La Mixta Criolla
Inspired in the rich and diverse musical of Puerto Rico and the greater Caribbean, La Mixta Criolla’s sound is based on the mix of “cueros, cuerdas y voces” (skins, strings, and vocals).
The group’s repertoire of originals and funky renditions of traditional tunes, features a variety of swinging Caribbean grooves, from plena, bomba, guaracha jíbara, seis and aguinaldo, to merengue, son, rumba, cumbia and salsa.
Featuring Héctor Lugo on bongó, panderos, barriles, vocals, and percusión menor; Javier Navarrette on congas, cajón, percusión menor, and vocals; Sandra García Rivera on vocals and güícharo; Camilo Landau on Puerto Rican cuatro and vocals; and Ayla Dávila on bass and vocals. In Puerto Rico, “una mixta” (a mixta) is the quintessential combination of rice and beans with a meat and/or vegetable accompaniment. In the Latin Caribbean at large the term “criolla/o” refers to the blend of African, Spanish-Mediterranean, and Aboriginal cultural influences that give some of the region’s cultures their distinctive character and flavor.
The Bay Area Bomba y Plena Workshop Ensemble
The Bay Area Bomba y Plena Workshop is a dynamic music and dance ensemble that studies and performs traditional forms of Puerto Rican music and dance.
The central feature of all bomba dancing is its improvisational character. Musically, bomba features the use of the drum and other percussion instruments in combination with an African derived call and response vocal style. The ensemble performs Bomba songs, dances, rhythms, and beats along with Bomba history and its significance and place in Puerto Rican and Afro-Caribbean culture. The ensemble also features live music: cuás, barriles (drums), maracas and more. The ensemble is directed by Shefali Shah, and Hector Lugo curates the music section of the class.
Quenepas Youth Ensemble
Quenepas a dynamic Puerto Rican Bomba and Plena music and dance youth ensemble that had its inception in 2008 at La Peña Cultural Center. Quenepas youth have been studying and performing under the direction of Hector Lugo and Shefali Shah for the past four years and many of the youth have been involved in the practice of Bomba through observing and participating in community jams and performances with their families. Ages of the ensemble range from 4 to 13-years-old.
In the Bomba y Plena Workshops (for adults and for youth), students learn Bomba songs, dances, rhythms, and beats along with Bomba history and its significance and place in Puerto Rican and Afro-Caribbean culture. Students also learn how to play cuás, barriles (drums), maracas. The workshop is taught and directed by Shefali Shah, and Hector Lugo curates the music section of the class.
Chef-owner Rico Pabón has been cooking Puerto Rican dishes since he was 19, when his grandmother taught him the family recipes that have been passed down for generations. Pabón is also a renowned singer and spoken-word artist, who has performed with Latin jazz musician John Santos and in bands like O-Maya and AguaLibre. His love of community and cooking comes through with every dish!
Come grab a hot plate of home-cooked Puerto Rican goodness Sunday, July 23 at 2:30pm at La Peña! Grab your plate before he sells out!