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In the Latin music scene, there's always an innate pairing of the musical styles bomba and plena as one genre, but the two Afro-Puerto Rican genres are quite distinct. In this, the 27th segment of Latin Roots, Aaron Levinson discusses the birth of bomba and plena, as well as the different musical and rhythmic paths the genres have taken.
A Grammy-winning producer with expertise in the Latin Tropical scene, Levinson describes the production of a bomba beat, which incorporates two drums, a maraca and a highly syncopated 5/8 rhythm. On the other hand, for plena, a trio sings in harmony with folkloric hand drums called the panderetas.
Latin Roots is made possible by the Wyncote Foundation.