Bomba is a traditional Puerto Rican music style derived from African roots. It incorporates drums, singing, and dancing: all influenced by African, Spaniard and Tiano cultures. Bomba is an encounter between dancers, percussionist and singers.
Jose Ortiz, aka Dr. Drum, is a self-taught percussionist and educator of Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba. Based in the Bronx, Dr. Drum is the co-founder of BombaYo, a workshop that is dedicated to teaching Bomba culture throughout The Bronx and New York City.
“A lot of Puerto Ricans in the Bronx are learning more about the Bomba,” he says. “It’s an awakening.” The Bomba was once frowned upon in the Puerto Rican community here, but is now accepted by young and old. This is Jose Ortiz’s story.