Laura Robles (Cajón, Batás, Congas, E-Bass) was born in 1981 in Swaziland, Africa, and grew up in Lima. Already at 4 years of age, she made her first acquaintance with the rich Afro-Peruvian music tradition through the classes taught by Amador “Chebo” Ballumbrosio. Later, Juan Medrano “Cotito”, internationally known for his work with Susana Baca, took her under his wings. For ten years now, Laura herself has been considered one of the most important Peruvian players of the cajón, the main instrument of the folklore that developed under the influence of the slaves of West African descent.
At age 13, she was admitted at Susana Baca’s “Instituto Negro Continuo” and studied Cuban folklore and popular music, as well as the complex music of the Yoruba culture intensively. She was offered a scholarship/grant by the Berklee College Boston, which she declined in order to be able to dedicate herself to her own music.
She established the successful bands “Astrocombo” and “Stretch it to the Limit” as well as the socio-educational initiative “Parió Paula”, played with different theater and dance companies and some of the most renowned folklore, jazz and rock musicians in Peru – in Peru and at international festivals in Central and South America, the US and Spain, amongst others.
Continuously in search of expanding her horizon, she moved to Berlin in 2012, where she has been collaborating with Johannes Lauer, Joscha Oetz, Almut Kühne, Ahmed Soura, Uli Kempendorff, Greg Cohen, Simon Nabatov, Niels Klein, Pablo Held Trio, Wanja Slavin, Christian Weidner, Bodek Janke, MORF, DUS-TI, Berlin Art Orchestra and Lauer Large, amongst others. In the summer of 2012, she launched the Berlin version of her “Astrocombo” that won the studio prize of the city of Berlin in 2014.
Moreover, Laura Robles is a sought-after teacher; she has given countless classes and workshops in kindergardens, schools and universities (Universidad Peruana de Ciencias, Hochschule für Musik Dresden, Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln), amongst others.
“She hits the beat into unvarnished, wild sensuality. Laura Robles plays with the vigor of the earth.” (Wolfram Frommlet, SZ)