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Viento de Agua Perform Traditional Bomba [Live at Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2004]
Watch Viento de Agua perform a traditional bomba with dancers Melanie Maldonado and Roberto Cepeda at the 2004 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Bomba is percussion-driven music created by enslaved Africans in Puerto Rico during the 17th century. To them, bomba was a source of political and spiritual expression. The lyrics conveyed a sense of anger and sadness about their condition, and songs served as a catalyst for resistance and uprisings. But bomba also moved them to dance and celebrate, helping them create community and identity. The music evolved through contact between slave populations from different Caribbean colonies and regions. As a result, bomba now has sixteen different rhythms to mark the pace of the singing and dance. This performance demonstrates the gracimá and hoyoemula rhythms. Read more on the history of bomba: 'Viento de Agua Unplugged: Materia Prima' is available on CD and digital. Stream/download/purchase: Smithsonian Folkways: Spotify: The bomba and plena heard on this recording are the materia prima (raw material) of today's two most African Puerto Rican musical traditions. When its dynamic leader Tito Matos created the group Viento de Agua ("Wind of Water"), he vowed to keep alive the "streetcorner sound" of the plena, music rooted in the lives of ordinary people. Viento de Agua Unplugged plays the stripped-down, straight-ahead version of his music, foregrounding its essence—the sound of unbridled percussion, underscoring lyrics that proclaim local topics. In these performances by veterans of bomba and plena, Tito proves his claim that "There is no way to create if you don't have the roots." Viento de Agua: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Smithsonian Folkways: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: The content and comments posted here are subject to the Smithsonian Institution copyright and privacy policy ( Smithsonian reserves the right in its sole discretion to remove any content at any time.
Video Duration:
56 sec
YouTube Keywords:
music folk "Woody Guthrie" "Pete Seeger" Smithsonian Folkways old-time non-profit
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Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
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