Bomba “is a musical expression created in Puerto Rico at the end of the 17th century by West Africans and their descendants who worked the colonial sugar plantations along the island’s coast. Through fiery drum rhythms and improvised dance, the cane workers released the feelings of anger, resistance, and sadness, which characterized their condition.”
The Del Sur design is a collaboration with Bomba con Buya, a Chicago-based ensemble, which aims to preserve and advance Bomba music and dance tradition.
The tee honors the legacy of Eli Samuel Rodriguez Almestica, a master bombero from Guayama, Puerto Rico. It captures the elegance and spirit of a maestro in full control of his art.
Look long and listen hard enough, you might just hear the sound of the barril!
This commemorative piece was launched at the Segundo Ruiz Belvis 45th Anniversary Gala at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago on October 6, 2016, and at the Bomplenazo at Hostos Community College in New York, which took place from October 7-9, 2016.