Rafael Bustamante Sarria- Lead Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica, Keyboards, Percussion
Rafa can see into the souls of the unwary and does not have a vestigial tail
Rafael Sarria is the the singer songwriter founder and band leader of La Gente. He is Colombian
Nicaraguan and born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has been rapping and singing
since his youth. At age 16 Rafael taught himself how to play piano, guitar, harmonica and
percussion and formed his first group "Elixir" later that same year. Since then he has played in
countless groups and genres until forming The People in 2001 which would later become La Gente.
Rafael is one of the main "MAPPeros" organizers of MAPP (The Mission Arts Performance Project.)
and is on the entertainment commission for Carnaval San Francisco. He founded La Gente Productionz
and co-founded The ARTE Y TAPAS Performance Series and consistently puts on Art Music and Food
events at various venues in the Bay Area. He also works closely with a variety of progressive
political movements in the San Francisco community organizing and raising awareness in matters
of social justice, housing equality, police brutality and battling racism and social and economic discrimination.
Monica Maria Fimbrez -Vocals, Percussion, Jarana
Monica sang sweet songs of quiet lust and madness. She also spawned a goblin and is weary of sheep.
Monica Fimbrez is a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist (guitar, jarana, bass, percussion) and composer. She moved to San Francisco in 2002 and graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in vocal jazz and world music. Since then, Monica has aquired a wealth of experience in the genres of Cuban Son, Salsa, Afro-Cuban Folkloric, Son Jarocho, Rumba Española, Peruvian Lando, Jazz, Soul, and Reggae. She is the composer and leader of her band Soul y Agua, a group that performs original and traditional music, mostly integrating influences of Son Jarocho, Son Cubano and Soul.
Marlon Aldana -Drum Kit, Vocals
Marlon Aldana herds rats for fun and profit and his entire skeleton is currently on display in The Smithsonian
Marlon Aldana was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and combined his studies of architecture and music,
eventually receiving his degree in architecture with a specialty in combining music and sculpture
concepts. His musical interest developed quickly and he began his career as self- taught
percussionist, later focusing on jazz, funk and Latin with a variety of teachers. His work as a
session drummer with various pop and rock artists throughout Mexico lead him to relocate to the
U.S., and since 2012 he has collaborated on many projects and genres including jazz, reggae, electronic,
folk and others. Aldana was introduced into the flamenco world and master musician Jason McGuire
“El Rubio,” who became his teacher and mentor. This relationship lead to his current work as part of
Caminos Flamencos, an award-winning flamenco company that often combines flamenco,
jazz and other experimental performances.
Sergio Ori Ache Duran -Percussion, Vocals
Sergio is neither afraid of mirrors or street conjurers and there were no teeth marks on his bones
Sergio Ori Ache Duran aka “El Rumbero de la Mission”, is a percussionist who was born and raised in the heart of the Mission district of San Francisco, California. After being Influenced by Latin Jazz and Fania music while studying at School of the Arts, he led on to study Latin percussion from prominent musical mentors such Melecio Magdaluyo, Louie Romero, Omar Ledezma Jr, Miguel Govea, and Jose Leon. Specializing in Afro-Cuban folklore and Cumbia music, he has been part of the Bay Area Latin music scene for over ten years. He's become well known for his ability to “play in the pocket” and for knowing when to make his instruments speak by manipulating the right musical vocabulary to compliment a song or artist. Throughout his musical career he has performed with such bands as Futuro Picante Youth Salsa Band, LoCura, Miguel Govea y Compas, Rumbache, Fito Reinoso y su Ritmo Armonia, Afrolicious, Familia Peña Govea, Makru, Bang Data, Shake Your Piece, Ensemble Ballet Folklorico de San Francisco, Santos Perdidos, Son Chevere, and Monica Fimbrez Soul y Agua. Since 2010 he has had the great pleasure to perform and tour the Americas with fusion band LoCura, playing such events as Outside Lands music festival and opening up for grammy award winning artist Sergio Mendes at the Stern Grove Festival. Sergio has taken the musical knowledge that his elders have gifted him with him, and has made made it his duty to pass it on the next generation by teaching at Mission Cultural Center MASS program, Community Music Center, Horace Mann Middle School, and School of the Arts.
