WHO WE ARE
Hard-hitting horns, master hand drummers and songs from the soul of Puerto Rico
“A mad weave of polyrhythms that simply sizzle.” - The Boston Herald
Plena Libre combines the traditional Plena and Bomba rhythms with other Afro-Caribbean styles and jazz to create a contagious dance music that honors the group’s deep sense of the unique indigenous musical traditions, while embracing modern sounds.
MORE ABOUT US
The trailblazing Plena Libre has been thrilling international audiences for nearly three decades. Masters of the traditional Puerto Rican plena and bomba styles, Plena Libre fuses well-loved traditions with modern Afro-Caribbean influences, putting a new and always electrifying spin on this scintillating music. With mesmerizing hand drumming, raucous horns, and soaring three-part vocal harmonies, this multi-Grammy Award–nominated band always brings the heat. Captivating and moving audiences over the course of a 30-year, 15-album career, this fine-tuned, original band of 12 virtuoso musicians has only gotten better with age. Founder, bandleader and bassist Gary Nuñez and his band have revived the plena sound for a new generation, electrifying audiences with horns, drums and dance. Plena Libre, masters of contemporary bomba and plena, brilliantly infuses the Afro-Puerto Rican rhythms Plena and Bomba, with other Caribbean rhythms to their traditional and contemporary compositions, creating an electrifying stage performance. Featuring three vocalists singing in lush three-part harmonies – with an aggressive, tight, yet sensitive style, which balances the traditional with the contemporary, the global and the local -, Plena Libre creates a brand of music and live performance that captivates the multi-cultured audience, invites to dance and to listen to their sound. They are Artist-in- Residence at the University of Chicago as they are recipients of the prestigious Don Michael Randel Award. Filtering the sounds of various Afro-Caribbean forms, this versatile collection of expert performers created a celebratory spectacle and engaging sonic ecstasy. Thrilling audiences around the world, from the Fez Festival (in Morocco), Montreal Jazz Fest and to the Playboy Jazz Festival, Plena Libre is a train that just keeps picking up steam as it charges ahead in unexpected and exciting directions. Plena Libre has recorded with notable musicians like pianist Eddie Palmieri, Papo Lucca, and Nestor Torres, among others. “They can rock the house with traditional singing and drumming, then turn around and lay down a smoking, jazz-heavy, Afro-Rican jam.” - East Bay
GET TO KNOW ABOUT
The band works together day and night preparing for performances in order to make sure their recordings and live performances are in full harmony. Check out the faces that make up Plena Libre below.
They can rock the house with traditional singing and drumming, then turn around and lay down a smoking, jazz-heavy, Afro-Rican jam.” -East Bay Express
Founder, Director, Composer & Bass Player Gary Núñez, graduated from the University of Puerto Rico and then Magna Cum Laude from the Music Conservatory of Puerto Rico, nonetheless Gary credits “la calle” (public performance) and its fellow musicians for his true musical knowledge. A self taught bass player, Gary learned other instruments, including drums, guitar and vibraphone, before finding his “true voice” through the four string double bass. Considered to be a proficient musician, an innovator and consistent lover and “worker” of Puerto Rican music, Gary Nuñez is always expanding the reach of this music, while in search of his own voice and identity in the music world.
Singer and Percussion Singer, master bombero and plenero, composer.
Singer and percussion Master in Fine Arts from New York University in Jazz Performance, bass player, composer, singer, percussionist.
Percussion One of the best and fastest handrummer in Puerto Rico.
Miguel De Jesús
Singer and percussion Singer, plays the cuatro guitar (jibaro music), guiro, and percussionist.
Alex Lopez "Callejero"
Singer and Percussion Singer, composer and percussionist.