Gino Gamboa

History

Gino Gamboa was born in and raised in Peru where he was introduced to folkloric Peruvian music at a young age. He began to sing and play guitar and later learned to play the cajon, an Afro-Peruvian percussion instrument shaped like a wooden box. The instrument was created by enslaved Africans who were forbidden from playing the drums. They realized the boxes used for carrying fruit and other items could be used to create drum-like sounds. The same group of people also created the quijada, a dried out donkey’s jawbone which creates a buzzing sound when the teeth bump against each other.  

 

Inspired by the rich musical legacy of his native Peru, Gamboa joined a band called Armonia Criolla. He would practice with them right after his shifts at a local hospital where he worked as a psychologist.

 

Gamboa left Peru with his wife almost 30 years ago in search of new horizons. He came to the United States with the hope to continue promoting Andean and Afro-Peruvian culture. Upon arriving, he met an uncle—also a musician—who introduced him to the Peruvian music scene of LA. He joined the Andean folk band Sajama which has been playing at Universal Studios for 20 years and started teaching Afro-Peruvian music classes.

 

Today, Gamboa continues to play for several Peruvian bands and a Son Jarocho band, a style of music from Veracruz, Mexico which also utilizes the cajon. He builds his own cajones and plays at various Peruvian events and still teaches. Gamboa often goes to families’ homes where his cajon lessons also serve as a way to release stress and create new family dynamics, a connection he made by fusing his psychology background and musical knowledge.

Community

“I think I’m one of the people who participates the most Peruvian events a year,” says Gamboa. “It’s how I stay alive, because it’s hard being away from your country. I’ve created my own Peru here so I don’t miss it as much.”

 

Through his work as a teacher and musician and by advocating for the designation of a portion of Hollywood as “Peru Village,” Gamboa continues his mission of promoting Peruvian culture in Los Angeles. 

  • Music
  • Education
  • Folk Arts
  • Heritage
  • Memory

Media

I started teaching when I came to Los Angeles almost 30 years ago. I came here with the goal to promote Peruvian culture. The term ``to promote`` implies ``to share`` - Gino Gamboa

Explore more Cultural Treasures

  • In food/ person
    Amalia’s Restaurant
  • In music/ person
    Arzeen Mohammad Kamal
  • In dance/ person
    Ballet Folklorico Ollin and Francisco Verdín
  • In group
    BIBAK Los Angeles
  • In dance/ event/ place
    Cane Carevski and SoCal Folk Fest
  • In food
    Carousel Restaurant
  • In Organization/ person
    Centro Cultural Techantit
  • In place
    Charles White Gallery
  • In group
    Chervona Kalyna
  • In event/ Organization
    COFECA and Central American Independence Parade and Festival
  • In place
    Dokya Bookstore
  • In place
    El Salvador Corridor
  • In person
    Elson Trinidad
  • In person/ place
    Faroh
  • In Organization
    Gender Justice LA
  • In person
    Gino Gamboa
  • In group/ place
    Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA)
  • In place
    Historic Filipinotown & “Filipino Americans: A Glorious History, A Golden Legacy” Mural At Unidad Park
  • In place
    Hollyhock House
  • In place
    Hollywood Forever Cemetery and Funeral Home
  • In Organization
    Imperial Court of Los Angeles and Hollywood
  • In event/ group
    Indigenous Pride LA
  • In person
    Jewel Thais-Williams
  • In person
    Jilly Canizares and Fil Am Arts
  • In person
    June Lee – Sejong Korean Music Studio
  • In dance/ group
    Justice by Uniting in Creative Energy (J.U.i.C.E.)
  • In food/ music/ place
    La Fonda & Mariachi Los Camperos
  • In music/ place
    Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles
  • In place
    Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE)
  • In event
    Los Angeles Korean Festival
  • In food/ person
    Mama’s Hot Tamales & Sandi “Mama” Romero
  • In group
    Mantra Siam
  • In Organization
    Mundo Maya Foundation
  • In Organization
    Peru Village LA
  • In group
    Regional Organization of Oaxaca (ORO)
  • In person/ place
    Saint Garabed Armenian Apostolic Church
  • In group
    Salvadoran American Leadership and Educational Fund (SALEF)
  • In event
    Sunday Jump
  • In event
    Thai New Years Festival
  • In Organization/ place
    The Children’s Institute, Inc.
  • In Organization
    TransLatin@ Coalition
  • In place
    Tropico de Nopal
  • In group
    Ukrainian Arts Center
  • In place
    We Are Still Here Mural
  • In group/ person
    YESSS & Daniel Morales