About Us

Segunda Quimbamba is a Jersey City-based percussion and dance ensemble that performs authentic Bomba and Plena, the drum music of Puerto Rico. The ensemble was founded by director Juan Cartagena and his wife Nanette Hernandez as Los Pleneros de la Segunda (The Pleneros from Second Street) in 1989 during the Christmas season to preserve the Puerto Rican tradition of caroling called parrandas.

Over the years, family members joined the group, which began playing Bomba in 1995.  In 1997 the name was changed to Segunda Quimbamba in honor of both Second Street, Jersey City, where most of the members live or have lived and Quimbamba, the mystical place described in a poem by the famous Puerto Rican poet Luis Pales Matos, called “Majestad Negra”. In 1997 the nonprofit Segunda Quimbamba Folkloric Center, Inc. was created to promote Bomba and Plena in New Jersey and the rest of the country. The Center produces a Newsletter about Bomba and Plena called Guiro y Maraca and conducts music and dance workshops in these genres to share these traditions with the public and younger generations.

Founder and Director Juan Cartagena was recognized as a Master folk artist by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (NJSCA) in 2004. He also received FolkLife Apprenticeship grants from the NJSCA to further study Bomba and Plena with master artist Miguel Sierra, as well as to study Bomba with Roberto Cepeda, a reknown master artist in Puerto Rico. Juan has also received a Mentorship grant from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation to collaborate with Roberto Cepeda. In 2006 and 2007, Nanette Hernandez, the co-founder of the group, was awarded a Folklife Apprenticeship grant by NJSCA to study Bomba Dance with master artist, Juan Usera.

Our work is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment of the Arts, administered by the Hudson County Office of Cultural Affairs, Thomas A. Degise, County Executive, and the Board of Chosen Freeholders.

SQFC Form 990-EZ 2009

SQFC Form 990-EZ 2010

SQFC Form 990-EZ 2011

SQFC Form 990-EZ 2012

SQFC Form 990-EZ 2013

SQFC Form 990-EZ 2014