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Vocalist and percussionist Jose Elizarraraz has a wide range of musical experience to his credit. He recently returned from a tour of China, where he performed in many of the major cities.


Vocalist and percussionist Hugo Macario has recorded CDs and toured all over the U.S. with the group Quetzalcoatl as well as teaming up with fellow Somos Son singer Jose E. in their locally based group Vientos del Sur.  Hugo plays many different Latin American instruments.



Raul Rico, Jr., has been performing and playing Afro-Cuban percussion professionally for over 34 years. Raul also hosts and produces the radio programs, "Jazz Latino" & "Saturday Night Salsa" on KCLU 88.3 & 102.3 FM


Lead Trumpet Adolfo Acosta is a native of Santa Barbara and one of the finest young players on the L.A. scene. He recently spent a year playing first trumpet with the great Maynard Ferguson, and is at present a member of Tower of Power, with whom he tours frequently both in the U.S. and abroad. 

Trumpeter, composer and arranger Barry Nitikman has performed with artists as diverse as Barbara Morrison, Texas blues legend Smokey Wilson, blues legend Albert Lee, Kenny Loggins, Spencer the Gardner, as well as touring the United States for several years as musical director for a major international circus.

Roberto Clements, congas,  an aficionado of Cuban music for 25 years, was a co-founder and co-leader of Somos Son.  A Cuban percussion teacher and master craftsman, Roberto has created  Cuban percussion instruments for many top artists,  including Airto and Poncho Sanchez.


Roberto Gutierrez is a monster conguero, and has travelled to Cuba numerous times to soak up the "culture".  He is a relative newcomer to Somos son - only five years!

Pianist and  composer Karl Schiffmann has traveled to Cuba three times to study with the great Cuban masters Chucho Valdez of Irakere and Cesar "Pupi" Pedroso of Los Van Van.  He is also a software designer and certified yoga instructor who has taught extensively both in Santa Barbara and in other locations in the U.S.  Take a look at the iPhone app iMeditateWithErich that he wrote!


Bongocero Tommy Saito has played with the legendary vocalist/ bandleader, Tito Rodriguez, Hector Rivera y su Conjunto Siboney, the Rene Bloch Big Band, the Eddie Montez Sextet, the Paul Lopez Orchestra, the Bobby Montez Quintet, Sonido Libre, the Equinox jazz ensemble and the Estrada Brothers.