Bomba de Aqui

Performing Group

Bomba de Aquí performs and teaches the bomba tradition of Puerto Rico: drums, dances and songs from the island's African heritage. Thunderous barril drums provide a rhythmic basis while one dancer after another spins and gestures in tandem with the lead drummer. We provide drum and dance workshops at public schools, colleges, churches and other community venues, as well as staged concerts. We educate audiences about the history of Afro-Puerto Rican culture, foster understanding of traditional arts, and encourage participation in that heritage. Programs in both Spanish and English. (FYI: we've left the accent off "aquí" in this listing deliberately, for the search engine.) 

Group director/lead dancer Brendalíz Cepeda began appearing onstage at age 5 with her grandfather Rafael Cepeda, the most important figure in the revival of bomba tradition that began in PR in the late 20th century. Brendalíz has an MA in Special Education, has taught at several Springfield-area charter schools, and also directs the Multicultural Learning Center, an after-school program teaching Puerto Rican arts. Lead drummer Saul Peñalosa, from Loiza, is a seasoned veteran of bomba. Other group members are experts from the local PR community. The group also includes drummer Julian Gerstin, PHD, who doubles as an ethnomusicologist and has taught Caribbean and Latin American music at several colleges. So hire us for both hands-on workshops and classroom lecture-demonstrations!

Please also check out the Creative Ground profile for Bombajazzeando: Bomba de Aquí plus a jazz lineup of trumpet, sax, trombone, piano and bass, playing both jazz arrangements of traditional songs and original compositions. With dancing!


Primary Discipline

Dance - Ethnic

Additional Disciplines

Music - Ethnic / World


Cultural Preservation
Creation of a Work of Art (Including Commissions)
Arts Instruction / Lessons
Cultural Education
Residency - In School
Workshops / Demonstrations / Master Class


  • N/A


  • Brendalíz Cepeda: BA Education, MA Special Education
  • Julian Gerstin: PHD Anthropology (specialization: ethnomusicology), MFA Music Composition

Professional Associations

  • N/A

Additional Information

  • Year founded: 2012
  • Is a Teaching Artist
  • Is a Touring Artist
  • Geographic Reach: Surrounding States/Region