Sundays (January 10 thru May 29)*
11:30am–12:30pm Intermediate (Closed Registration)
1:00–2:00pm Beginners (Drop-ins welcome)
*No Class: Jan. 24, Mar. 27, Apr. 24, May 29
Beginning Class Cost:
Packages for Beginning Class:
$44 for 4 drop-in classes (To be used by the end of current semester)
$100 for 10 classes (To be used by the end of current semester)
Package payments are due the first day the student attends class.
Intermediate Class Cost:
TBA - Full Semester
Registration for intermediate will class will be at 11am on Sunday, September 13th. Class size is limited.
Please Note: For the intermediate class, we ask for a commitment to the full semester.
Class Overview and Descriptions
Puerto Rican Bomba, as we know it today, was born on the sugar cane plantations of the Island. It’s the popular response formed in music and dance to the aristocracy. Through the rhythms, happiness, faith, suffering, and daily events were communicated through the Tradition. The Tradition was born on the coasts of Puerto Rico and, on the coasts, is where it’s said to sound best. The barriles (Bomba drums) or las Bombas is where the name for Bomba came from. “In Bomba, there are three or more buleadores (rhythm drums/drummers) and only one primo or subidor (lead drummer),” as told by Rafael Cepeda Atiles, El Patriarca de la Bomba (known as the Patriarch of Bomba).
At each class, participants will have the opportunity to learn the three basic rhythms of Bomba – Yubá, Sicá, and Holandés - along with the variations within these rhythms.
Participants will be able to:
• Identify the various instruments used in Bomba;
• Understand the language of the Bomba drum;
• Do the paseo or walk through the Batey (Bomba dance platform);
• Gain an understanding of the dynamic between the dancer and the lead drummer; and
• Understand the timing to use as a Bomba dancer.
As students progress in their understanding of the three basic rhythms, additional Bomba rhythms will be taught.
This class will be tailored to each dancer’s needs in order to take them to the next level of skill and style as a Bomba dancer in the Santurce style of Bomba. There will be a focus on Paseo, Postura, interpretation of piquetes and much more. This class will also involve some lectures and group discussion regarding the history and other key elements of Bomba.
JULIA CARIDAD CEPEDA MARTÍNEZ
Julia Caridad Cepeda Martínez was born on November 13, 1976 and is the daughter of Bomba Master Jesús Cepeda Brenes and Sonia Martínez. Julia is the granddaughter of the Puerto Rico’s patriarch of Bomba and Plena, best known as El Roble Mayor (The Elder Oak), Don Rafael Cepeda y Caridad Brenes. Julia was born into the cradle of the Cepeda Family, a family of artisans, musicians, dancers, and composers. The Cepeda Family has devoted themselves to the preservation of Puerto Rican folklore for many years. Julia is part of the sixth generation of Bomba practitioners in her family. Her father, Jesús Cepeda, best known as el Tambor Mayor (Elder Drum), is the director of the Rafael Cepeda Folkloric Cultural Foundation.
Julia Caridad made her debut performance in 1981 at the Center for Fine Arts in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in collaboration with the Ballet of San Juan in a piece directed by the distinguished Ana Garcia. In 1982, Julia was featured in the documentary El Patriarca (The Patriarch), which told the history and significance of Puerto Rican folkloric culture. In 1983, she traveled with her family to Washington DC where they were presented with the National Heritage Fellowship Award by the National Endowment for the Arts granted by the Smithsonian Institute. At that time, all of members of the Cepeda family were given a certificate of recognition by the, then, President Ronald Reagan. In 1985, Julia was part of a cultural exchange that included Cuba’s Irakere, Rey Barreto, and the Cepeda Family on the island of Guadalupe. Since then, Julia Caridad has continued to nurture her position as a part of the Bomba tradition along with her family having taught dance classes, participating in collaborations and presenting publically with international artists including Paul Simon, Ricky Martin, Robby Dracco, Wilkins, Manny Manuel, among others. In 1996, she was brought to New York to teach Bomba classes, demonstrating the various rhythms of Bomba. She also helped found the Proyecto Dos Alas (Two Wings Project). In 2000, along with her family, she toured 25 U.S states presenting Bomba and Plena throughout. Since then, Julia Caridad has been the principal instructor for the Rafael Cepeda Folkloric Cultural Foundation. In 2012 and 2013, Julia was part of a Puerto Rican television show titled Salsa, Bomba, y Plena. In 2013, she was invited to participate in the Paso Negro Foundation performance, directed by Oxil Febles, and performed alongside a group of female performers who are dedicated to the folkloric traditions of Puerto Rico.
Julia is a dedicated advocate of Puerto Rican culture and of the legacy of her Family. For that reason, she continues to share the traditions with new generations. She is also a poet and composer of Bomba music. She shares with you this quote by her grandfather, Rafael Cepeda, ʺMientras exista la Familia Cepeda, habrá Bomba y Plena para buen rato (While the Cepeda Family exists, there will be Bomba and Plena for much time to come.)” - Rafael Cepeda Atiles