John Jairo Roldán, from Palmira, Valle is a Planner Manager, DJ, Percussionist, and General Director of the Colombian Comparsa La Cumbiamba. As a Planner Manager, John works during the day for one of the largest electronic companies in the Silicon Valley. As a DJ, he has offered his services for over 15 years at festivals, local clubs, and private events where his ample musical knowledge serves well the diversity of all his customers. John has been a Bongo player and percussionist in various local music bands in the bay area such as Pepe y su Orquesta Perú, Grupo Intensidad, Tambores de Colombia, y La Cumbiamba Colombiana. For him, music offers him a gateway to freedom liberating him from the day-today-routine. He loves the constant learning opportunity music offers him for personal and artistic growth. Since its foundation, John has served as the Director of the Colombian comparsa La Cumbiamba, John along with all the comparsa members, have shared the Colombian folklore and culture during Carnaval San Francisco achieving important recognition from the judges at Carnaval.
Giselle Cardenas is a graduate student at San Francisco State University. She was born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia and has been a part of La Cumbiamba Colombiana since 2016. Giselle has been performing in parades since she was 5 years old when she started dancing in El Carnaval de Barranquilla. She has been in different comparsas but her favorite rhythms are the Cumbia and Garabato. She is now one of the choreographers for La Cumbiamba Colombiana.
I’m 26 years old, I was born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia and I grew up living the Barranquilla Carnaval very close. Since I was a little girl, I was part of my school dance group and participated in different folklore competitions. I won the Queen of the Cumbia contest when I was 13 years old and of course this is my favorite rhythm. I am proud to share my knowledge in our choreography this year and I’m very excited to show all the people this beautiful dance of my region, our culture and tradition.