BombaYo - Press Profile

2011 Union Square Arts Award Recipient

2078 Bathgate Avenue, Suite #3
Bronx, NY 10457

Media Contacts: Jose Ortiz, Program Director
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BombaYo is dedicated to presenting and preserving the Afro-Puerto Rican music and dance known as Bomba, a synergy of drumming, call and response singing, and dance. A captivating dialogue is created by a solo dancer and drummer who respond to the dancer’s movements. BombaYo engages young people to explore and celebrate their cultural identity; promotes cross cultural understanding, interdependence and unity; and has earned a reputation for its vibrant educational programs and performances.

Founded in 2004 by Jose Ortiz, “Dr. Drum,” and Melinda Gonzalez, youth educators who discovered they had a common interest in Puerto Rican arts, culture, and history, today BombaYo offers educational programs; community workshops and classes; and performances.

BombaYo workshops and classes have benefitted hundreds of participants across New York City at senior citizens centers, and public schools, among other venues. Workshops begin with a welcome and introduction of new participants. The first part is devoted to a cultural-historical presentation and discussion about a Puerto Rican historical or cultural figure or significant event.  After the educational portion, the dance instruction, dancing, singing, and playing of instruments begin. Young people gain a sense of pride as they learn about their cultural roots in the African Diaspora for the first time and are inspired by their elders as keepers of tradition. They expand their sense of community and learn to appreciate their own important role in preserving arts and cultural traditions. Through group collaboration, planning, and teambuilding, young people build their confidence and their mastery grows.

BombaYo’s music and dance ensemble features 16 members, dancers, musicians, and creative contributors, ranging in age from 12 to 65, who perform throughout New York City and the Tri State area.

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