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Background information
OriginUnited States, Philippines
GenresWorld music[1]
Years active2008-present
LabelsMCA Music Inc. (Philippines)
Associated actsJohnny Alegre AFFINITY, Rubber Inc, Cambio, Eheads, Joey Ayala, Fuseboxx, Electric Kulintang
Johnny Alegre, Susie Ibarra, Cynthia Alexander, Roberto Juan Rodriguez, Malek Lopez, Abby Clutario
Current members:
Johnny Alegre, Abby Clutario, Kris Gorra Dancel, Rodney Vidanes, Zach Lucero, Deej Rodriguez

HUMANFOLK[2] is the musical collaboration and concept band of guitarist-composer Johnny Alegre with the New York–based Fil-Am percussionist Susie Ibarra[3] and her husband, drummer Roberto Juan Rodriguez, together with the multi-instrumentalist Cynthia Alexander and the electronica exponent Malek Lopez. This collective is a pioneering effort marking the convergence in a contemporary Philippine setting of multiple musical idioms (jazz, rock, electronic music, kulintang, agung and indigenous percussion, with Iberian and folk music influences). The group's name is a deliberate conjoining of the words "human" and "folk", akin to "menfolk" and "womenfolk", without prejudice to gender and frequently set in all caps to distinguish it from a dictionary term.


The band started as a collaboration of musicians in the summer of 2008.[4] The introduction of Alegre, Ibarra and Rodriguez at the United States Embassy in Manila spurred a series of musical and social interactions. The impetus culminated in the recording sessions for the "Humanfolk Suite", a world music cycle composed by Alegre, for which Alexander and Lopez completed the HUMANFOLK quintet. Towards October 2008, the threesome of Alegre, Alexander and Lopez performed a live semi-improvised score for a short, silent film by Sasha Palomares, entitled Une Femme Andalouse, which was awarded the KODAK Best 16 mm Experimental Film in that year by the Kodak Filmschool Competition. They were subsequently invited to perform at the 4th Philippine International Jazz & Arts Festival in February 2009, and a live collaborative performance with the Australian didgeridoo virtuoso William Barton in January 2010, that also introduced vocalist-keyboardist Abby Clutario as a new principal member of the group. These appearances and many others that followed led to the release by MCA Music (Universal Music Group) of Humanfolk's eponymous album in May 2011.[5][6]

In 2012, Humanfolk was conferred an Awit Award for the song "Para Sa Tao", as Best World Music Recording by the Philippine Association of the Record Industry (PARI).[7] Upon the exodus of two founding members, Cynthia Alexander[8] (for the United States) and Malek Lopez (for Singapore), Alegre and Clutario have continued as Humanfolk's principal members in a configuration described as Mark II, which was introduced in 2013 before international audiences in Singapore's Mosaic Music Festival and Malaysia's Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival.[1] In the Philippines, the group performed at the 2nd CCP International Jazz Festival in September 2013,[4][9][10] and recorded the promotional EP, Ephipany. In January 2015, the group performed in India at the Saarang International Cultural Festival organized by IIT Madras.[2] Towards the end of 2015, the group was joined by vocalist and rhythm guitarist Kris Gorra Dancel; and session percussionist Deej Rodriguez. This expanded group, described as Mark III, recorded the year-end Extended Play album, Naglalarong Ilaw, an independent released venture.


Principal members[edit]

Mark II[edit]

Mark III[edit]


Year Title Label Type
2011 Humanfolk MCA Universal Studio album
2011 Para Sa Tao (radio edit) Single
2014 Epiphany[11] Independently released Extended play
2015 Naglalarong Ilaw


  1. ^ a b "Humanfolk". All About Jazz. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Humanfolk launches "Countdown to Saarang"". National Commission for Culture and the Arts. NCCA. 20 October 2014. Archived from the original on 24 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ "The Epiphany of Humanfolk". Rogue Magazine Philippines. Rogue Media Inc. 31 January 2013. Archived from the original on 24 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ a b "2nd CCP International Jazz Festival to be held from September 17–22". Yahoo! Celebrity Philippines. 12 September 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  5. ^ Albano, Lou (11 May 2011). "Humanfolk Rhapsody". Status Magazine. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Music Review: Humanfolk by Humanfolk". FHM Philippines. 12 May 2011. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 28 December 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^ "MCA music artists honored at 25th Awit Awards". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Philippines. 5 December 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  8. ^ Bautista, Christian Brazil (23 June 2012). "Cynthia Alexander's intimate send-off". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Philippines. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  9. ^ "Johnny Alegre brings Jazz further on Radar". Manila Bulletin. Philippines. 11 September 2013. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  10. ^ "2nd CCP International Jazz Festival to be held from September 17–22". Cultural Center of the Philippines. 28 August 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
  11. ^ Arcellana, Juaniyo (3 November 2014). "Chennai, Memphis, Bavaria". The Philippine Star. Philippines. Retrieved 24 December 2014.

External links[edit]