At the age of 18, Raydel Marquez (better known as DJ Warapo) was already being recognized by the world as the youngest Cuban music DJ. Born and raised in Southern California, home to the third largest exiled Cuban community in the U.S., DJ Warapo was introduced to his musical roots at a very young age thanks to Reynaldo “Papito” Marquez, DJ Warapo’s father. During his childhood DJ Warapo’s home was often visited by the exiled journalist and music historian Luis Tamargo, who frequently brought along various distinguished Cuban musicians, including but not limited to reedman Paquito D’Rivera, trombonist Lázaro González (of Los Van Van fame), bassist Edgar Hernández, bassist Carlitos del Puerto, drummer Jimmy Branly, trumpeter Luis Eric González, and singer/percussionist Tony Alba.
By the age of 12, DJ Warapo began to play several Cuban percussion instruments. His conga-playing skills were refined during subsequent trips to his parent’s hometown, the rhythmically wealthy Cuban seaport of Matanzas, where he studied with master Luisito Cansino Morales (current member of Los Muñequitos de Matanzas).
DJ Warapo’s objective has always been to ensure that Cuban music receives the worldwide attention and recognition it truly deserves. His admirable commitment has been consistently revealed throughout the years. DJ Warapo has opened the shows of prominently respected Cuban bands such as Los Van Van, Charanga Habanera, Havana D’ Primera, Mayimbe, Manolin, Klimax, Los Aldeanos, Issac Delgado, Timbalive and the legendary Orquesta Aragon, and has also been a part of major west coast events such as the Long Beach Cuban Festival, The Echo Park Cuban Festival, San Diego Cuban Dance Congress and the San Francisco Rueda Festival (regarded as the “Largest Cuban Music Festival in the U.S”).
His representation of Cuban music has also awarded him the opportunity to be invited to participate in the biggest festivals in Cuba such as Havana Salsa Congress, Festival De La Salsa, and Festival De La Timba. In LA he consistently collaborates with multiple L.A-based bands such as Calixto Oviedo, Rumbankete and Clave Dura.
In 2011 the birth of Warapo Productions surged when he produced some of the top Cuban musical tours and concerts working with Maykel Blanco Y Su Salsa Mayor, Havana D’ Primera and Issac Delgado. The amount of support felt by the public and musicians worldwide inspired DJ Warapo to take the next step in his career and create Warachando Records. The launch of his record label in 2018 began with nonetheless Cuban artist Yasser Ramos y El Tumbao Mayombe and now Lachy Y La Suprema Ley.
DJ Warapo continuous commitment is to share with the world the music of his culture and the rhythm that brings life to so many people across continents. It's always to find new ways to help his culture grow well as him inspire a new generation of Cuban music DJs to follow.