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Raiz de Bomba y Plena

Special Event

Raiz de Bomba y Plena

Thursday November 6 2014
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Silberman School of Social Work, Auditorium 2180 Third Avenue, NY





Join us on November 6 for a special event where artist and performer Jorge Arce will lead a discussion and demonstration about the origins of Puerto Rican bomba and plena. The presentation includes a historical overview of the music’s tradition, instrumentation and current performance practices in the United States. Professor Antonio Nadal, deputy director of the Department of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at Brooklyn College (CUNY) will be the discussant at this event. He specializes in teaching Latin American and Caribbean literature, pedagogy, bilingualism, in addition to the music and folklore of Puerto Rico. Nadal noted the importance of learning about these musical traditions as they “are part of the Afro-Puerto Rican artistic heritage that is often dismissed, or even ignored, by those who wish to emphasize only our European roots.” The presentation will start with an informative introduction to the origin of bomba and plena within the historical context of the Caribbean. It will be followed by an interactive demonstration of the various rhythmical patterns within those styles manifested through its instrumentation, singing and dance. “This event is designed with the community in mind, all are invited and all are welcome. This will be a multi-generational and interactive presentation where both academics and people from the community can learn and enjoy,” said Arce.

Since 1983, it has been Arce's mission to promote the bomba and plena musical traditions in Massachusetts and beyond. Over the last 30 years he has conducted workshops, classes, residency programs and performances at schools, festivals, community organizations and universities. Arce is also a cultural historian and researcher. Jorge Arce's early exposure to the bomba and plena in Puerto Rico helped him establish a direct relationship in the early 1970s with the Cepeda Family who are well known keepers of African musical traditions in the island. In 1979, he wrote, performed, directed, and choreographed the musical theater piece ‘Melodía en el Caño’ in collaboration with the Cepeda’s . This piece was broadcasted as a TV special and later recorded on the album ‘Tierra, Tierra’ (Arto Max Records, 1980) by Haciendo Punto en Otro Son, a renowned musical group of which Jorge Arce has been a member since 1978. Arce toured the United States from 1975 to 1982 as an actor and musician. His musical group Humano, founded in 1987, was awarded the Boston Music Award for Outstanding Latin Act in 1990. His cultural workshops and performances were programmed at more than 1000 schools, universities and educational centers.

To RSVP for this event contact centro.events@hunter.cuny.edu or call (212) 772-5714.

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