Masters Workshop: Bomba de Loíza – Music and Dance w/Raúl Ayala & Marcos Peñaloza Pica

Masters Workshop: Bomba de Loíza – Music and Dance w/Raúl Ayala & Marcos Peñaloza Pica

Masters Workshops: Bomba de Loíza – Music & Dance
with Raúl Ayala & Marcos Peñaloza Pica

Sunday, April 8, 2018

12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Puerto Rican Cultural Center 701 Tillery St, Austin TX 78702

Every year, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center in Texas brings some of Puerto Rico’s top folklore experts and performers to Austin for a series of private classes to train our performing company and students.
For the first time, we are excited to offer everyone the opportunity to register for LIVE 2-hour Masters Workshops with experts on the African-influenced Bomba music and dance traditions of Loíza, Puerto Rico. This year’s workshops are taught by two of the most respected Bomba teachers in the world–Raúl Ayala and Marcos Peñaloza Pica.

Register at the Door

Puerto Rican Cultural Center
701 Tillery St
Austin TX 78702
(parking behind building, entrance on South end)

Online Registration is Closed
$50.00 at the door

FREE Picnic/Performance 3:00pm – 6:00pm

Puerto Rican Cultural Center

Puerto Rican Cultural Center
Workshops Include: (schedules are tentative)
  • 30 minutesClass and Demonstration introducing the Bomba music and dance traditions of Loíza, Puerto Rico (led by both artists).
  • 60 minutesWorkshop Intensive focusing on either dance or music.
    • Option 1 – Dance (led by Marcos Peñaloza Pica)
      • A 60-minute Bomba dance workshop focusing on the rhythms of Loíza such as Seis Corrido, Corvé, and/or others.
      • Learn the basic step(s) and character.
      • Leave with your own personalized bomba solo you would be proud to perform at the free picnic following the workshop!
    • Option 2 – Music – Percussion and Voice (led by Raúl Ayala)
      • A 60-minute Bomba music workshop focusing on the rhythms of Loíza such as Seis Corrido, Corvé, and/or others.
      • Instruments will likely include the barriles (drums), the maraca, and the cua (sticks).
      • Like music, but not a drummer? Learn to sing the as part of the chorus for Bomba. The words in the coros for Bomba are usually simple (even if you don’t speak Spanish). The voice is a “percussive instrument” in Bomba. Lean to hear the rhythms and the timing for singing the chorus in the correct place without “dragging the words.”
  • 30 minutes – Practicing Together – Bombacíto (a mini Bombazo)
    • Practice – We will come back together to practice what we have learned with live music, dancers, and singers.
    • Build Confidence – You can do it! Stay for the FREE picnic starting at 3:00pm and join us for a Bombazo during one of the musical sets during the picnic.

Día Internacional de la Bomba – en el Batey de los Ayala (July 2017)


History – Bomba de Loíza

Bomba is a poly-rhythmic, music and dance style from Puerto Rico that developed by the late 1700s. West African sugar plantation workers and their descendants would release pent-up feelings through fiery drum rhythms and improvised dances derived from their African heritage, but influenced by the surrounding Spanish and Taíno culture.
At Bailes de Bomba (bomba dances), the sound of drums called barriles would draw the crowd into a circle. Dancers would take turns challenging the lead drummer–performing an improvised solo, expressing themselves through the motion of their body and other gestures. The drummer would respond as they danced–playing patterns and accents to create sounds that matched the movements and attitude of the dancer. This dialog between the dancer and the drummer continues today in the modern tradition of Bomba that has been preserved and is practiced across the island and in islands of Puerto Rican culture around the world.
Over time, many distinct Bomba rhythms and dance styles developed in different parts of the island. Some styles reflect more Spanish influence, while others remained closer to the African roots. The town of Loíza, has long been recognized as a hub where Bomba traditions have preserved the energy and vibrancy of their African heritage. Rhythms such as Seis Corrido, and Corvé that have roots in Loíza are among the fastest and most energetic of the bomba styles. In Loíza, the Ayala family has long served as protectors, teachers, and emissaries of the Bomba de Loíza for generations. Their performing company, the Hermanos Ayala, has faithfully represented the authentic traditions of a people for nearly 60 years.
The 2018 Celebrando heritage project is made possible in part through funding and support by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts and the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department.