.  As a child, she began singing along with her favorite records pretending that she was on stage.  Later her mother bought her some favorite artists cassettes.  She would spend her days singing all around the house.  Her father played the guitar and sang as his hobby, but unfortunately he died when she was a mere 4 years old little girl.  He was one of the many people who inspired her to keep on singing. In fact, all of Aimeé’s family, her mother and four brothers, are singers and music lovers who enjoyed performing around her home while she was growing up.  


In 2009 while Aimeé was studying in high school, she was invited to join a one-year musical project in the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez Chiapas. In that musical project they offered her the opportunity to participate and train as a professional singer and musician.  During this time, she met her mentor, friend and now husband Milton Vidal Gutiérrez.  At the time he was the founder and leader the project.  She never dreamed how this project would change her life. 

From their experience with the Chiapas project, they gained the knowledge and vision for the VIBRATI (musical creativity) School which they founded together.  Within the VIBRATI School, Aimeé participated as student, singer and instructor.  By 2011, the VIBRATI project began in the city and port of Coatzacoalcos Veracruz, with intensive music courses at the basic, intermediate and advanced levels for students starting at 4 years of age and older.  Aimeé spent some time as a student continuing to learn more and advance her music.  


From 2015 - 2017, Aimeé worked as a Child Music Educator in the Coatzacoalcos Children’s Nursery.  There she taught music classes for 1 - 3-year-old preschool children.

An alternate VIBRATI project called “Nota de Paso” began in 2016, in which Aimeé sang lead, performing original compositions and arrangements.  During 2018 Aimeé participated in VIBRATI's first musical production for her premier professional experience from which was a CD was recorded and dedicated to the city of Coatzacoalcoz Veracruz.

Currently Aimeé is living here on Isla with her husband Milton and her two children while working to develop a new musical project, continuing her professional musical preparation and providing VIBRATI school music courses.

Aimeé says that “Music for me was a refuge where I found, more than a family member and a friend; a passion and a way of expressing some of my pleasant and bad experiences in life”.

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JULIO CESAR ANDRADE PERERA 

 

Born in Chopas Veracruz, México.

 

Julio was born a musicality genius who at the age of 12 initiated his formal music education completing a 2 year long piano course called “Learning to Play with Your Fingers”.  It was at this time that Julio’s innate talent revealed itself and formed a lifelong intimate relationship with the keyboard.  By the age of 14, Julio was performing in Dzilam de Bravo with the band Son Canela.

 

In 2003, Julio had learned percussion, formed the band Oxlahuntiku with his brothers and other musician friends and performed on the drums.  Oxlahuntiku performed in and around Dzidzantun Yucatan at gigs, on Facebook and on YouTube. 

 

Impassioned with music, Julio moved to Mérida Yucatan to study at the Centro de Música José Jacinto Cuevas (CEMUS).  At this artistic and cultural center while integrating with other musical students, Julio’s musical expression blossomed.  During his musical studies, he continued to perform with Oxlahuntiku simultaneously with another band called Jam Gorila. 

Pursuing his ardent passion to perform music, Julio moved to Isla Mujeres Quintana Roo in 2010.  Here he expanded his repertoire of genres to include Salsa, Cumbia, Reggae, Rock, Blues and Reggaeton. He joined La Banda Sin Nombre performing with them for 12 years in the venue of Faynes.    During those years, La Banda Sin Nombre performed traveling throughout Quintana Roo for numerous gigs, private parties, cultural events and weddings. In addition to the keyboard and drums, Julio performs on the congas.  

 

In 2013 Julio was invited to tour Guatemala and Belize with the Reggae band Corpusklan.  Today he continues to perform with Corpusklan along with The Sol Rockers and Kaskep Reggae Band. He is known for his ability to perform lightning fast scales and arpeggios.  Julio’s versatility can be noted by his ability to play rhythm ambidextrously.

 

In 2019 at the Island Time Festival, he was invited to join Drink Flamingo Project duo of musicians Craig Mortiz and Tyler Whelan.  Holding the incredible ability to just drop in and perform with any musician has offered him numerous experiences performing with other visiting international musicians.  

