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// traditional flutes


SISAI's founder Jose hails from Otavalo, Ecuador. He is self taught, making his first experimental flute at age 9. At 12 he was gifted zampoñas by an elder, and he took to the mountainsides to practice, beginning his long relationship with traditional winds. He plays kena, kenacho, zampoñas, antara and sikus. Jose has shared his music in the US since his first tour with Sisa Pacari in 1991, performing throughout the States.


// traditional flutes

Germanico began his musical journey at age 11, learning to play the zamponas. In his teens he began traveling and performing in Europe and Canada before joining his cousins Jose and Rafael with SISAI in Chicago in 1999. He is a multi-instrumentalist, playing bass, sax, guitar, bandolin, mandolina, kena, and zamponas. German also sings. In his studio in Otavalo he is dedicated to capturing traditional Andean sound, recording various local Indigenous artists.


// traditional drum


Quickly and deeply immersed in the Andean sound since meeting Jose Muenala in 1991, Suzanne founded SISAI with Jose in 1994 as both a creative outlet, and to expanded Kichwa music's reach in the United States. Over time Suzanne began composing original music with traditional Andean instrumentation, which SISAI is now recording. She sings and plays bombo, the traditional drum, with the band.


// strings, flutes


Rafael's love for music lead him to master guitar, charango, and bandolin, as well as all of the traditional Andean wind instruments at a young age. A versatile vocalist, Rafael sings in both Kichwa and Spanish. He began recording and performing with SISAI in 1997, after first touring in Canada with Jose's original band Sisai Pacari. Rafael has toured extensively with the band throughout the years.


// strings, flutes

Amaru's musical influences began with family at a young age. All of his brothers, including Germanico, play instruments,. As the youngest he was surrounded by traditional instruments and traditional music. A decade ago he began playing piano and guitar. To date he plays various flutes including kena and zampoñas, as well as the bandolin, charrango and bass. Amaru is also a vocalist.


// traditional flutes

Influenced by all four of his uncles who are professional musicians, including members Germanico and Amaru, Kendall began learning both guitar and piano at a young age. As a student Kendall dedicates himself both to his studies and his pursuit of music. For many years he attended a traditional music school that offers youth in the Otavalan Kichwa community an opportunity to carry on their culture through music.


// traditional flutes


Influenced by uncles Germanico and Amaru, as well as his older brother Kendal, Denaki's love for music was first expressed by learning guitar. Despite being the youngest member, Denaki has already pursued other instruments such as the traditional bandolin. With culture being such an important part of his upbringing he also learned rondin and melodica to play during the celebration of Inti Raymi.

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