The Hostos Center proudly dedicates BomPlenazo 2010 to Ángel Luis Torruellas, a native of Mayagüez, who is the undisputed dean of pleneros on both the island and the mainland.
Once again, the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture joins forces with Centro Cultural Rincón Criollo, our principal and esteemed community partner. Also contributing to this celebration are our friends at the Longwood @ Hostos Art Gallery/Bronx Council on the Arts. We also acknowledge the invaluable contributions of our Hostos Community College partners, the Humanities Department and the Office of International Study, which have collaborated in a Creative Campus Project linking the Center's programming to the College's curriculum.
Las Casitas and Inauguration of the Festival
An updated remounting of the legendary Casitas exhibition produced twenty years ago by the Bronx Council on the Arts. The exhibition opened at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., traveled to Chicago and closed at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in 1991. This remounting will include elements of the original exhibition, as well as elements (photographs, found objects, video footage and musical instruments) reflecting the history of the legendaryCasita de Chema on Brooke Avenue in the Bronx which, for over 30 years, has served as an important forge and incubator of Puerto Rican culture in the Diaspora.
Pleneando con Los Instantáneos del Rincón Criollo
A community jam lead by the resident plena troupe from La Casita de Chema—plena as it was meant to be played and sung: street-corner style. Bring your instruments!
Los Tambores del Sarao ■ Segunda Quimbamba ■
Tito Cepeda y sus Estudiantes
Anthropoligist/writer Ramón López's group in a presentation opening the festival and honoring the legacy of Efraín Mon Rivera and Ángel Luis Torruellas with commentary by López himself – an ode to the two great pleneros from Mayagüez. ■ From New Jersey, the celebrated family-based bomba y plena ensemble directed by Juan Cartagena ■ Master bomba drummer Tito Cepeda is joined by vocalist Miriam Félix in a special program featuring many of the students Tito has mentored over the years.
Rumbacuembé ■ Alma Moyó
One of the most dynamic and innovative bomba and plena groups in the New York area under the direction of Alex LaSalle, native of the Mayagüez region ■ The powerhouse, multi-generational bomba and plena ensemble from the Moca/Mayagüez area under the direction of Ricky Soler, a rumbero originally from New York City who has instilled his rumba sensibilities to the troupe.
Yagüembé ■ Bambulá
Mayagüez's beloved bomba and plena group, representing several generations of virtuoso practitioners under the direction of the great drummer and dancer Don Papo Alers, whose family is paramount in the traditions ■The New York-based, all-woman bomba and plena troupe under the direction of Norka Nadal, scion of one of the great bomba families of Mayagüez who is joined by family members from Rumbacuembé.
Bomberos, Pleneros y BomPleneros
An afternoon of local and visiting groups, including Bombá-yó, José "Dr. Drum" Ortíz, director ■ Matthew y su Cumbalaya, Matthew González director ■ La Tribu de Juan Usera ■ And, direct from San Francisco, special guests Las Bomberas de la Bahía, the all-woman ensemble under the direction of Denise Solís.
Ángel Luis Torruellas ■ Los Pleneros de la 21 ■
Los Tambores de Félix Alduén
The dean of Puerto Rican pleneros accompanied by a special ensemble under the direction of virtuoso trombonist Papo Vázquez ■ One of the bomba and plena world's great treasures under the direction of National Heritage Fellow Juan Gutiérrez ■ Direct from Mayagüez, the young and dynamic plena ensemble named for the legendary Félix Alduén whose bomba and plena troupe was an incubator for many great practitioners from the region, José "Macho" Millán (grandson of Don Félix), director.
Vente-tú (block party, pig roast and jam)
An afternoon of jamming and continuous performances with all the participants at the revered Casita de Chema on Brook Ave. And 157 St. in the Bronx.
Oct 6, 7, 8 (W, Th, F), 5:30 – 7pm. Dance studio.
Norka Nadal, musical director of Bambulá, will conduct this workshop with her cousin,
Liz Saira Díaz Nadal, a member of the Rumbacuembé ensemble from Mayagüez.
The Art of Maskmaking
Oct 7 (Th), 5:30 pm. Hostos Art Gallery/Project Room
Benny Ayala offers a hands-on workshop on the Ponce style of vejigante mask-making. Appropriate for adults and children 8 and above.
Oct 7 (Th), 5:30 pm. Hostos Art Gallery
Artisan José "Chema" Soto and master bomba and plena practitioner José Riverafrom Los Pleneros de la 21 demonstrate the construction of barriles of bomba andpanderos of plena. (A selection of plena made by Chema are on display in the Longwood@Hostos Gallery.)
Los Pleneros de la 21 present Rumbacuembé…In the House
Oct 8 (F), 10am and 12pm (Venue to be announced)
Los Pleneros de la 21's children's series featuring the young bomba and plenapractitioners in Rumbacuembé (See Thurs pm concert), in an interactive lecture/demonstration for school children. Adm: $5. Reservations required. For info, call 212-427-5221, email@example.com
Béisbol and Plena: A Film Showing
Oct 8 (F), 5:30 p.m. Hostos Art Gallery
A showing of Los Indios de mi pueblo, a widely acclaimed documentary concieved and written by Roberto Mercado, which explores the relationship between professional baseball in Mayagüez and plena. Many of the great Puerto Rican players have been accomplished pleneros, including the legendary Mon Rivera.
La Casita Speaks Out
Oct 9 (S), 5:00 p.m. Hostos Art Gallery
Founding members and veterans of Centro Cultural Rincón Criollo (La Casita de Chema) speak out during a panel discussion on the history of La Casita and the role it has played in maintaining Afro-Puerto Rican culture in New York City. Participants will include José "Chema" Soto, Doris Asencio, Alex LaSalle, José Rivera, Norma Cruz and others. Discussion will be moderated by radio personality Felipito Palacios