 

Julio lives with his significant other Daranee and their 2 children Braulio and Emily.  Braulio is following in his father’s footsteps as he started playing the drums in perfect time around 2 years old! 

 

Music is the air that Julio breaths.  His musical expression and enthusiasm flourish from his deep-seated love of the rhythms.  Without music, Julio feels he would not be. 

Bio Photo Yasser Oropeza_.jpg

YASSER OROPEZA SEGURA 

 

Born in Cuautla, Morelos, México.

 

Yasser Oropeza Segura has been playing drums for as long as he can remember.  As a young boy banging on pots, lids and anything that sounded good, he developed an ear for different rhythms.  He went on to graduate from the G. Martell Universidad de la Mu4sica y Producción with a degree in music production.  

 

By the age of 17, he had also joined Grupo Mayor of Morelos, Mexico specializing in cumbia.  During this time, he expanded his repertoire to include reggae with Vino de la Costa of Mexico City. While living in Morelos, Yasser also linked up with Grupo Creación for more cumbia and other styles of Latin music.  

 

In 2010, Yasser picked up his drums and moved to the Caribbean.  He played alongside many island musicians in Isla Mujeres, as well as heading down the coast to Playa del Carmen.  He enjoyed a wide variety of projects from rock, rhythm and blues to Latin and reggae.  His love for cumbia brought him back to Morelos, Mexico where he joined the Latin band Perfiles.

Then in 2015, Yasser made the move to Isla Mujeres and decided to call this beautiful island his home.  He has enjoyed many genres while playing on the island from rock and reggae to salsa and cumbia.  He began playing with La Banda Sin Nombre and Los Malignos as well as one of his favorite blues projects, Los Motos.  His current project, The Border Band, is well-known for entertaining some of the best crowds in Isla.  

 

Yasser acknowledges that one of the greatest things about playing music on the island is the opportunity to sit in with other bands, especially when musicians come together to raise money for a good cause. Many musicians joined forces to raise money for the 2017 earthquake in México City, as well as benefits for Isla Animals, and various scholarships and fundraisers.  Now that the pandemic has closed many of the well-known live music hotspots of the island, Yasser has enjoyed Facebook live events and has been busy growing The Border Band YouTube channel.  He looks forward to playing for you soon!

Bio Photo - Sabastian Seblues Hernandez.

SABATIAN “SEBLUES” JOAN HERNANDEZ MIRANDA 

 

Born in México City, México.

 

Sabastian’s interest in music was sparked by his father, Miguel Hernandez, who provided him with of Classic Blues tapes of musician greats like Little Walter, Walter Horton, James Cotton, Muddy Waters and Rolling Stones.  This was the initial influence that motivated him towards his musical career.

 

At the young age of 15, Sebastian participated on The Immortal Blues radio program in México City playing the harmonica. 

 

In 1993, Sebastian ventured to Vancouver, Canada with his father.  It was here that he had the opportunity to perform with Tim Hearsey and Jack Lavin in The Demons Band.  He was played guitar, bass, harmonica and drums while in Vancouver at the Yale Hotel.  From this international experience, Sebastian returned to México City with advanced abilities.  

 

Sebastian continued to be hungry to learn more musical genres, so he moved to Isla Mujeres to experience the Caribbean Tropical rhythms during high season of 1994.  It was over the next few years when he added Reggae and Latin Rhythms to his repertoire. 

In 1999, he traveled solo back to Vancouver, Canada to perform with The Demons again in the Yale Hotel.  He was fortunate enough to perform with renowned harmonicist Mitch Kashmar who was known for having soaked up the sound and soul of Chicago and Mississippi Blues. He returned again in 2002 to Canada, but this time to Calgary and performed in the Tony Coleman Tour throughout all of Alberta and Saskatchewan provinces. Once again in 2006, Sebastian was performing in Vancouver when recorded his first original CD with Tim Hearsey.

 

Sabastian was invited in 2007 to perform at private parties in Germany and Holland.  Seeking more European experience, later he returned in 2014 performing as a duet in Tarifa, Spain and all around Austria.

