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Afro Puerto Rican music-dance workshops and a Bombazo at NVC set for November 14

Afro Puerto Rican music-dance workshops

and a Bombazo at NVC set for Nov. 14

          Bomba, a folkloric tradition of Afro Puerto Rican drumming, dancing and singing, will be presented on Monday, Nov. 14 at the Napa Valley College Performance Arts Center.

          The activities include two workshops and one public performance. The project is designed to enrich the cross-discipline efforts being made on the campus. Community members, especially educators or any others working with kids, are invited to attend.

          A Bomba workshop for NVC students will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. at the Performing Arts Center, followed by the exciting interactive  performance of a "Bombazo" that is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A professional development workshop will focus on 'the Cepeda Method,' offering the Bomba instructional techniques to faculty and staff from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

          Bomba is a communal practice and way of life. It features an intercultural learning approach that is pedagogically sensitive to different learning styles. It resolves hierarchy by integrating dancers, percussionists and singers into an interactive relationship whereby anyone can be a solo dancer who commands the rhythm of the primo drum.  The Bomba tradition was created by the enslaved Africans who worked the Puerto Rican cane fields.

          This day-long visit to NVC will feature the Taller Bombalele, an ensemble from Oakland. Their Bomba workshops and performance will be directed by Julia Cepeda, whose family has preserved traditional Bomba in Puerto Rico for seven generations, and by Denise Solis, who studied Bomba, including with the Cepeda family in Puerto Rico, for nearly 14 years. Taller Bombalele will demonstrate the pedagogical strategies that they use to enhance Bomba student learning.

          The ensemble was brought to Napa by Professor Eileene C. Tejada who is hosting and coordinating its visit. Funded by the American Canyon Arts Foundation, in partnership with the NVC Office for Equity and Inclusivity, this day to learn Bomba "will be effective and fun for students, faculty and staff," she said. Professor Tejada spent her recent sabbatical tracing familial roots where she reconnected with this unique musical style.

          Details are available from Professor Tejada at or 256-7752.