October 6 & 7, 2023

Celebrating 40 years of LP21

40 Years Of Empowering, Celebrating, And Building Community Through The Spirit Of Puerto Rican Art And Tradition.

Join us in celebrating the 40th Anniversary of LP21 with two historic concerts and one retrospective photo exhibit:

Concert #1

Friday October 6, 2023 @ 7PM – GET TICKETS>>

Los Pleneros de la 21 – 40 Años de Crónica Musical
A journey through time and music – a retrospective performance honoring the 40 years of Los Pleneros de la 21

Celebrating the milestone 40th anniversary of ground-breaking musical presentations and legendary community programs, our very own Los Pleneros de la 21–the intergenerational New York City-based ensemble that has upheld bomba, plena, and Puerto Rican cultural expressions since 1983–returns to Pregones Theater in an evening that recounts their histories, sounds, and visions. Combining music, dance, lyrical narratives, and more, Los Pleneros de la 21 come together to retell the experiences of the past 40 years in the best way they know how – through the languages of bomba and plena. For one night only, audiences will listen to favorite tunes, reimagined arrangements, and never-before performed songs from LP21’s musical treasure chest, capturing key moments that have defined the group. The journey concludes with an exciting unveiling of songs from the Pleneros’ upcoming album (to be released in 2024). Joining the Pleneros are special guests from Puerto Rico and beyond to bring this one of a kind love story to bomba and plena to life.

Saturday, October 7, 2023 @ 7PM – GET TICKETS >>

Alex Apolo Ayala’s Afro-Puerto Rican Jazz Big Band Celebrates Los Pleneros de la 21
Puerto Rican born bass player, Alex Apolo Ayala is perhaps one of today’s most talented latin music and jazz musicians. With a musical foregrounding rooted in Puerto Rico, Ayala has been living in NYC since 2013, where he has piqued his musical curiosities through projects that explore the synchronicities of jazz, salsa, big band and the ancestral sounds of his country – Afro-Puerto Rican bomba and plena. Coming from the successes of his bomba-jazz fusion album, “the Bámbula Project”, Ayala furthers his explorations by taking on the treasured repertoire of Grammy nominated Los Pleneros de la 21. As the current Musical Director of the LP21 ensemble, Ayala, under the blessing of LP21 Founder/Director, Juan Gutiérrez, takes creative license of some of the group’s signature songs, to reimagine them as never heard before: A Big Band concept. To add to the repertoire of newly arranged favorites, Apolo will unveil two of his own creations, a debut especially composed for this musical evening. The Pregones Theater will be filled with the dynamic sounds of nearly 25 musicians, including members of the Pleneros de la 21 to put on an unprecedented musical extravaganza – one that not only pays tribute to the 40 years of the LP21 sound, but which also paves the way for a new musical habitat for bomba and plena.

In-person performances at PREGONES THEATER (575 Walton Avenue in The Bronx)

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.

The organization aims to present accessible public traditional music programming; expose and encourage the participation of inner city youth and others to the cultural heritage of Puerto Rico; and perform a repertoire of works embedded in the rich culture of traditional Puerto Rican music to audiences everywhere. LP21’s community-based cultural and educational programs have created a common space for the recognition, education, and practice of Puerto Rican culture and identity. These programs include Bomba and Plena Community Workshops for kids; Bomba and Plena In the House for NYC school children; and other Cultural Legacy Programs. These programs have educated thousands of individuals of all ages.

Los Pleneros de la 21 remains a dynamic, intergenerational group of musicians and cultural leaders from East Harlem, the South Bronx and many of NYC’s own local communities. LP21’s latest album, Los Pleneros de la 21 Live at Pregones: 35 years of Bomba & Plena (Truth Revolution Records, Nov 2018), is an ode to the group’s long arduous, yet satisfying journey. Live at Pregones represents a lifetime of work, blood, sweat, tears, and laughter of countless dedicated Bomberos, Pleneros, educators, and cultural advocates. Raising their spear in the name of Puerto Rican Bomba and Plena, and the makers of this tradition, this album marks a new era for a younger generation of musicians taking the lead in re-envisioning LP21’s ongoing legacy.

More About PregonesPRTT – Click To Open

Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater (aka Pregones/PRTT) is a multigenerational performing ensemble, multidiscipline arts presenter, and owner/steward of bilingual arts facilities in The Bronx and Manhattan. Our mission is to champion a Puerto Rican/Latinx cultural legacy of universal value through creation and performance of original plays and musicals, exchange and partnership with other artists of merit, and engagement of diverse audiences.

COVID-19 Visitor Safety Info – Click To Open

PLEASE NOTE: The use of face masks is optional and strongly recommended. Masks should fit snuggly against the sides of the face and fully cover the nose and mouth.

Our Esteemed Funders – Click To Open

This program is also 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 the Governor’s Office and the New York State Legislature. For a full list of our funders, visit www.pregonesprtt.org.

Directions to Pregones Theater in The Bronx – Click To Open

Pregones Theater
575 Walton Avenue 
(b/w 149th & 150th Streets)
The Bronx, NY 10451

Trains # 2, 4, 5 to 149th Street & Grand Concourse

For more information call us at 718-585-1202


Event Details

  • Location

    Pregones Theater in The Bronx

  • Date & Time

    October 6 & 7, 2023

    Performances at 7pm

  • Featuring

    Los Pleneros de la 21
    Juan Gutierrez
    Nelson Mathew González
    Alex Apolo Ayala
    Julia Gutiérrez-Rivera

    And more!