Institute of Hispanic Culture of Houston presents Dia De La Hispanidad – Plena Libre
Captivating and moving audiences over the course of a 23-year, 15-album career, this fine-tuned Puerto Rican-based ensemble of virtuoso musicians has only gotten better with age, as evidenced by their four Grammy nominations and world-wide touring schedule.
Plena Libre infuses their contemporary Caribbean compositions with a deep sense of the unique indigenous musical traditions, known as “plena” and “bomba,” which developed on the island over a century ago. Unlike salsa bands, who usually only have two singers, Plena Libre features three vocalists singing in lush three and four part harmonies; a musical representation of a traditional community gathering. Further giving their live performances a memorable standout quality, occasionally the entire band will vocalize the percussion parts of the plena, creating an a cappella polyphonic polyrhythm. These artistic choices drive home the core of the tradition in an aesthetic that appeals to broad audiences and aficionados alike. With an aggressive, tight, yet sensitive style, which balances the traditional with the contemporary -- Plena Libre creates a brand of music and live performance that is both profoundly Puerto Rican and universally appealing.