La Raíz Group (Mayagüezana pumping tradition)
“When it goes to the root it goes to the essence, to the place where everything comes from.” If we talk about Bomba, without a doubt one of its roots is Mayagüez and the West of Puerto Rico. There is a group that brings the pumping essence of the sectors of Buena Vista, Sweet Lips and Sabalos through certain neighborhoods of tradition. Day by day they follow up on the investigations of Vázquez Báez, Héctor I. Polanco and others who have stood out in this area for knowing the interiors of our culture and the influence of Afro-descendants. They have put into practice what has been inherited from the Sepia Ballet of Mayagüez, from the 60s and 70s. Each one has separately become a teacher in their work area. This facet brings experiences for collective knowledge by educating the student in the pumping essence. The Root stands out because it is in continuous search of the history of each one of the songs of its repertoire, to protect and to leave in inheritance to the next generations of firemen and firemen.
The group La Raíz represents the cadence of the Sunday dance “Aristalco” Alfonso Bayrón and Epifanio “Fano” Bonilla, the buleo of Don Demetrio Francesiquini Nadal, the sharp voice of Doña Rosa Mangual and the vibrant voice of Raúl “Cambo” López Fortunet. That is why, in November 2011, Christian A. Galarza Boyrie and Ramon J. Muñiz Acevedo together with a group of Mayagüeño bomb teachers and interpreters decided to unify the effort of years and create an original concept using everyone’s knowledge and experience its members In this way, it will be dedicated to spreading the Bomb seeking to maintain the heritage of our ancestors.
María Cristina Alfonso Mangual affectionately known as “Cristy”, is undoubtedly a stellar member of the La Raíz Group and spokesperson for the heritage of our ancestors. Being one of the main figures of our Puerto Rican bomb. It is distinguished by its vibrant voice and classic Mayan dance “at the tip of the foot.” Cristy is the daughter of the firefighter legend, Domingo “Aristalco” Alfonso Byron and the firefighter Marta Mangual. His voice carries the legacy of the famous firefighters of our land, is a link between yesterday’s firefighters and the new generation that resurfaces in rescue of our Puerto Rican bomb.
Goal of the La Raíz Group Concept:
The goal of our group is to be able to bring the Bomb within reach of the population that enjoys such important music, not only locally but also internationally. Our approach is to spread the history of the Mayagüezana and Puerto Rican Bomba.
• La Raíz has performed at festivals, conferences, workshops and conversations on the Isla del Encanto.
• Tenth BomPlenazo Hostos Community College Biennial, New York (October 4-7, 2018)
• Casita de Chema-Ricón Criollo, Bronx, NY (2018)
• Four (4) drums (3 Buleadores and 1 Primo or Subidor drum)
• 1 Maraca
• 1 pair of Cúas
• Christian A. Galarza Boyrie, Director (Researcher, Subidor)
• Ramon Muñiz Acevedo, Director (Researcher, Buleador)
• Leró Martínez Roldán (Voice, Buleador)
• Eusebio “Chayan” Ramírez (Buleador)
• Erick Miguel “Kily” Vializ Montalvo (Voice, Qua)
• Sammy Morales López (Maraca, Showgirl)
• María Cristina “Cristy” Alfonso Mangual (Main Voice)
• Jamienette Pérez Mercado (Voice, Dancer)
• Ángela M. Vázquez Vázquez (Voice, Dancer)
• Liz Saira Díaz Nadal (Dancer)
• Alberto Galarza Ramos (Dancer)
• Alberto Galarza Boyrié (Dancer)
• Gregory Palos (Substitute Buleador)
Collaborators: (Mayagüez Bomb Research)
Edwin Albino (Sociologist), Alberto Galarza (Photographer, Historian), Dr. Yadira Vázquez (Stories), José Guillermo Malavé (Historian, Collector), Dr. Pablo Luis Rivera (Historian), Pedro “Unique” Noguet (Folklorist and Researcher ) and Anton Kociolek (Anthropologist).
La Raíz has a very valuable combination that ensures a quality show but based on the investigations of the origins of the Mayagüezana and Puerto Rican Bomba.
Repertoire: Puerto Rican songs and authors
The repertoire of the La Raíz Group is composed of traditional songs, rhythms and new music in search of interpretive variety and a concept that is rich and sticky. We seek to disseminate neighborhood anecdotes, stories related to the Bomba and its surroundings, characters and traditions in dances that have developed to the beat of our music.
Rhythms we interpret:
• Yubá and its variants – Cuembé and its variants – Gracimá – Sicá – Dutch and Dutch Mayagüez
Purpose of our project: Participate in activities such as Patron Festivities, Conventions, tourism activities, hotels, egidas, private and business activities, educational institutions and all kinds of activity that validates the participation of Puerto Rican artists and performers.
Christian Galarza Boyrie, Director
Tel. (787) 659-3360
Ramon Muñiz Acevedo, Director
Tel. (787) 241-6871
Cond. Ramirez de Arellano 2 calle F. Degetau apto. 210
Mayaguez, P.R. 00682