(2012) Mission District Young Musicians Program. Conga player, composer and educator Javier Cabanillas is most recognized for his recording and touring work as conga player for GRAMMY-Award Winner Pacific Mambo Orchestra. Cabanillas started his musical career in the marginalized areas of Tijuana, Mexico. National and international travel landed him studies at San Diego State University and The Jazzschool Institute in Berkeley.
Cabanillas has performed for television programs, festivals, and prestigious venues and has been featured in various magazines, newspapers and website articles for his playing, teaching, touring and recording contributions in the genres of Tropical, Latin Jazz and World Music. Cabanillas enjoys sharing historical, traditional and technical styles with his students that lead up to an ensemble and performance setting. He then builds his students’ confidence, providing them a safe place to make mistakes and challenges them to listen and play from their hearts. Cabanillas has taught in private music education systems in Mexico and from kindergarten-high school in the California public schools. Also speaks Spanish.