Sebastian Guerrero's background is a true example of the American cultural experience. He was born in Brazil to a Peruvian father, American mother and raised in New Jersey. As an artist, he honors the many cultures that influence him through his music. Sebastian has studied with master percussionists in New Orleans, New York City, Cuba, Brazil and Peru, giving him a broad musical vocabulary. He is an experienced performer on drumset, Latin percussion, and classical percussion.
Sebastian was drawn to the percussion instruments and rhythms of his birthplace at an early age. His interest in Brazilian percussion took him to Salvador, Bahía, Brazil to study with Afro-Brazilian masters from the dance and drum troupe, “Bale Folclórico da Bahía”. His passion for African Diaspora music also led him to Perú to study the unique percussive instruments played in the Afro-Peruvian tradition. In a small farming village off the coast of Chincha, Perú, Sebastian had the honor of living, studying and performing with the Ballumbrosio family, Peru’s foremost authority on the Afro-Peruvian tradition. He has lived in Perú for extended periods studying the art of the Peruvian "cajón" (box drum) and the unique tap dance tradition called "zapateo." In 2003 Sebastian was made an initiated member and dancer of the historic zapateo group “Los Negritos del Carmen de Amador Ballumbrosio." He has danced numerous times in the important Christmas celebrations in the surrounding villages of Chincha, Perú.
Sebastian has also traveled to Cuba to study with members of “Danza Contemporanea de Cuba” as well as with “Grupo Afro-Cuba de Matanzas”. In the US, he has continued his studies with various Afro-Cuban musicians including masters such as Roman Diaz, Michael Spiro, and Regino Jimenez. He has performed Cuban music with ”Los Afortunados”, “Oriki Omi Odara”, and his own group “Grupo Ara Oko”. Sebastian was awarded the 2001-2002 Folklife Apprenticeship Grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts for the study of Afro-Cuban ceremonial drumming. He is an initiated drummer in the bata drumming tradition under master drummer Roman Diaz.
Sebastian is very active as a freelance percussionist and clinician in the New York area. He has recorded, performed and toured with many artists such as Culture Club, Meshell Ndegeocello, Boy George, Cyndi Lauper, Princeton University Chapel Orchestra, Aguadulce Dance Theater, The Chesterfields, Katy Pfaffl Band, Tres del Solar, Grupo Pinta y Canela, and Sura Percussion Ensemble. His Broadway debut was as a feautered on-stage percussionist with the ballroom dance spectacular, Burn the Floor. Other Broadway credits include, On Your Feet, the Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan and the 2018 Tony award winner for best revival musical, Once On This Island. Sebastian continues to work with long time collaborating partner, Javier Diaz, in the Kalunga Project. Sebastian is also a full time member of the band, Pistolera, and it’s bilingual kid’s music alter ego, Moona Luna.
As a teacher, Sebastian has served on the music faculty of The Pennington School, Lawrenceville School, Hamilton Park Montessori School and is currently teaching upper school music at The Peck School in Morristown, NJ. He is a fully certified Orff music instructor having completed levels 1-3. Within the realm of early childhood music, Sebastian has trained in "Music Together" and has taught "Music Together" classes at Appleseeds and Eastside Westside Music Together, both in NYC.