This is us!A little of our Borikuas Story
During their first public performance at Pioneer Square in Portland, they were contracted by the Oregon Folk Department to play their music through a series of presentations in Portland Public Parks under the program “Music in the Park”. It was through this performances that Grupo Borikuas became to be known in Portland and surrounding cities. Ever since, Borikuas have been successfully performing in private events, conventions, and cultural activities such as “Celebration of National Hispanic Heritage”, “Celebrate Hillsboro”, “Latino Cultural Festival”, “Salsa en la Calle”, and “World Series Music Concerts” among others.
Borikuas members are all from Puerto Rican descendant who authentically feel passion for their heritage, their music, and their culture. Sharing this passion as well as a true friendship, through their presentations and performances, Ramón Cancel( lead guitar, Puerto Rican cuatro, and vocals), Aquiles Montas and Martín Velez (percussion and vocals), and Neftalí Rivera (guitar and lead vocalist) give life to the Puerto Rican music.
For more information visit our YouTube channel.
Lead Singer & Guitar
Neftalí Rivera was born in a small town in the island of Puerto Rico. At an early age he started to play guitar and sing in family gatherings. He came from a huge family of musicians and singers, including his dad, Don Tite Rivera. At age 17 he went to try fortune on a musical TV program, Los Alegres Tres. That same day he was hired by Paquito Cordero, a well known Puerto Rican TV producer for Telemundo, to perfom in their programs and signed to do his first recording. For two years he participated in TV programs as Danny Rivera, Papo Roman and Los Alegres Tres shows. He finally did his first recording with Cordero Productions in 1972.
For several years he went on tour with a group of artists and musicians through the Island of Puerto Rico and visited the Dominican Republic several occasions to perform in different well known hotels. He formed his first ensemble of musicians in 1973 and their performance quickly became a very popular act in different resorts and hotels in the Island. Looking for better for better opportunities for him and his family, in 1991, he decided to move to Portland, Oregon were he still lives and work like a song writer, musician and singer.
The cuatro player, guitarist and vocalist Ramón Cancel started his career at age 15, as a studio and concert musician. His career spans from jazz and rock to most recently latin music. Ramón lead his rock band his first years on music and later started playing with the internationally recognized music star Wilkins, with whom he recorded in studio, visited and toured South America, United States and his natal Puerto Rico.
During the last decade he has been exploring latin music genres and adding the Cuatro to his repertoir of instruments, while playing with Neftalí Rivera and Grupo Borikuas.
Composer, Music Promoter, Percussionist from the Dominican Republic.
Pioneer to start the Caribbean Music and Dancing Portland scene since 1984. Leader of Conjunto Alegre Latin Band and percussionist to Los Borikuas.
Introduced salsa, merengue, bachata, and cumbia music, from Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama to the North West: Oregon, Washington and Vancouver British Columbia.
The percussionist Martín Vélez has performed with a variety of music bands and groups around Portland, OR for over 40 years. He has contributed to bands of the caliber of Pa’lante, Manteca, Conjunto Alegre, Aguamiel and now most recently with Los Borikas.
He continues to be inspired by the folkloric and contemporary music and sounds of the Caribbean.