(Mujica, Magnet, Prado, Zavala & Ballumbrosio)

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Last Show: Monday 6 th February 2023

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

Perujazz is one of the most emblematic jazz bands in South America. For around forty years, they have managed to shape their own language from the synthesis of Peruvian traditional music (from the coast, the highlands, and the rainforest) with modern jazz styles. Starting from these rhythms, Perujazz has developed a path of improvisation which eventually results in a fresh and powerful genre itself, arising from the question “What does Peru sound like? Perujazz’s vibrant concerts is a must for those seeking unique world music experiences. 

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Perujazz is undoubtedly the most stimulating band to come out of Peru over the last few decades. All the band members are creators and pioneers of a new type of music that coherently and innovatively integrates the traditional musical roots from the coast, the highlands, and the jungle of Peru with masterly improvisations.  Traditional instruments such as the cajon, the bongo, and ritual seed pods are combined (without losing their purity) with a tenor sax, an electric bass, an electroacoustic guitar and drums, and harmonized with synthesized electronic sound and effects.  Perujazz reflects, in this fashion, a new image of contemporary Peru: ethnic roots blended with contemporary technique – the ‘primitive’ with the sophisticated.


Founded in 1984 by Manongo Mujica, Julio ‘Chocolate’ Algendones and Jean Pierre Magnet, Perujazz performed from early years at relevant music venues and festivals in South America such as Mar del Jazz Festival in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Late in 1986, Perujazz went on its first European tour, performing at Messina International Festival in Italy.  In Rome, Perujazz recorded a LP for the Instituto Italo Americano, in co-production with RAI.  In Madrid, the TV show ‘Show Entre Amigos’, broadcasted by Television Espanola, invited the quartet to appear on one of its episodes; in Barcelona Perujazz performed at the National Conservatory and played at several jazz clubs.  The tour ended with two concerts in Paris at la Maison de l’Amerique Latine and UNESCO’S CECIED. In 1987 the band played at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy, anecdotally after Sting’s show.  Afterwards, Perujazz was invited to Montreal Jazz Festival in Canada for two consecutive years (1989 and 1990).  In 1990 Perujazz also performed at New Music America Festival in Miami and Festival Cevantino in Mexico.

Perujazz took a 10 years break until 2001 when they reunited to record ‘Perujazz Live’. The next years, the band continued playing from time to time, especially appointed by the Peruvian government as music representative mainly at international events.  In 2006, Perujazz had a major change in its line-up, after the death of percussionist ‘Chocolate’ Algendones, and gave birth to the album ‘Mundo Nuevo’ (New World) in 2007. In 2009 and 2013, Perujazz reunited again in concerts featuring Abraham Laboriel (bass) and introducing for the first time a guitar, played by Andres Prado which led the band to a new brand music experience.  Under this line-up Perujazz recorded ’25 Años’ (25 Years), release that represents the end of a long process of collective creation.  In 2015, the band recruited two young but talented musicians: Julio Zavala (bass) and Cesar ‘Pudy’ Ballumbrosio (percussion, violin and Afro-Peruvian tap).  The same year recorded “Perujazz Magico” featuring Alex Acuña and Abraham Laboriel and published their memories in the book “Chincha Saudita, el viaje musical de Perujazz”. In 2016, Madrid-based label Munster Records, reissued the album “Verde Machu Picchu” recorded in the 80’s at RAI studios in Italy and closed the year with concerts in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. In 2019, “Perujazz Magico – The Movie” was screened at the 23rd Edition of Festival de Cine de Lima and since then, the band has been waiting patiently for their comeback to stages until the next European tour which starts in early 2023.  

Band Line Up

Jean-Pierre Magnet (saxophones)
Andres Prado (guitar)
Manongo Mujica (drums and percussion)
Julio Zavala (bass)
Cesar Pudy Ballumbrosio (percussion, violin, and zapateo)