Neftalí Rivera and Grupo Borikuas Bring Island Rhythms to the Walters

Passionate and prolific musicians with over two decades performing in the Northwest, Neftalí Rivera & Grupo Borikuas will take the stage at the Walters Cultural Arts Center (527 E. Main St., Hillsboro) on Friday, April 19, at 7:30 p.m. Borikuas members Ramón Cancel, Victor Pizarro, Martín Velez, and Neftalí Rivera capture the essence of Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Afro-Caribbean rhythms. Bright and charismatic performers, they bring their passion for their heritage, music, and culture to the stage. Tickets for this performance are $12 advance or $16 the day of show.

Rivera inherited his musical talent from a long line of musicians and performers. “Everything around the house was full of music!” he said. “I come from a very large family, most of them musicians, including my father and grandfather…Very often we had family gatherings where everyone would play their instruments and show their progress.” Rivera began performing for audiences 50 years ago, and founded Grupo Borikuas in 1996 with original members Gerardo Varga, Victor Pizarro, and José Padin. Perceiving a void in the region’s cultural landscape, the group formed with the goal of promoting their musical heritage in the Northwest. “Little was known about the origin of our music,” said Rivera, “how it started, where it came from…[or about] our people and our culture at that time.”

Many of Rivera’s songs are dedicated to the island of Puerto Rico, and tell of the island’s beauty, culture, and people. Rivera’s own family have also provided inspiration, as he draws upon daily life experiences shared with his wife and children. Grupo Borikuas’ music conveys a rich poetic lineage, moving fluidly between love, loss, and joy, and covering an impressive repertoire that includes genres from a variety of Latin American cultures.

The concert at the Walters “will include a compilation of the most popular songs from Puerto Rico and Cuba that people have requested thought the years,” said Rivera. A Northwest treasure, they are sure to fill your heart and move your feet.

More information about this performance and the 2018-19 Concert Series is available at and tickets can be purchased online at, by calling 503-615-3485, or in person at 527 E. Main St., Hillsboro. Concert concessions available from Longbottom Coffee and Tea. This concert is presented with thanks to series sponsor, Aloft Hillsboro-Beaverton.