Roman Carrillo


Puerto Rican bomba

Bomba is a hundreds of years old musical tradition from Puerto Rico that has the influence of three major cultures: Taino Indian, Spanish, and African.  Bomba is a drum, song, and dance tradition that has been passed on through oral tradition and practice from families and individuals.  Bomba is characterized by the unique exchange between a dancer and the lead drummer (prímo or subidor), the call and response of the songs, and by the instruments: barilles (barrel drums), maraca (shaker), and cuas (sticks).  Bomba is and has always been a tool for uniting families and communities, while it's dance being an art form to express grace, dignity, poise and strength.  Bomba is alive today because of its ability to unite and its ability to inspire self-confidence.

Raised in Puerto Rico, Roman Carrillo began to learn bomba as a teenager, studying with Rafael Cepeda Afiles, founder of Familia Cepeda and the patriarch of Puerto Rican bomba.  Roman also danced with the First National Folkloric Ballet of Puerto Rico, one of the most important bomba institutions in Puerto Rico.

As a master artist in ACTA's Apprenticeship Program in 2014, Roman worked with apprentice Hector Luis Rivera, improving his skills as a practitioner and teacher of the drumming, singing, and dancing traditions of bomba.

Roman was also a master artist in ACTA's Apprenticeship Program in 2006.  Already an experienced drummer, Ali Luna worked with Roman to refine his skills on bomba percussion, as well as to learn to sing and dance.

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