Grupo Riken has been performing in the Tucson area since 2009. They specialize in folkloric music from the Caribbean and Latin-America. Genres like the Cuban bolero, Puerto Rican jibaro music and, llanero, Latin jazz, salsa, and bossa nova. The group’s unique sounds come from folk instruments like the Puerto Rican cuatro, guitar, Peruvian Cajon, Afro-Caribbean percussion bongos, and congas, accompanied by the guitar. The name Riken is a derivation from the name given by the indigenous Tainos in Puerto Rico, which called the island Boriken. Grupo Riken has participated in local music festivals such as the Tucson Meet Yourself and has participated in Tohono Chul’s Sunday in the Garden concert series since 2015, as well as many collaborations with the University of Arizona and the Tucson Guitar Society. They released their first CD title De Aqui pa’ allá in 2016. In Spring 2019 they won second place at the SAACA Folk Music Festival in Oro Valley.
José Luis Puerta (guitar) native of Puerto Rico, has been an active Board Member of the Tucson Guitar Society since 2009. He is the Director of Education and the conductor for the Tucson Guitar Society Orchestra since 2013. As a soloist and ensemble artist, he has performed in Canada, Spain, United States, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. He currently holds the position of Assistant Professor of Music at the Fred Fox School of Music at the University of Arizona. And collaborate with multiple chamber music ensembles.
Alexis Rivera (cuatro) native of Puerto Rico, has been performing with different instruments, such as the bass, drums, guitar, and cuatro, with different groups throughout the Tucson area. Most recently with the LFP Project, Tradiciones, and Grupo Riken. He also records, composes, and edits some of the music for the group.
David Pérez (percussion) originally from Mexico City, studied congas with a Cuban teacher which gave him a deep understanding of Caribbean music such as the salsa, boleros, guaguancó. He has performed with multiple groups and is an active member of Vox Urbana. Vox Urbana is a seven-piece band that combines Latin-based sounds with stories and experiences that occur in the Arizona/Sonora border region. The bi-national band is based in Tucson, Arizona, and has been creatively narrating stories of the border community since 2010.