Bomba and plena are music genres from the costal agricultural communities in Puerto Rico; Plena evolved from Bomba. Bomba drums were built from barrels used to store and age Puerto Rican rum made from the molasses extracted from the sugar cane. Bomba drums were created by removing both end caps from the barrels and placing a skin over the top. The completed drum is slightly tilted when played in order to have a clear sound. Wooden pegs and ropes were used to tune the skins to different pitches.
The Plena is played with hand held drums that came from the need to have a smaller and lighter version of Bomba drums. These portable drums could be transported on trains en route from one plantation to the other. This music that started on the sugar cane plantations, and moved to the neighborhoods (barrios), became a form to express feelings and also communicating the community's news. Since it's humble beginnings, this music has traveled the world with bands such as Cortijo y su Combo, El Gran Combo and many others such as Plena Libre, Viento de Agua and Los Pleneros de la 21. Now Bomba and Plena rhythms are experiencing a new revival with younger generations, that have embraced these rhythms and are making new fusions.
The inspiration for Kadencia's music came from our lead singer and songwriter Maurice Sanabria's grandfather. His grandfather used to work as a train conductor transporting sugar cane from plantations in Western Puerto Rico to the mills for processing. When he was a kid, his grandfather used to tell him lots of stories about the people that worked on these plantations, the sacrifices, the tears, and the hard work that they had to endure on these agricultural plantations, as well as their music and customs. These people that cut the sugar cane with machetes, send their kids to school believing that education was the way out of poverty. When industrialization hit the Island they moved to urban communities to work in factories. These workers and their families took their musical traditions and heritage everywhere they moved. Bomba and Plena music evolved from basic percussive based music to orchestrated musical arrangements that have traveled the world through musical productions and live shows.
Kadencia's mission is to present and preserve Afro-Puerto Rican musical traditions. Audiences will be able to experience and learn about some traditional portraits of Puerto Rico's past and present including: sugar cane mills, the train, the sugar cane crops, and a religious celebrations such as "The Baquiné."