It’s Puerto Rican day in Chicago today and I want to dedicate this song to all of my Puerto Rican friends past and present, including my sisters Lisa, Francie , Susie and my step-father Santiago “Chago” Rodriguez. Viva Boricua!
I was going to select some sophisticated, pollished, salsa number for a dedication but them decided to get down to the folk roots and selected this plena. The plena is a Puerto Rican original. Listening to this number you can hear the different cultural contributions to it. The guiro, that hollowed out gourd that makes the scratching sound is the Taino native peoples influence, the accordian is the contribution from the 1000’s of Corsicans(including French and Italian) who migrated to Puerto Rico back in the 1800’s. The language is Carribean/Canarian Spanish, the vocal and percussion is the influence of Africa. Yes, thousands of years and millions of souls from Africa talking to you through this sound.