Monday, August 09, 2010

Gary Nunez of Plena Libre

Join us Thursday August 12 on Africamix
San Francisco’s KALW radio
Emmanuel Nado presents
A conversation with Gary Nunez of Plena Libre
Keeping the flame of plena and bomba burning.

The popular traditional music of the island of Puerto Rico is plena and bomba. These two styles were developed by the large populations of African slaves in the coastal region of the island. The contribution of these populations is unquestionable. Plena was originally sung by sugarcane farmers who after a long day’s work in the field sat around and sang the events of the day in the community or in the field. Plena was referred to as “sung newspaper” or periodico cantado because it spread messages among people, similar to the corridos in Mexico. It was also a vehicle for social commentary. As a young man in my country , Cote d’Ivoire West Africa, I listened to some of the most celebrated composers and performers of the genre such as Ramito, el cantar de la montana, Ismael Rivera and his brother Moon Rivera, and Rafael Cortijo. Ever since the release of their much acclaimed recording Juntos Y Revueltos, Gary Nunez and his band Plena Libre have been touring the world spreading these traditional music of Puerto Rico. The band has been recognized as the most successful plena group since Rafael Cortijo’s combo and his singer Ismael Rivera. During the band’s recent visit at Yoshi’s Jazz Club in Oakland I had a conversation with Gary Nunez founder and leader of Plena Libre.
Listen on line at Thursday night 9PM-midnight (pst)