FREE - September 16-October 9, 2023

September 16-October 9, 2023

Pregones/PRTT Present

El Imaginario de Los Pleneros de la 21 - Re(Framed)

An art exhibit by Los Pleneros de la 21
September 16-October 9, 2023
At Pregones Theater in The Bronx
575 Walton Avenue


The exhibit that captures in images, the voices, experiences, and music of Los Pleneros de la 21, returns. This time, to Pregones Theater in a special visual re[frame] to kick off this iconic Afro-Puerto Rican ensembel’s 40th Anniversary celebrations.

Los Pleneros de la 21’s performances, programs, musicians, and the experiences they’ve crafted over the past four decades have been a source of inspiration for many culture bearers, bomberxs and plenerxs, as well as notable photographers and visual artists. The artwork that has captured the likeness of the bands’ members and the stunning photographs that have displayed LP21’s unforgettable moments, both on stage and off, have formed an equal part of the collective memory of Los Pleneros de la 21, and bomba and plena en Nueva York. El Imaginario de Los Pleneros de la 21 pays homage to the history of the ensemble and reveres the work and eye of the visual creatives that have accompanied the ensemble along the way. On view during the special re[framed] is work by: Máximo Rafaél Colón, Marisol Díaz, Tom Ehrlich, Hiram Maristany, Andrés Rodríguez, José Rodríguez, Adrian Viajero Román, and Manny Vega(pictured).

El Imaginario de Los Pleneros de la 21 – Re[Framed] has been made possible by support from the New York State Council on the Arts, and Creatives Rebuild New York, A project of the Tides Center. As always, indebted to Pregones Theater for its unconditional support.


More About The Artists – Click To Open



Los Pleneros de la 21 (LP21) is the premier East Harlem-based performing ensemble and non-profit community organization. LP21 was founded in 1983 by Juan J. ‘Juango’ Gutiérrez (National Endowment for the Arts’ Heritage Fellow, 1996) and the legendary Master Plenero, Marcial Reyes Arvelo. The ensemble has pioneered the road for Bomba and Plena performance around NYC, and continues to spread it globally for nearly 40 years. The ensemble received a Grammy nomination for their groundbreaking album with Smithsonian Folkways, Para Todos Ustedes.

As a traditional arts and community organization, Los Pleneros de la 21 fosters awareness and appreciation of Afro-Puerto Rican and related cultural expressions, namely Bomba and Plena music and dance, as essential for healthy community life and encouraging people of all ages to create their own bonds through active participation in these traditions. Our landmark cultural arts education and performance programs have served communities for nearly forty years, with an annual roster of accessible workshops and community-based concerts.


Gutiérrez learned to play the Plena, but as he started his career as a professional percussionist, he performed many other styles of music as well. After moving to New York City to continue his studies, he felt a need to return to his Puerto Rican musical roots. He took up Plena under the legendary Plenero Marcial Reyes Avelo, who introduced him to other master Pleneros in New York.

Later, Gutiérrez focused his attention on Bomba as an even deeper root of Puerto Rican tradition and sought out elders who were able to teach him. The Bomba had emerged in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century plantation life and exhibited many of the attributes of West African dance ensembles; interlocking drum patterns overlaid by a lead drum that “converses” with improvised solo dancing, a declamatory vocal style, rhythmic patterns, and sometimes spiritual overtones.


Julia L. Gutiérrez-Rivera is a New York born and raised Puerto Rican, cultural worker and practitioner of Bomba and Plena expressions. As a teaching artist and performer, Julia has toured and presented her practice nationally and globally for over twenty years, as a member of several Bomba and Plena ensembles including LP21, and Redobles de Cultura. With an MS in Nonprofit Administration from Milano, the New School for Nonprofit Management and Urban Policy; her approach to arts administration is focused on building sustainability and enhancing cultural and community impact. She’s served on numerous grants panels, and has been featured on various panels centered on arts and administrative practice. Julia is the Community Outreach Coordinator for the NCTA, Community Engagement and Youth Enrichment coordinator for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and is a Board member for the Center for Traditional Music and Dance. Regarded as one of New York City’s premiere Bomba and Plena performers, dancers, and educators, Julia has continued to share her gift with LP21, teaching special Un Paso Alante: Master Class Clinics .

Our Esteemed Funders – Click To Open

This FREE program is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor and the New York State Legislature. For a full list of our funders, visit

Logos of funding agencies.


Event Details

  • Location

    Pregones Theater
    575 Walton Avenue in The Bronx

  • Date & Time

    September 16-October 9, 2023
    Gallery Hours:
    Monday-Friday, 10am to 5pm
    RSVP for other times by calling

  • Collaborators

    Juango Artwork by Adrian Viajero Román and Manny Vega

    Developed at
    Pregones Theater