Melinda Gonzalez - Puerto Rican bomba

Melinda Gonzalez improvises to Puerto Rican bomba rhythms Photo: Hazel Hankin

Melinda Gonzalez dances bomba, Puerto Rico's oldest native art form. An Afro-Puerto Rican dance, bomba involves improvised steps and a live drummer. But in bomba, it is the dancer, not the percussionist, whose movements dictate the rhythm. Melinda was born and raised in Brooklyn and has studied with master bomberos in New York and Puerto Rico. She regularly travels to the island of Boriquen to study the regional styles and rhythms practiced there. Melinda is working to reinvigorate Puerto Rican traditions across generations. In Brooklyn she recently co-founded a bomba youth group, offers classes in Williamsburg and directs the ensemble Los Bomberos de Brooklyn. Percussionist Jose "Dr. Drum" Ortiz, a master of the barril drum and a seasoned teacher and musician, can accompany Melinda's classes. Performances include members of Los Bomberos de Brooklyn. Registry / Contact Info