“Where would the contemporary bomba and plena be without Gary Nunez of Plena Libre” (5 Star Review)
– The New York Post
“…a mad weave of polyrhythms that simply sizzle.” – The Boston Herald
Four-Time Grammy Nominee Plena Libre is the Music of Puerto Rico as it should be experienced live!! Captivating and moving audiences over the course of a fifteen-year, thirteen-album career, this fine-tuned 10-piece Puerto Rican-based ensemble of virtuoso musicians has only gotten better with age, as evidenced by their four recent Grammy nominations. Plena Libre has created an all-new exciting repertoire along with new choreography, compelling new stories told from the stage between songs, and an overall presentation sure to win the hearts of both aficionados and newcomers to their sound. Plena Libre infuses their contemporary Caribbean compositions with a deep sense of the unique indigenous musical traditions, known as plena and bomba, which developed on the island over a century ago.
Unlike salsa bands, who usually only have two singers, Plena Libre features five vocalists singing in lush three and four part harmonies; a musical representation of a traditional community gathering. Further giving their live performances a memorable standout quality, occasionally, the entire band will vocalize the percussion parts of the plena, creating an a cappella polyphonic polyrhythm.
These artistic choices drive home the core of the tradition in an aesthetic that appeals to broad audiences and aficionados alike. With an aggressive, tight, yet sensitive style, which balances the traditional with the contemporary, the global and the local, Plena Libre creates a brand of music and live performance that is both profoundly Puerto Rican and universally appealing. One of the hottest tropical bands today, known for their high-energy show and hard-driven Puerto Rican rhythms. Plena Libre is considered the Ambassadors of the Puerto Rican afrorican music, Plena and Bomba. plenalibre.com
In 2011, Segundo Ruiz Belviz Cultural Center began the avant-garde and innovative project CAPRE — Chicago’s first Afro-Puerto Rican Orchestra. There are very few Bomba and Plena orchestras in Puerto Rico and abroad and most of them have fused these genres with the Salsa sound and orchestration and other Latin-American rhythms.
CAPRE’s innovative musical concept and sound goes beyond anything else ever produced. This ensemble is under the leadership of new musical and artistic director, Bomba and Plena elder Jorge Emmanuelli Náter of HERMANOS EMMANUELLI NÁTER.
Be ready for the true evolution of Bomba and Plena using familiar elements of genres like jazz, blues, rock, gospel, West African, and more, while the ancestral rhythms and songs of the island stand strong as the driving force of this new and historically innovative Boricua musical concept.