Plena Libre (Free Plena) is a four-time Grammy nominated, contemporary Plena band that is renewing Puerto Rican Folk traditions for new generations.
Multi-Grammy nominee Plena Libre plays contemporary Puerto Rican Plena for Carnegie Hall Citywide at Riverbank State Park in Hamilton Heights, West Harlem on Sat, Apr 30 at 5pm. FREE. carnegiehall.org 🇵🇷
The band blends traditional Puerto Rican Plena rhythms with modern Afro-Caribbean influences in their contemporary compositions. They mix a hard-hitting horn section, master hand drummers, and lush vocal harmonies into a modern blend.
The band plays some Bomba and Jíbaro folk music too, but mostly Plena. They’ve toured the world from Morocco to California and everywhere in between, and recorded with some of the biggest names in Latin music, including Eddie Palmieri, Papo Lucca (La Sonora Ponceña), and Nestor Torres.
Over the course of a 30-year, 15-album career, bandleader Gary Nuñez and his orchestra have revived the once-dormant Plena sound for a new generation, electrifying audiences with a dazzling spectacle of horns, drums, and dance.
Plena Libre Band Members
This is the 2022 lineup:
- Bassist and producer Gary Nuñez has led the band since 1994.
- Bassist Luisga Nuñez sings and plays percussion.
- Composer Victor Vélez sings and plays hand drums.
- Drummer Rafel “Rafi” Falu plays requinto, the lead hand drum.
- Singer Miguel De Jesús sings and plays cuatro (Puerto Rican guitar).
- Composer Alex López plays hand drums.
Plena Libre Albums
The band has released 15 albums and earned four Grammy Award nominations.
Mas Libre (2001) earned a Latin Grammy nomination for “Best Tropical Traditional Album.”
Mi Ritmo (2003) was nominated for a Grammy and Latin Grammy as “Best Tropical Traditional Album.”
Evolucion (2006) was nominated for a Latin Grammy for “Best Tropical Traditional Album.”
Plena Libre in NYC
Plena Libre plays traditional Puerto Rican rhythms – plena and bomba – with modern Caribbean influences for the World Music Institute at SOB’s, Sounds of Brazil in Hudson Square, Manhattan (West SoHo) on Sunday, September 16, 2018 at 8 pm. Doors at 7 pm. $20
Coverage of Plena Libre has been sponsored by the World Music Institute and Carnegie Hall. Thank you!