Tag Archives: peruvian

Artist Profiles: Alex Acuña

Alex Acuña at the 2015 Folklife Festival. Photo by Josh Weilepp, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives

Born in Pativilca, Peru, 100 miles north of Lima, Alejandro Neciosup Acuña, better known as Alex Acuña was born into a musical family that inspired him and helped shape him as a musician. His father and five brothers were all musicians. Alex taught himself how to play the drums from the age of four. By the time Alex turned ten, he was already playing in local bands. As a teenager, he moved to Lima and became one of Peru’s most accomplished session drummers, performing on many recording projects for artists, as well as film and television productions. At 18, he joined the great Perez Prado’s big band. He later played with such diverse greats as Elvis Presley and Diana Ross, until he joined Weather Report in the ’70s.

Since moving to Los Angeles in 1978, he has recorded with countless artists, including Joni Mitchell, Whitney Houston and Chick Corea.

In 2000, Alex Acuña was nominated for a Grammy in the “Best Traditional Tropical Latin” category for his album, “Alex Acuña y Su Acuarela de Tambores – Rhythms for a New Millenium.” His South American roots, long-time association with Caribbean genres, and his deep understanding of all genres of contemporary music have made him one of the most accomplished and well-rounded musicians on the scene today.

In 1989 she formed, Los Hijos del Sol, together with Eva Ayllón. The group represents an all-star cast of Peruvian musicians, reunited with the purpose of refreshing and promoting Peruvian music for the world. The musicians came together in 1989 to record a project that draws on traditional Peruvian genres – known popularly as “musica criolla” – developing them in a context of more sophisticated arrangements and unconventional instrumentation. The project lasted for several years, as Peruvian musicians from all corners of the world returned to Peru periodically to perform and record, and created tremendous impact on the music scene in Peru. The original recordings and the subsequent live performances of Los Hijos del Sol established a landmark in the history of Peruvian music.

In 2002, Acuña released Los Hijos del Sol’s debut CD, To My Country. It explores the entire spectrum of genres and sounds from Peru. The work includes traditional Peruvian rhythms such as festejos, valses, landos, huaynos, and even such popular styles as salsa and Latin jazz.


Straight Ahead (Pa’lante) ‎(Discovery Records, 1980)
Another Time, Another Place (Pausa Records, 1984)
Thinking Of You (Invitation, 1990)
The Juggler ‎(Swinging Banana Records, 1995)
Rumbero’s Poetry ‎(Elephant, 1999)
Acuarela De Tambores – Top Percussion (Rhythms For A New Millennium) (DCC Compact Classics, 2000)
Isla Negra ‎(Crecycle Music, 2000)
To My Country (Contemporary Peruvian Music) ‎(Nido, 2002)
Bongó De Van Gogh ‎(Tonga Productions, 2002)
No accent (Nido, 2005)
Brown Street (Intuition Records, 2006)
Jungle City ‎(Alessa Records, 2009)
¡Ritmo! ‎(Clavo Records, 2011)
Barxeta ‎(Losen Records, 2012)