Bomba music: Videos, books & more at-home activities for grade schoolers

By Children’s Librarian José Cruz

Welcome everyone! Today we will briefly explore a pillar of Puerto Rican cultural expression known as Bomba.

We will learn that beyond its existence as a musical genre in Puerto Rico, Bomba has its origins amongst the enslaved Africans on the island dating back to at least the 17th century and it was used as a form of resistance, source of information and cultural affirmation.

Through the links below, I offer this short introduction to Bomba in the hopes of whetting your appetite and encouraging you to delve deeper into this form of Puerto Rican resistance through cultural expression.

Listen to the music

Watch these videos

Try these books

  • Grandma’s Records by Eric Velasquez discusses a grandmother’s bond with her grandson over different Puerto Rican musical traditions.
  • Lulu Delacre’s Rafi and Rosi: Music also takes readers on a journey exploring Bomba, Plena, and Salsa music in Puerto Rico through the adventures of two tree frogs (coquís) in Puerto Rico.
  • When Julia Danced Bomba by Raquel M. Ortiz tells the story of a little girl who is nervous to dance solo but enjoys herself once she loses herself in the rhythm of the bomba drums.

Read these articles

Children's Librarian Jose

About José

José is a children’s librarian with an interest In YA fiction, active storytimes, and social justice programming. He can usually be found thinking of different ways to make storytime enjoyable.

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