Born in Lima, Peru, in 1968, Roberto "Chino" Bolanos’ first musical influences were his grandfather Pepe Bolanos, and his brother. He immigrated to the United States in 1981, and soon after joined the Peruvian trio, Elegancia Peruana, to play cajon in venues throughout the New York City area. Around that time, Chino also played with world-renown Peruvian singers such as Lucila Campos, Lucia Dela Cruz, and Pepe Vasquez among others.
In 1990, Chino performed with Lalo Rodriguez and Paquito Guzman, and soon after, accompanied Nacho Sanabria, Marvin Santiago, Luisito Carrion, Ray Ruiz, and Ismael Miranda, to name just a few.
Chino has performed several times at the New York Latin ACE Awards, and in 2001, he toured internationally with Henry Threadgill at such prestigious musical events as the Vinnie Jazz Festival in France, North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands and Verona Jazz Festival in Italy. He has also toured with Orlando Rios Puntilla in Switzerland and performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
Chino’s recording highlights include such top Latin artists as Jose Alberto, Alfredo de la Fe and Santiago Ceron. In 2012, he recorded an album with his group, Kambalache Negro, and is currently touring throughout South America and Europe.