Los Pleneros de la 21, the premier East Harlem-based performing ensemble and non-profit community organization, was founded in 1983 by Juan J. ‘Juango’ Gutiérrez (National Endowment on the Arts’ Heritage Fellow, 1996) and the legendary Master Plenero Marcial Reyes Arvelo. Dedicated to fostering awareness, appreciation and understanding of the richness and vitality of Puerto Rican artistic traditions of African descent and Creole, as well as to promote their further development, our overall goals are: 1) to present accessible public traditional music programming, 2) to expose inner city youth and others to the cultural heritage of Puerto Rico and encourage their active participation in these traditions, and 3) to perform a repertoire of works embedded in the rich tradition of Puerto Rican folk music to audiences everywhere.
LP21’s landmark community-based cultural and educational programs, such as the Bomba and Plena Community Workshops for adult and kids, Bomba and Plena In the House for NYC school children, and Cultural Legacy Programs like La Gran Fiesta Navideña, have created a common space for the recognition, education and practice of Puerto Rican culture and identity. Our programs have educated thousands of individuals, young and old, and inspired dozens of performing groups and aspiring musicians to become leaders in their own right as they carry bomba and plena into the future for generations to come.
The LP21 ensemble, an exceptional mix of Puerto Rican Folk Masters and professional musicians, has pioneered the road for bomba and plena performance and is responsible for expanding platforms for continued performance, learning and the presentation of Bomba and Plena—paving the way for many other musicians who now share their stage. Having toured extensively both nationally and internationally for over three decades, ‘LP21’ is considered by many as New York’s preeminent Bomba and Plena ambassadors to the world, bringing Puerto Rican culture to Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Latin America, Australia, Berlin, The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, The Kremlin (former Soviet Union) and countless other international cities and prominent venues.
Los Pleneros de la 21, the premier East Harlem-based performing ensemble and non-profit community organization, was founded in 1983 by Juan J. ‘Juango’ Gutiérrez (National Endowment on the Arts’ Heritage Fellow, 1996) and the legendary Master…