Born and raised in San Francisco, brothers Ron and Alfonso Portillo were influenced by bands such as Santana, El Chicano, Malo, War, Azteca, and Journey. Having come from a musical family, the brothers started playing music together in the early 80's. They continued on their musical journey and were pushed out to perform for the public by friends and family who recognized the talent of the brothers. Especially, their mother "Patricia", who always supported their music. The band was recognized by John "Lalo" Rodriguez, music historian of the latin and rock scene of San Francisco who recognized the potential of the brothers' music and recommended the band to Dr. Bernie Gonzalez (Dr. Rock) of Latin Rock, Inc., who at the time was managing "Malo". Dr. Rock caught part of a show that the band was doing at an outdoor festival. He then offered them their first show at Club Fox. Pete Escovedo also became aware of the band through his manager Victor Pamiroyan, who recognized Los Cochinos and mentioned that the band is on its way to success in the Latin rock music scene. Since that time in the late 2000s, Los Cochinos have been mentioned by many to have "been passed the torch" from Carlos Santana's band, as one of the only true original latin rock bands that continue to make original music in the tradition set by Santana.
Ron Portillo's talented hands create the Latin flavored songs on the keyboard and
Alfonso creates the melodies on his guitar with feeling and passion.
Together, they create a special sound that has been compared to the early sound of Santana, El Chicano and other Latin Rock style bands.
Los Cochinos' talented musicians include:
Our drummer, Richard Segovia, AKA "Bandido" is a well known percussionist who has performed with "Malo", Eddie Money, and Jorge Santana. Richard is a founding member of "Puro Bandido" and is currently the timbalero for "Dakila".
On congas, we are blessed to have Ronald Mesina. Big Ron has played with many notable San Francisco bands and continues performing with "Puro Bandido".
Our bass guitarist is the talented Ron Estrada. Ron was born and raised in San Francisco and started his own band back in the 70's "Estrada's Natural Band" with featured artists timbalero Benny Vallarde and sax player Bruce Unsworth of "Pride and Joy". Ron has performed with many San Francisco bands including "Fog City Revue", "The Jukes", "Second Story Band", "Michael Osborne Band" and "Mambo Street".et.
On Sax, from San Jose, CA, is the dynamic Joe Lopez. Joe has played and recorded with many of the Bay Area's top Latin Rock/Soul bands.
On timbales and percussion, Tomas Montano . An up and coming sought after timbalero, Tomas has performed with many renowned bands in the latin rock scene as well as having been a protege of Santana's Karl Perrazo.
Guest horn players include:
Julius Melendez, trumpet. Julius has many professional credits including having recorded on Santana's Grammy winning albums "Supernatural" and "Shaman". He also toured with Santana for five years. Julius also recorded his own album "Passion and Romance".
Jeff Teczon, sax. Jeff recorded with John Lee Hooker, Jr., on his recent Grammy nominated album.
Abraham Vasquez, sax. Abe has played with many notable bands including Hall and Oates, Dr. John, Tierra, and The Tommy Castro Band.
Larry "Refu" Sanders plays both the sax and flute, and sings background vocals. "Refu" is a New Orleans native and has studied under Al Makay (Earth, Wind, and Fire), Billy Preston, and pianist Horace Tapscott. He has shared the stage with, and, or performed with Greg Karakas, Muddy Waters, Chris Cain, The Fowler Brothers, The Whispers, The Temptations, Saxophonist Euge Grove, and Bay Area greats Tom Pulitzer and Jeff Beck, formerly of Tower of Power.
Last but not least, on horns, is the talented Art Arriola. Art has played with Pete Escovedo, Richard Bean and Sapo, and many other great musicians. Art also leads his own band in the San Francisco Bay Area. Art sings background vocals and plays the French horn, trumpet, and trombone.
"Two great SF Latin Rock bands take the stage this Saturday, each with a slight twist on
the genre. Puro Bandido take all the classic elements, the driving percussion and wailing distorted guitar, but give it a high-energy R&B backbeat-like Santana , but faster. Los Cochinos take that same percussion-heavy Latin groove and screaming guitar lines, but slow the tempo way down to smooth soul territory. Members of each band have performed and recorded with Santana at some point in their careers. It shows in their incredible chops"
A.D. -Metro Silicon Valley Magazine
"SF Carnaval-Here is a partial list of this year's performing bands, as they are well worth mentioning for those out-of-towners wanting to know what is happening in the San Francisco Bay: Los Cochinos"
Chuy Varela-Latin Beat Magazine
"Los Cochinos are a newer group but have been rapidly climbing the ladder and being mentioned alongside all of the legends. The only way a new band can do that in such a short time is by being dynamic. That's what Los Cochinos are...DYNAMIC!"
Arturo Gastelum-Old City Entertainment
"All three bands are great, but the band that genuinely speaks to me is Los Cochinos. They remind me of the days when I used to go to see the Paladins and The Blazers at the Palamino in LA. I hope people come out for this show because this is the groove that just makes people feel good!"
Stephanie Daulton-Urban Music News
Our new CD is out and available for purchase:
If you would like your CD to be signed, please indicate so on the order form or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be happy to do so!
For information on booking Los Cochinos please contact: