Sunday, October 12, 2008

Alma Moyo

(Alma Moyo, w/ Harry Belafonte, Bob Thompson, Daniel Dawson, Photo Credit: Alma Moyo)

I am trying to get in touch with Alex LaSalle. He is the leader/lead singer of Alma Moyo one of the great bomba y plena groups in the city. I don't have much information on them yet, but hopefully that won't be the case for too much longer. Their repertoire consists of some pretty classic bombas since Alex himself has done extensive research at various institutions that hold in their collections certain bombas from yesteryear.

Here is a little info about Alex from "The Legacy Circle".

From Moca, Puerto Rico, Alex is the founder and musical director of Alma Moyó. He is a skilled percussionist, songwriter and singer whose versatile musical talents lend themselves to singing Afro-Boricua, Afro-Dominican, Afro- Cuban and Haitian traditional music, including Rara, Palo and Salve, Bomba, Plena, and Musica Jibara. Alex is fluent in the Afro-Cuban Kongo language and an avid cultural researcher and oral historian. He has presented lectures on Afro-Puerto Rican spirituality and culture and Pan-Caribbean and African cultural connections for educators and students at Yale University, El Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico, Long Island University, Columbia University, New York University, Tufts University, and others. A teaching artist in the public schools of New York City , Alex has taught Pre-K through adult age populations in the South Bronx and City-wide and has performed with such groups as William Cepeda’s Afro-Boricua, Pa'lo Monte, Ntima Ngoma Mayombe, La 21 Division, Son del Batey, and Los Tambores de Felix Alduen, and now Los Pleneros de la 21. Alexander is also a specialist in Sance, a spiritual system that evolved from Vodoun practices in Puerto Rico and throughout the major Antilles in the early 1800's. He is also the Bakonfula (soon to be steward) to the oldest house of Palo Mayombe in Cuba, La Casa de Batalla Sacara Empeño. He hails from an old lineage of healers, herbalists, and spiritualists of traditional African religious and spiritual ways of life.

According to Manuela Arciniegas, Alma Moyo will be putting out an album soon, so as soon as I know more, so will you. In the meantime check out this great video showing Alma Moyo, and Obanilu Allende marcando as only he can.

(Alma Moyo, Video Credit: bosefod)

* Alex if you happen to be reading this drop me a line...

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