If history has not retained the names of some tambour players who have consequently fallen into oblivion, those whom we ardently name here, are, considering the cultural development of Puerto Rico, to be regarded as other Baluartes, obstacles against the permanent alienation of this nation which is still dominated by the USA.
Let’s review the flor et nata of the musical art of Puerto Rico from Bumbún OPPENHEIMER (1884–1929) to William CEPEDA.
Firstly, he who would take la Plena to recording studios in New York 1920-1930: Manuel JIMENEZ ‘Canario’ (1895-1975); Don Rafael CEPEDA and his wife and in a word, the CEPEDAS’s big ‘clan’: Modesto, Jesus Rafael CORTIJO; Mon RIVERA; Moncho LENA, Ismael RIVERA; his mother Doña Margot Margarita RIVERA; Francisco BASTAR ‘Kako’; MARCIAL REYES.
The Bomba and the Plena have been ostracised, as some people viewed these as musical forms linked to the underprivileged and rejected social classes: ‘rum drinking niggas’, women of easy virtue. The authorities did not hesitate to imprison those caught by the police playing the tambour.
part of the Puertorican population today turn their backs on this ‘idle
babbling of previous years’
Today, Puerto Rico can count on the groups Raices, Calabó, Mayombé, Los Ayala de Loíza, Los Cepada de Santurce, Los Relampagos de la plena de Carolina, Raices Eternas de Levy Town, Son del Batey de la U.P.R (University of Puerto Rico), Paracumbé, Cuembé Aranzó, Bambulae de Ponce, Bombalele du Maestro Jesus CEPEDA, Los Guyacanes de San Antón, Plena Libre, Modesto Cepeda, Tacuafan (Taller Culturel Afro-Antillano de Angel ‘Cachete’ MALDONADO).
can count on:
The Puerto Rico nation possesses its own musical pantheon where musicians and composers of these musical genres serve as guide and example. Here we find the figureheads of the boricua soul who left us too soon: Don Rafael CEPEDA ATILES, Ismael ‘Maelo’ RIVERA, Rafael CORTIJO, Mon RIVERA, Marcial REYES, Manuel JIMENEZ ‘Canario’, Enrique SOTO, Toribio LAPORTE.
country and surrounding world, they leave pages of music that originated
in the popular milieu and which have become classics of the genre.
top of the page