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Drum Sunday: Bomba! with Denise Solis and Julia Cepeda

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Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center

1317 San Pablo Avenue

Berkeley, CA 94702

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Cost is $25 – $10 (sliding scale);
Under 12 yrs free;
No one turned away for lack of funds
Classes are open to ALL LEVELS.


Denise Solis and Julia Cepeda will be teaching Bomba -- one of the traditional musical styles of Puerto Rico. Bring your congas or djembes! There will be a limited number of drums to borrow on a first come first serve basis.


About Denise Solis

Denise is one of a few female lead drummers (Primo(a) or Subidora) in Puerto Rico and the Diaspora within the Bomba genre, along with directing Las Bomberas de la Bahia, she has performed with other Bomba groups in the Diaspora including, Modesto Cepeda y La familia Cepeda in Maestros de Bomba en la Bahia, with Grupo Nandi in Puerto Rico, Chicago and New York, with Grupo Aguacero, Grupo Cacique y Kongo and La Mixta Criolla in the Bay Area, Grupo Areito Borincano in San Diego, Grupo Buya and Bompleneras in Chicago, Grupo Bambula and Grupo Union Balance in New York at the Hostos Bomplenazo conference in the Bronx, and has sat in as guest drummer with the groups Desde Cero, Son del Batey, Grupo Tambuye, and with Grupo Folklorico National Hermanos Cepeda in Puerto Rico.


Denise has taught workshops since 2010 at the Women Drummers International’s yearly Born to Drum Camp in Northern California as well as their special Drum Sundays workshops on featured Sundays in the Bay Area. She is also teaching Bomba Percussion and Song classes and playing for the Bomba Dance classes (Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced levels) at Galeria de la Raza SF, Studio Grand Oakland and Rhythmix Cultural Works in Alameda with, Bomba dance teacher Julia Cardidad Cepeda under their project, Taller Bombalele, on Sundays in Oakland and on Wednesday eveningsat Galeria de la Raza in San Francisco and Saturdays in Alameda. Denise also co-directed a summer Bomba residency and Performance called “La Bomba es Vida” which brought Bomba masters and members La Familia Cepeda (Jesus Cepeda, Carlos Cepeda, Mario Cepeda, Tata Cepeda, Jose M Cepeda, Cary Martinez Cepeda, Julia C Cepeda, and Rafael Cepeda) from Santurce, Puerto Rico to teach workshops in music and dance and host panel discussions and host free Bombazos for the Bay Area Bomba community in 2016. This summer residency during 2016 (June-July) culminated in a panel discussion, 3 community Bombazos through the SF Bay Area, workshops and an evening of performance which featured 3 generations from La Familia Cepeda, a cultural gem from PR at Brava Theater in San Francisco which sold out in July 2016. Denise Solis is currently the director of the Bomba performance ensemble Grupo Taller Bombalele.


Taller Bombalele Ensemble

Taller Bombalele Ensemble is a performance ensemble of students from the Taller/Workshop (classes) taught by Julia Cepeda (granddaughter of Puerto Rican Bomba Patriarch Don Rafael Cepeda Atiles) and Denise Solis (founder/director of Las Bomberas de la Bahia), classes are held at Rhythmix Cultural Works in Alameda, CA (www.rhythmix.org)

Taller Bombalele strives to promote our Afro Puerto Rican roots music and dance tradition of Bomba, by teaching its history, dance, music, and songs through classes, lectures, workshops, and Bombazos to continue to preserve and expand this form of expression in community. Taller Bombalele is also proud to be part of a diverse community in the SF Bay Area and is therefore committed to teaching, learning, and collaboration and in reflection of this community, we welcome our community of different cultural experiences and intergenerational participation. We strive to continually learn, grow and support each other in our learning.

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Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center

1317 San Pablo Avenue

Berkeley, CA 94702

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