“The style of music I perform has evolved, but it’s all rooted in Latin American music. I grew up in Peru, so the music that I played first was traditional Peruvian music. When I moved to the United States in 1981 in California, I added a little more Latin American music out of necessity, really. I preferred to play only Peruvian music, but the audience changed. People wanted to hear music from Cuba or Mexico, so I learned quite a bit about all those styles. I added that.
Now I do a lot of compositions. I always composed music, but I never really played them live, just a few compositions. Now I’m getting to a point where I want to do nothing but just play my music, or music that is written by a contemporary composer that is especially for me. It keeps evolving, but obviously it will always be rooted in Peruvian music. I cannot avoid that, no matter what I write.
I was invited to play in the Olympics in Los Angeles. That was kind of nice. I played with part of the Peruvian delegation. Another moment in my musical career was when I played with a wonderful mezzo soprano, Frederica Von Stade. They were doing some Latino music from Spain, something I knew nothing about, but they recruited me to play it. That was a highlight of my music life.
The highest highlight was in 2006 when I played in southern Peru for the premiere of the first – and only, so far – concerto for the Peruvian flute in symphonic orchestra. That was the highest point in my musical career, although a very limited number of people have seen it. The composer wrote it especially for me.
My wife is originally from Elkhart, and we moved here in 2011. It’s been great. I had no idea Goshen had such a creative scene. I had no expectation whatsoever in terms of music or anything like that. I was completely surprised and blown away by two things: One was the immense number of Latino people in this area, and also the number of musicians and artists of all types. The number is quite amazing, actually, given the small size of the city. I was really delighted with that.”