Rafael Bustamante Sarria- Lead Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica, Keyboards
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 numerous groups and genres and formed The People in 2001 which would later become La Gente. Rafael is Resident Artist @ The Red Poppy Art House where he was also Director for over two years as well as one of the main organizers behind MAPP (The Mission Arts Performance Project.) He foudned La Gente Productionz that puts on Art Music and Food events at various venues in the Bay Area, for example The de Young Museum, Galeria De La Raza, Studio 352 and the Red Poppy Art House.
Michael Shiono- Bass
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
Adam Lipsky- Drum Set, Percussion
Mario Alberto Silva-Trumpet, Vocals, Percussion
Mario is one of the founding members of La GENTE. He is a well known musician in the Bay Area playing everything from Salsa, Son, Jazz, Reggae, Funk and Rock. Mario has played with such bands as "Los Elegantes" "The Mario Silva Quintet" "Cubanacan" "Agua Libre" "Pellejo Seco" "Rupa & The April Fishes" and too many other groups to list here.His own blend of Latin, Jazz, and every other conceivable style has brought him to the forefront of the Bay Area musical scene.
Born in Berkeley California, Bay Area native OrukusaKi raps conscious lyrics over abstract and original style hip-hop beats. Once known as one of the "Champion" battle rappers on the west coast, OrukusaKi left the Battle Rap circuit in the mid 2000's to focus more on music and Hip-Hop Development. A strong believer that Hip-Hop Music is a powerful tool and should be used to unite people and strengthen communities, he writes his songs to inspire different thoughts and ideas for action and social justice. After many years of hard work recording and performing in the Bay Area music scene and abroad (LA, New York, Seattle) Orukusaki has had the chance to share stages and open up for acts such as Digable Planets, KRS One, Tone Loc, Inspecta Deck; Killah Priest(wu-tang), Hieroglyphics, Living Legends, Immortal Technique, Zion I & Crown City Rockers. Currently he is performing solo and working with a variety of bands in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as producers from Japan, Chicago, LA, and Seattle.
Orukusaki and lead singer Rafael Sarriaof La Gente have been rappin, collaborating, and cyphing together since the late nineties. Since then Orukusaki has become a consistant dynamic part of the La Gente performance and sound. He is known to grab the mic and join the group on Hip-Hop beats, Salsa grooves, Reggaeton and Cumbia-Dancehall rhythms never missing a beat and showing the Bay what Real Mc-ing, freestyling, and crowd control is all about.
Jordan Feinstein-Keyboards, Vocals