A Piece of Puerto Rican Bomba Music History


If you have less than 2 minutes and care about the Puerto Rican music rhythm of Bomba, here’s a great snippet of Bomba history.

A main Puerto Rican newspaper published a short article on 5 early influencers of Bomba. It was from these Bomba pioneers that more contemporary musicians like Rafael Cortijo and Modesto Cepeda learned about Bomba.

"Los Ayala" in a baile de bomba in Loiza, Puerto Rico
This painting from Loiza, P.R. artist Samuel Lind is titled “Los Ayala”, showing a scene of a traditional “baile de Bomba”.

For me the curious thing about this article is that I only knew the name of 1 of the 5 percussionists mentioned. I’m Puerto Rican and I have a Latin music blog, and although I don’t pretend to know more of music than the guy next door, I’m a bit of an amateur ethnomusicologist. Yet, in less time that it takes me to drink a cup of coffee, I learned a bit more about the Puerto Rican folkloric rhythm of Bomba.

I strongly believe that we need many more of these types of informative articles about our Latino cultural heritage. That’s a big part of why I started this Latin music blog; because I see a lack of information and dialog about our rich musical and cultural heritage. And this is a big part of our identities as Latinos.

So I hope that while you sip your next cup or “pocillo” of café con leche or café negro, you take a couple of minutes to read through the article I share below. You’ll be done with the article before you finish your café, and then you’ll have something else to share with the next generation of Latinos.

I hope you like it. Here it is: “Alegría y bomba e’ en la placita de Santurce

Note: this images in this blog are from painting by the great artist from Loiza, Puerto Rico Samuel Lind. You can find more of his beautiful paintings HERE.

Below is a short news video clip of the legacy of one of the 5 pioneers of Bomba mentioned in the article; this one of Rafael Cepeda Atiles.

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