Born and raised in San Francisco, brothers Ron and Alfonso Portillo were influenced by bands such as Santana, Malo, War, El Chicano, 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 later discovered by Victor Pamiroyan, manager of Latin legend Pete Escovedo, who recognized Los Cochinos as an up and coming band that is well on its way to success in the Latin rock music scene.
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:
On congas, Vicente Ponciano. Vicente has played with many notable San Francisco bands and continues performing with "Dakila".
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 Don Galvan. Don has played and recorded with many of the Bay Area's Latin Rock/Soul bands. Don also performs with the "Mike Torres Band".
On timbales and percussion, Victor Nolasco . A much sought after timbalero, Victor has performed with many renowned bands in the latin rock scene as well as having led his own band "Safari".
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
For information on booking Los Cochinos please contact: