Lecture demostration with Bomba and Plena Elder & Master Jorge Emmanuelli Náter

IMG_0895 Jorge Emmanuelli Náter
Professional Biography

Jorge Emmanuelli Náter – great grandson of master Bomba musician Sergio Náter Peña (most well known for his mastery of the “Primo” or “Subidor” lead drum of Bomba during the early 1900s). Jorge embodies the legacy of at least 100 years of Bomba & Plena knowledge in his family. He is a member, director and founder of the Bomba & Plena ensemble known as “The first family of Puerto Rican Bomba and Plena Evolution” Hermanos Emmanuelli Náter.

During his 30 years of musical and cultural work, this master practitioner has made significant and historical contributions in the preservation, dissemination, and execution of both Bomba and Plena in Puerto Rico, the broader United States, and in Europe.  In the early 1990s, Jorge was the primary catalyst in successfully reviving the tradition of community bailes de Bomba (or Bomba dances) from his residence in Carolina, Puerto Rico, and in the coining and use of the term “Bombazo” to identify Bomba dances, which lead to the birth of the terms and community events now commonly known as “Plenazos” and “Bomplenazos”.

His musical work and research related to Bomba and Plena have been endorsed by the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (ICP), La Compañía de Turismo de Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives, and the late historian and ICP founder Ricardo Alegría to name a few.  Mr. Emmanuelli Náter has also been featured in documentaries such as De Africa al Caribe, En Búsqueda de la Verdad de la Bomba Puertorriqueña (Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico,) and La Música de Puerto Rico: Raíces y Evolución and contributed to programming for HBO, MTV International and local Puerto Rican television shows and commercials.

In the last decade, Mr. Emmanuelli Náter has defined himself by focusing his teachings on the tendencies of foundational and ancient knowledge and the evolution of the genres of both Plena and Bomba from their roots. For these and numerous other contributions to these two genres, Mr. Emmanuelli Náter is considered a cultural celebrity who is a master practitioner and an elder in both communities of Bomba and Plena – having gained his knowledge and standing in the global practice of apprenticeship to other elders. Jorge is the first elder in either of these genres to make his knowledge available for broad consumption via instructional media. Mr. Emmanuelli Náter is also the first practitioner in either of these genres to formally offer mentorship to individuals and groups seeking to establish themselves in the foundational practice of these Afro-Boricua genres.

Most recently, Jorge has worked to further the evolution of these genres through his conceptual orchestra CAPRE – Chicago Afro Puerto Rican Ensemble which is the first ensemble to have Plena and Bomba as its root musical forms and purposefully only utilizes traditional Puerto Rican instruments in its percussion section. He also elevated the art of Bomba drumming execution to a professional level and became the first “bombero” (Bomba practitioner), to be endorsed by the worldwide leading instrument corporation Latin Percussion “LP”. In addition to these and other projects and accomplishments, Mr. Emmanuelli Náter revealed a glimpse of his knowledge of ancient Afro-Boricua music traditions and expert execution in the landmark article “Puerto Rican Claves” which was published in the March 2014 issue of the premier percussion magazine Modern Drummer.

Jorge has spent most of his life performing, providing instruction about, and lecturing on the history and practice of the uniquely Puerto Rican genres of Plena and Bomba. Below is a list of notable contributions to the canon of Afro-Puerto Rican music history:

  • Reviving Bomba and Plena as a community practice and returning ancient foundational knowledge to the streets
  • The introduction and implementation of the term BOMBAZO in reference to Afro-Puerto Rican music
  • The movement and concept of “evolución derivada del fundamento”, evolution derived from foundation in Afro-Puerto Rican root music
  • Elevation of traditional Afro-Puerto Rican music family practice
  • Over 30 years of recorded research that includes excavated Bomba and Plena songs, rhythms and anecdotes
  • Participation in Documentaries: Del Africa al Caribe, En Busqueda de la Verdad, “La Bomba puertorriqueña”, Primera Competencia “Joselino Oppenheimer-Bum Bun”, La Música De Puerto Rico “Raíces y Evolución”
  • First Bomba and Plena elder to make educational media available (i.e. “7 Songs, 7 Seises de Bomba” and “La Clave En La Bomba & La Plena”)
  • Provided historic concept of and executional materials for recreating a tableau of antiquated Bomba from Loiza for BomPlenazo 2008
  • A landmark article divulging his work and research about “Puerto Rican Claves” featured in the March 2014 issue of Modern Drummer magazine
  • First person to bring awareness about Bomba and Plena compositional metrics and tendencies.
  • The creation of the Chicago Afro-Puerto Rican Ensemble “CAPRE” and its musical concept.
  • First orchestra to sing orchestrated traditional Bomba & Plena songs only.
  • First orchestra to play traditional Afro-Puerto Rican musical genres only.
  • First orchestra to utilize Puerto Rican traditional percussion only and bring back Puerto Rican extinct percussion to the professional musical scene.
  • First orchestra to revive and interpret Afro-Puerto Rican musical genres that went into obscurity such as “ROSARIO MENDÉ AND BAQUINÉ.
  • First orchestra to feature on a pedestal a Bomba barrel and a Pandero as the leading centerpiece.
  • First traditional Bomba & Plena practitioner to lead an orchestra dedicated to Afro-Puerto Rican music only.