Participants in the Bay Area Youth Bomba y Plena Workshop. Photo courtesy of the organization.

Bomba y Plena Workshop

Puerto Rican bomba and plena

About the Organization

Since its inception in 2000, the Bomba y Plena Workshop, directed by Shefali Shah and Hector Lugo, has provided resources for the study of the music, performance, and cultural interconnections of Puerto Rican bomba and plena in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The Workshop has worked with a number of Puerto Rican master arists, primarily the Familia Cepeda from Santurce, Puerto Rico, to acquire accurate knowledge of the island’s musical and dance traditions.

Living Cultures Grant Program

2023, 2020, 2019, 2016, 2015, and 2014

The Workshop received grants from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program to support their Youth Bomba y Plena Workshop, which creates a fun, safe, responsible, and effective environment for teaching children and youth Puerto Rican music and dance traditions.  Through drumming, singing, dancing, storytelling, and craft-making, students learn about bomba and plena traditions.  Students also have the opportunity to participate in bombazos, or community jams, and class recitals where they share what they have learned with their friends, family, and the community at large.


The Workshop received funds to support Caminos de mi Cultura, an education and performance project that aims to increase the skill level and knowledge of traditional Puerto Rican music and dance practitioners in the Bay Area.  Interaction and exchange with three master artists from New York-based Los Pleneros de la 21 enriched the skill level of California-based artists and strengthened cultural ties.



Shefali Shah, co-Director and Instructor | 510-681-1036

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