Kantuta International Entertainers


Dividing Bar


Kantuta the sacred flower of the Incas which grows at high altitude in the beautiful Andes mountains of South America.


Finn Scholes Miguel Fuentes Ben Figueroa Karl Benton Cameron McKenzie Hernan Chico Zarate Introducing Kantuta
From left to right:
Coco Santana - Congas, Finn Scholes - Trumpet, Miguel Fuentes - Timbales / Percussion, Ben Figueroa - Vocals / Percussion, Karl Benton - Piano, Cameron McKenzie - Saxophone, Hernan Chico Zarate - Guitar / Vocals

'International Entertainers'

Kantuta 'international entertainers' are based in Auckland, New Zealand.  Kantuta 'the Latin sensation' is inspired by the musical influences of the groups varied cultural backgrounds. Kantuta perform a unique style of modern Latino Music and rhythms including Salsa, Merengue, Modern LatinDance Tunes and Classic Latin Favourites.

Kantuta is New Zealand’s Top Latin dance band achieving both Gold and Platinum Records.

Kantuta have performed Internationally Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Australia, and the Pacific.

Kantuta in the park

Kantuta have 3 Albums available in the New Zealand Music market which are called; Kantuta, Pacifico, Fiesta. These all have accompanying Music Videos for each of the three albums.

Kantuta are 5 musicians and can be up to 7 Musicians depending upon the style of show, and can include any number of LatinDance Performers for a Fantastic Latin Floorshow.

Kantuta has numerous appearances to their credit throughout New Zealand, including Corporate Functions across all professions, City Performances, International Sports Fixtures, Street Mardi Gras, Club/Hotel Shows and Dinners, School Balls and Showcase Auditorium Performances, Weddings, Product Launches etc.

Kantuta are all professional entertainers ready to deliver a Show that you won't forget!!

Kantuta have introduced LatinMusic and LatinDance to New Zealand.

Kantuta’s first album self titled 'Kantuta' and released in 1992 and achieved both Gold and Platinum Albums within New Zealand. 

Kantuta's second album 'Pacifico' released in 1993 was the first Salsa, Tropical Music Album ever recorded and written within New Zealand.  Featuring original Salsa Music written by Kantuta member Chico Zarate from Colombia also includes authentic Latin Percussion arrangements by Kantuta member Miguel Fuentes from Puerto Rico, and original Merengues from Chilean member Eduardo Diaz.  'Pacifico' was released within Latin America in countries including Mexico, Colombia, Chile.  Pacifico Album also contained a ChaChaCha version of the Famous New Zealand band Dragon’s hit 'April Sun in Cuba.'

Since introducing Tropical LatinMusic to New Zealand, Kantuta have continued working hard with regular weekly performances throughout New Zealand including many trips to International Destinations as well.

Kantuta’s 3rd Album ‘Fiesta’ was released in 1997, the album contains some familiar LatinDance Tunes this album continues to sell well within New Zealand, and has sold well in International destinations.

Kantuta's first 2 Albums, were made under contract to EMI Records, Our 3rd Album is distributed by EMI Records but is owned by Kantuta.

Kantuta have always made the effort to showcase LatinDance and incorporate Performances and Showcases by dancers within Kantuta's live shows, music videos and TV appearances.

Wherever we can Kantuta includes Live Dance performances such as in Street Mardi-Gras, festivals, dinners, balls etc. throughout New Zealand.  Placing Latin dancers in environments where the art form becomes recognised.  As a result of educating and informing New Zealanders of the differing types of LatinMusic and accompanying LatinDance movements Kantuta have helped increase an overall awareness and a new found love and passion of all things Latin (In a New Zealand way.)

KANTUTA presented and produced The New Zealand Salsa LatinDance Competitions for 15 years which was a celebration of LatinMusic and LatinDance within New Zealand. This event supported the development of New Zealand's leading LatinDance performers.

Kantuta the band

How did Kantuta start?

Two Chilean brothers, whom had moved to New Zealand after they had left their home country Chile, formed Kantuta in 1983.  Kantuta was formed in New Zealand to keep the music and cultures of the groups members alive and in the public attention.  The group originally included members from Chile, Peru, Boliva and performed music from these countries including Andean music which included instruments such as the pan flute, guitar, charango (small instrument like a ukulele) and an instrument called a Bombo drum to drive the beat.

Kantuta performed hundreds of concerts for charities, cultural events, Street events etc. up until 1988 when they decided to take a rethink.

In 1989 the group reformed with a new attitude and the ambition to modernise the beats of  in a New Zealand way an to expand its audience and to appeal to all New Zealanders as New Zealand was fast becoming a multi-national country as is obvious within society today.  The aim musically was to include the original instrumentation and add elements such as modern drums, percussion, keyboards, saxophones, trumpets, guitars etc. also keeping lyrics in Spanish and adding English and or other languages such as French, Brasilian as representative of the nationalities of Kantuta members at the time.

The line-up of members today in Kantuta include the original members Cameron McKenzie (NZ), Hernan 'Chico' Zarate (Colombia), Miguel Fuentes (Puerto Rico) whom have been part of the modern Kantuta since 1989.

Introducing Kantuta

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