Efren Guzman Jr. (“Chiquis”) was born in Mexico City. He attended the National Conservatory of Music and began his early studies as a drummer with his father. He came to the USA as a scholarship student and a protégé of Paul Guerrero (Stan Kenton’s drummer) at Richland College in Dallas where he performed as a drummer and pianist and later studied at the University of North Texas, where he distinguished himself as a drummer and percussionist under the tutelage of Prof. Ed Soph, Dr. Robert Schietroma, Randy Drake, Kalman Cherry (principal timpanist Dallas Symphony) and Doug Howard (principal percussionist, Dallas Symphony). He was also a member of the UNT chamber and symphony orchestras under the direction of former Philadelphia orchestra concertmaster and conductor Dr. Anshel Brusilow. His amazing musical skills were later enhanced when he participated in master-classes with some of the best drummers/percussionists in the world: Vinnie Colaiuta (drummer for Grammy award winner STING), Peter Erskine, Dennis Chambers, Jack Dejonette, Hollywood and LA studio artist Alex Acuna, the legendary Grammy award winner Tito Puente, Don Famularo, and has shared the stage with world renown percussionists Luis Conte and Giovanni Hidalgo.
He toured the USA and Canada as a member of the Grammy nominated “One O’Clock Jazz Band” in 1991. He has recorded with artists such as Armando Manzanero, Arturo Castro, OV7, Edith Marquez, the Jarocho Project and Enrique Nery among many others and has been featured in live performances with Eugenia Leon, Alejandra Guzman, OV7, Andrea Bocelli, Steve Amerson, Marvin Hamlisch, Arturo Castro, Emmanuel and Mexican mega pop star Alejandro Fernandez with whom he recorded his last DVD in 2011. Today, he is the drummer of Mexican pop artist Reyli Barba and performed for the “Latin American Grammy Awards” in Las Vegas, November, 2011. It is his amazing flexibility and impeccable musicianship that sets him apart as a performer, since he is equally gifted as a classical timpanist/classical percussionist as he is playing Latin Jazz, Salsa and Mambo styles, traditional Jazz, Broadway shows, church cantatas, big-band, small Jazz ensembles, circus shows, studio recordings and much more. He has toured Venezuela, Chile, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, the USA and Spain. Efren also toured Europe and Japan as a drummer with the internationally known Perez Prado Mambo Orquestra for several years. In addition, he is a known pianist, arranger and composer.