"YERBABUENA Not to be confused with the Afro-Latin pop band Yerba Buena, this is the Puerto Rican band from New York led by the singer Tato Torres. It’s Boricua roots music with some updating and flexibility: percussive bomba and plena, jíbaro folk songs and deep electric-bass grooves. The band has been playing it for years at the Nuyorican for years and grown a following." -BEN RATLIFF, The New York Times
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A new generation of Boricuas is embracing their traditional musical expressions and bringing them to the next level. The work of Tato Torres & YERBABUENA is the product of everything that leads to a contemporary Puerto Rican musical experience.
While well-recognized Boricuas like Willie Colón, Marc Anthony and Ricky Martin are known worldwide for their "Latin" flavor, groups like Plena Libre, Los Pleneros de la 21, Viento de Agua, and now YERBABUENA, have been changing the way people listen to traditional Puerto Rican music in New York City and beyond.
YERBABUENA (one word) is a group of individuals who come together to play the music that they love under the musical direction of singer-composer-musician Tato Torres. It is composed of musicians, singers and dancers from the New York City area, who share an intense passion for the musical traditions of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
The last thing that will come to your mind while at a YERBABUENA event is that you're watching a show, it feels more like a cross between a jam in the park, a spiritual ceremony and a family reunion. They convey wholeness and harmony, and their music is moving beyond belief. The music they play is, by nature, participatory. Whether bomba, plena or música jíbara, it's all interactive. And being witness to their vibrant sounds and the deep joy that making music together gives them, just leaves the audience no choice but to join in the chorus or dance for the drums. After a YERBABUENA session, you'll be uplifted, tired and happy.
YERBABUENA reclaims the Puerto Rican music often branded as "folkloric," refusing to accept its packaging as frozen-in-time museum pieces, only vaguely connected to contemporary culture. Instead, they make gorgeous music that incorporates past and present. YERBABUENA taps right into the core of who Boricuas are as a People.
*Boricua Roots Music
Boricua Roots Music is a musical movement in which Boricua musicians have combined and re-combined elements of traditional and/or folkloric music as contemporary musical expressions. This style of modern music, which reaches back to the roots of Boricua (Puerto Rican) tradition has come to be called "roots music" or "música de raíz" in Spanish. The movement is also often referred to simply as "roots" or "raíces" in Spanish.
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