Los Pleneros de la 21

The music and dance of Puerto Rico are preserved through the performances of New York-based los Planeros De La 21. Formed in 1983 by Juan Gutierrez, the 12-piece ensemble spans three generations of Puerto Rican musicians, dancers, and artisans. With their complex, multi-part vocal harmonies set to the rhythms of hand-held plena drums and barrel-shaped bomba drums, the group resurrects the African-rooted bomba and plena musical styles of Puerto Rico. While Billboard praised the band for its "exhilaratingly deep Latino explorations of Afro-Caribbean grooves," the New York Times wrote, "the melodies are gorgeous and the tunes perfectly arranged, precise rhythms making way for singing or a drum section." ~ Craig Harris

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