Jordan Feinstein-Keyboards, Vocals
Jordan Feinstein has retired in order to work more and harder and is terribly afraid of kittens
Jordan is one of SF's go-to Keyboard player - he's a regular in 30 or so bands as well as leading his own: Jordan and the RituaL He regularly plays with Phil Lesh, Paige Clem, American Nomad, Stu Allen and Mars Hotel and has recently played with Carolyn Wonderland, Phil Lesh, G-Love and of course LA GENTE SF. Jordan is the Band Leader and Musical Director for A Real Purpose - and SF based Charity organization that help through music and education. He also runs a project studio in sf - Studio 352 - where he produces/arranges and engineers bay area artists.
Morgan Nilsen -Clarinet
Morgan Nilsen sends calligraphed letters and hunts for certain old books, written for dead children.
Vermont born clarinetist Morgan Nilsen has quickly risen in the Bay Area music scene as one of the most diverse and able clarinetists around. She holds a B.M. in clarinet performance and ethnomusicology from the Eastman School of Music. After moving to the Bay Area in 2009, Morgan furthered her studies in Arabic and Balkan music with the Aswat Ensemble and at Balkan Camp Mendocino. Morgan has been jamming with La Gente for a few years which fulfills her passion for social activism and playing Colombian Cumbia. When not found playing music in a packed club or sharing tunes in the streets until 3am, you might be lucky to see her zipping by while on a bicycle-music tour across the country.
Imanuel Junaedy -Keyboards, Accordion
It is rumored Imanuel is building an army of his illegitimate children in Mali,
but these accusations are unproven and in bad taste at that.
Imanuel began playing piano at age 12 in Indonesia and started playing at church shortly after. Imanuel graduated in 2013 from San Francisco State University with a BA in Jazz Studies and has actively performed in the Bay Area since 2007. He is one of the original members of the San Francisco-based Soul/R&B group Feelosophy and is the main keyboardist for traveling corporate group Bill Hopkins Rockin' Orchestra. Imanuel has performed with several nationally and internationally known artists, including Grammy award-winning Jennifer Holiday, Kenny G., Kool and The Gang’s Skip Martin, Jefferson Starship’s Mickey Thomas, The Romantics’ Wally Palmar, and 3 Hong Kong Divas (Susanna Kwan, Ellisa Chan, and Frances Yip). In recent years, as a way of reconnecting to the music scene of his country of origin, he has had the honor of traveling with some of Indonesia's nationally known artists such as Vidi Aldiano, Angel Pieters, Barry Likumahuwa, and more. Along with his travels, Imanuel is also expanding his wings pursuing a solo career collaborating with artists all over the globe for his upcoming projects.
Alejandra Niño -Dancer, Vocals
Alejandra Niño is a Video Producer, Editor, and On Air-Talent working to create different perspectives about misrepresented communities around the world. Niño, born in Bogota, Colombia, started WiphalaMedia to advocate the indigenous movements of South America. Her initiative was to deliver their voice and improve their economies through a cosumer-media expirience. Alejandra produces short form news, documentaries and Web video. She worked at The Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts along with the Mission Local newspaper to promote Latino culture in San Francisco, CA. She was in the show "Dance Party" of KOFY TV representing Colombia at the San Francisco carnival. She is currently a member of the Hispanic Association of Hispanic Journalist and a monthly contributor editor for Rooster Global News Network. Alejandra is the newest member of the group and brings her talend, rhythm, charismatic stage presence, moves and authentic sabor Colombiana to LA GENTE's performance.
Michael Shiono -Bass
Michael Shiono is wondering where the colors went
Since graduating San Francisco State University in 2007, Mike Shiono has been a very active presence
in the Bay Area music scene. In 2010 Mike: was musical director for Grammy Award winner and
Broadway legend, Jennifer Holliday; toured in Europe with NAACP Image Award winner, Sila Mutungi;
toured domestically with the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West; as well as lead several
groups in the Bay Area. Mike teaches on faculty at UC Berkeley via Young Musician’s Program with
the likes of world class jazz musicians: Bennie Maupin, Patrice Rushen and Ndugu Chancelor.
He is also musical director for New Life Church in Fairfield.. Shiono brings his own unique style
drawing on everything from Funk, Jazz, Soul and Latin to the Jam ands shows as well as working
behind the scenes as a skilled arranger