Follow us into El Laberinto del Coco of Calle 13’s original percussionist Hector “Coco” Barez (NEA, Puerto Rican Cultural Institute and SXSW), and discover the living folk art of bomba.
The distinctly Puerto Rican drum, song and dance tradition from Mayagüez, is all about connecting with family, friends, community and our ancestral forces of nature. This blend of our African and Indigenous roots has become a core expression of contemporary Puerto Rican identity.
Sunday, June 27, 2021 at 7pm
richmond.edu 🇵🇷 Monday, February 22, 2021, FREE
El Laberinto Series on Puerto Rican Bomba Drummers 🇵🇷🎵
El Laberinto del Coco is Coco’s bomba jazz project to take bomba to the world. He is curating our bomba series. Up next is Ama Ríos, one of the first female bomba drummers in Puerto Rico and Tego Calderon’s touring music director. She also leads Émina, a sultry feminine Latin Alternative project.
In this series we are exploring more African and more Indigenous Jíbaro bomba traditions. We’ll also introduce you to the first families of bomba, the Cepeda Family of Villa Palmeras and the Ayala Family of Loíza.
Everybody loves bomba!
The Labyrinth is a reference to the Greek myth about the maze Daedalus built for King Minos to hold the Minotaur on the island of Crete. It represents the internal struggle between our better and worse natures.
The double axe is a symbol of the divinity of Cretian royalty. It is also a West African symbol of Changó, a great Yoruba king who is venerated as the orisha of thunder, lightning and war, but also of drumming, singing and dancing. He was a great dancer. Changó is loved across the Caribbean and the African diaspora. His double axe is a symbol of Caribbean musicians.
Many faiths use mazes for spiritual contemplation. They are often drawn as a spiral which symbolizes the journey of life and the ever-expanding consciousness of the forces of nature. Celts, Hindus and others drew spirals and so did the Indigenous Taíno of the Caribbean. Piedra escrita, the sacred petroglyph rock in the Puerto Rican heartland of Jajuya, is covered with spirals.
El Laberinto del Coco is the bomba jazz project of Héctor “Coco” Barez, Calle 13’s original percussionist (Puerto Rican Cultural Institute, NEA, SXSW). As guest curator he introduced us to Ama Ríos and her feminine Latin Alternative project Émina which grows from her work in bomba and Tego Calderon’s reggaeton.
Ven con nosotros al laberinto de otra isla en el centro del mar. “Dios mío, está lleno de estrellas.”