News and Events
Grammy-nominated Puerto Rican Band Plena Libre Comes to Pepperdine
Center for the Arts will present the four-time Grammy-nominated band Sunday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m. at Smothers Theatre, Malibu, featuring hard-hitting horns, master hand-drummers, close-harmonizing vocalists, and innovative choreography.
Captivating and moving audiences over the course of its 18-year, 13-album career, this finely tuned 12-piece ensemble of virtuoso musicians has only gotten better with age, as evidenced by its four recent Grammy nominations and worldwide touring schedule.
"I am continually overwhelmed by the spirit of the band," says Plena Libre founder, bassist, arranger, musical director, and composer Gary Nunez. "It is the music of Puerto Rico as it should be experienced. This train will just run you over!"
Plena Libre infuses its contemporary Caribbean compositions with a deep sense of the unique, indigenous musical traditions known as plena and bomba, which developed on the island over a century ago. Unlike salsa bands, which usually have only two singers, Plena Libre features five vocalists singing in lush three- and four-part harmonies, a musical representation of a traditional community gathering. Occasionally the entire band will vocalize the percussion parts of the plena, creating an a cappella polyphonic polyrhythm. These artistic choices drive home the core of the tradition in an aesthetic that appeals to broad audiences and aficionados alike.
With an aggressive and tight yet sensitive style, which balances the traditional with the contemporary, the global and the local, Plena Libre creates a brand of music and live performance that is both profoundly Puerto Rican and universally appealing.
Along with thrilling audiences around the world, from the Fez Festival in Morocco to the Playboy Jazz Festival, Plena Libre has a deep commitment to educating its audiences about the traditional culture of Puerto Rico.
The band will also perform two special concerts for schoolchildren as part of Pepperdine's ARTSReach program on Monday, Oct. 1.
For more information and to buy tickets, visit the Center for the Arts Web site.