 

Having performed for a few years in Cancun and Isla Mujeres by 2015 Sebastian once again felt the inner pull to return to Tarifa, Spain.  This time he spent 4 months performing Latin music and Rock and Roll.  Here he mixed with musicians from all over Europe learning and advancing his skills.  Traveling again within that same year, he spent a month performing in a duet in and around the area of San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala.

 

In 2016, Sabastian toured central México with the accomplished Mind Lagunas in major cities including Morelia, San Luis Potosí, Oaxaca, Guanajuato, Guadalajara, México City, Querétaro and Puebla.  During this tour time, he performed some music festivals accompanying the Spanish Bluesman Tonky de la Peña and performed on the television program Animal Nocturno.  Sabastian recorded his second CD of originals with Mind Lagunas.   

 

For Sabastian, music is the food for his soul.  He feels he could not live without playing music.  

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JESÚS “CHUCHO” SOTO

 

Born in the State of México, México. 

 

Chucho’s initial experience with music began as child of around the age of 9, when he participated and performed music in the church student body.  From this first contact, his love and passion for music began to stir deep within him.   As he grew up, music developed into an important part of his life.  At the age of 12, he picked up a trumpet and learned to play in a student trova.  Continuing on to pursue further development of his musical skills, he found his voice performing in a number of local teenage bands throughout his hometown of Tepotzotlán.  Traveling with bands around his state, he started developing some important networking connections with numerous seasoned musicians offering him opportunities to perform with a wider variety of musical disciplines and performing new genres expanding his repertoire. 

It was those experiences that provided him with the courage to venture out at the age of 19 to grand Ciudad de México.  There vast opportunities provided him with a chance to attend the La Carrera de Comunicación Audiovisual.  Here he discovered his passion for the alto saxophone and worked to develop his own personal style. 

On turning 23, he decided it was time to venture even further out into the world advancing his music studies in Salamanca, Spain.  Here he studied Art History while working as a cook. Also it was in Salamanca where he met his current wife.  As a couple they maked several trips back and forth between Mexico and Spain. After some time, they decided to settle in Bilbao, Basque Country, from 2005 to 2013, then their two daughters were born.  

 

With the youngest daughter still under the age of one, they decided to move to Isla Mujeres and make it their permanent home. Since then, music and yoga have become his main passions.  Holding a love and desire to support Isla, Jesús has participated in several island music projects of different genres and continues to do so until this day.  Music provides Chucho with energy and passion to perform for the people. 

Bi Photo - Eduardo Martin del Campo Del

EDUARDO “LALO” MARTIN DEL CAMPO DEL RIO 

 

Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, México.

 

Eduardo’s first contact with music was at his Uncle Marconi's house where he had some drums, a keyboard and some turntables.  He felt the inner pull of music then and there.  

 

Eduardo grew up in the neighborhood of La Perla.  It was at a Soccer “fútbol” event held at the Jalisco stadium when for the very first time he heard a Brazilian bazooka rhythm being played when Brazilian team entered the field.  Immediately after that experience, Eduardo and his musician friends started practicing and imitating the rhythm of Bazooka with whatever drum each could get their hands on.  After that they learned both Afro rhythms and Samba together.  

Eduardo feels fortunate that many doors opened for him to perform percussion over the next 18 years in many hotels of Estado Baja California Sur.  He performed percussions and rhythms from Brazil in the Batucada Show.  Eduardo preformed fire dance shows using the poi, clavas and the staff.  From 2002 - 2010, he performed in Grupo Bahia Beat, audiovisual show, in many hotels including Royal Solaris, Melia Cabo Real, Palmilla, Las Ventanas al Paraíso, and along with many more important events in the peninsula.

Eduardo listens to and has been influenced by artists such as Ke-Mani Marley, Slightly Stoopid, Easy Star All-Stars, Manu Chao, La Maldita Vencidad and Los Auténticos Decadentes.  

 

Mixing the drums with electronic rhythms, synthesizers and frequency generators is one of Edurdo’s current interests and passions.  He expresses that he is currently is still learning more about music, growing in the music more every day and trying to contribute to Isla’s community in a positive way. He values and supports art, culture and music. Eduardo believes and expresses that music is life’s medicine, music is our weapon and our shield, long live the Music! 

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