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Hector "Tito" Matos Discusses Puerto Rican Community [Interview Video]
In 1994, master Puerto Rican plena drummer Hector "Tito" Matos emigrated to New York City and encountered there a vibrant Puerto Rican cultural revival occurring in neighborhoods such as the South Bronx. Matos soon became a part of this movement himself, joining Los Pleneros de la 21, a non-profit performance group founded to celebrate Puerto Rican traditions and to increase appreciation of bomba, plena, and other Afro-Puerto Rican artistic genres. In late 2003, Matos returned to Puerto Rico, where he continues to perform and involve himself in the musical traditions of his homeland. In this video, he discusses the importance of teaching music to younger generations in local communities. '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." Héctor Matos Facebook: 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:
51 sec
YouTube Keywords:
music folk "Woody Guthrie" "Pete Seeger" Smithsonian Folkways old-time non-profit
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