Grupo Folklorico y Experimental Nuevayorquino was an idea created at the Gildersleeve Avenue home of Andy and Jerry Gonzalez in the Bronx in the early ‘70s. Originally named El Conjunto Anabacoa, the group became the fifteen-piece ensemble known as Grupo Folklorico and performed several East Coast and New York area concerts. The original band included Manny Oquendo, Heny Alvarez, “Chocolate” Armenteros, Virgilio Marti, Gonzalo Fernandez, Willie Garcia, Frankie Rodriguez, Jose Rodrigues and Milton Cardona. Grupo’s sound captured the cultural melting pot of New York like no other orchestra of the day. A favorite at university campuses, festivals and arts centers, they performed at the Smithsonian Institute, Lincoln Center and President Carter’s Inaugural Ball. The group became a major cult band as a result of their performances and two recordings. More recently, Grupo Folklorico performed in 2007 in Berlin and in 2008 at Hostos and in Washington, D.C. at the American Folklife Festival honoring Rene Lopez's meritorious service for his affiliation of many years with the Smithsonian.