Bomba De Aqui

December 2, 2023 @ 8:00PM — 10:00PM Eastern Time (US & Canada)

The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts Center: 605 Main Street Middletown, CT 06457 Get Directions

Bomba De Aqui image

Bomba de Aqui is a 4-piece edition of the band Bombajazzeando.

The drumming is lively, loud and joyous. A dancer faces four drummers, who match her movements in sound. The trumpeter wails, the piano glides with him. Bombajazzeando is jazz plus Puerto Rican bomba — an African-based tradition of drums, singing and dancing. Jazz and bomba are both musics of connection. Musician with musician, and dancers, and the audience. The island and the mainland. There are smiles of recognition. The audience joins the dance.

Bombajazzeando is the joint effort of wife-and-husband team Brendalíz Cepeda and Saúl Peñalosa, and composer-percussionist Julian Gerstin. Brendalíz and Saúl are co-directors of the traditional bomba group Bomba de Aquí (Bomba Here), serving the huge Puerto Rican community of western Massachusetts and Connecticut. Julian, an afficionado of numerous Caribbean and African traditions, joined the group as a drummer. It was only a matter of time before he began adapting Bomba de Aquí’s traditional songs to a jazz setting. Julian has also composed new instrumental pieces, based on the many different bomba rhythms and giving space to the dancers. Rounding out Bombajazzeando are Bomba de Aquí’s dancers, drummers, and singers, all steeped in the tradition. The jazz musicians are among New England’s finest creative, the three horns anchored by pianist Eugene Uman and bassist Wes Brown.

In Bombajazzeando, the group’s Puerto Rican members display their pride in their heritage. The band innovates on a base of tradition; it brings new rhythms and ideas to jazz; it connects Latino and non-Latino worlds. In their daily life Brendalíz and Saúl teach bomba in school workshops and bring their tradition to weddings, parades, block parties, festivals, markets, and clubs. In Bombajazzeando they combine the power and community of tradition with the intensity and beauty of jazz. It is another connection.

Links: YouTube | EPK

This concert and other Buttonwood Tree events brought to you by our generous donors, volunteers, and the following organizations: