The band's leader has always been singer, guitarist, and songwriter Gonzalo Hermosa González, who formed the band with his brothers Elmer Hermosa González and Ulises Hermosa González, as well as Gastón Guardia Bilboa and Ramiro de la Zerda. De la Zerda left group to form Grupo Fortaleza and Ulises Hermosa died of cancer in 1992, being replaced by Eduardo Yáñez Loayza, Rolando Malpartida Porcel and José Luis Morales Rodríguez. By 2002, Lin Angulo, Gonzalo Hermosa González, Jr., and Japanese-born Makoto Shishido had replaced Yáñez, Porcel, and Rodríguez. Makoto joined the band after seeing them play in Japan. In the later 2000s, Elmer Hermosa was diagnosed with diabetes. In 2010, Edwin Castellanos, who was in the band from 1983 to 1998, became mayor of the city of Cochabamba.
Kjarkas have founded two schools teaching Andean folk music: the Musical School of Kjarkas and La Fundación Kjarkas. They have toured across Japan, Europe, Scandinavia, the United States, South America, and Australia, and have composed over 350 songs. Among their most popular are "Imillitay", "El Final", "Canto a la mujer de mi pueblo", and "Pequeno Amor".
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