Welcome to BombaYo
BombaYo, a youth project dedicated to preserving the rich Afro Puerto Rican tradition of Bomba.
BombaYo took its name from several meanings of YO
Yo, is "I" in Spanish, or self - "I am Bomba"
Yo, English slang to call one's attention, as in "Hey, it's Bomba"
Yo' , short in English from Your, "Your Bomba"
Bomba was developed in Puerto Rico over 300 years ago by enslaved Africans from parts of West Africa and the Kongo region and also includes influences from the Spanish colonizers and native Taino people. Bomba is more of an experience than a show. It's where singing, dancing and drumming come together in a community celebration of life. Boricuas on the island and stateside are reviving this tradition and in turn uncovering part of their cultural heritage.
BombaYo emerges from the streets and schoolyards of the Bronx, where salsa and hip hop were born. Under the direction of Jose L. Ortiz aka Dr.Drum and Melinda Gonzalez, BombaYo’s young people bring new energy to a centuries-old Afro Puerto Rican music and dance tradition. Bomba starts from within. As bomberos, we feel a deep connection to our souls. We express our inner light by uniting drumming with dance. Call and response singing provides support for the main drummer and dancer, and it welcomes audience members to join us. Beyond mere performance, BombaYo creates an interactive celebration. In the spirit of Sankofa, BombaYo members draw from the bomba tradition to enrich their lives, embrace their cultural legacy, and share this gift with others. In a short time, the group had been invited to perform at schools, youth conferences, and Latino Heritage Month events across NYC. Other events include, National Womens Heart Day at Madison Square Garden’s Expo Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music with Dan Zanes, National Museum of History, Easter Bonnet “On Broadway, 2010” at Minskoff Theatre, and Symphony Space. The group has shared their musical talents in the 2010 album DARE TO GO BEYOND with Corbin Bleu and William Cepeda, produced by Revolucion Latina.
Jose Ortiz aka Dr.Drum, a Bronx native, is a self taught percussionist of Afro Caribbean rhythms.
For the past 11 years, he has been involved with numerous after-school programs throughout NYC and has developed original
curricula for teaching percussion to young people. His students have been On Broadway, Madison Square Garden, BAM, National
Museum of History, Symphony Space, United Nations and much more. Presently he Co-Founded and is musical director of BombaYo
Afro-Puerto Rican Youth Project. He has collaborated with many local bomba groups as a lead drummer and Co chaired a committee
for the Bomba Research Conference. Dr.Drum has shared his musical talent with Corbin Bleu, William Cepeda "song track,
Deepest Fear" and Choco Orta on the album "Dare to Go Beyond" produced by Revolucion Latina in 2010. He is
mostly known as a community artist advocating for Afro-Puerto Rican culture.
Available for: Performances, Presentations, Lecture demonstration, Community events,