Segunda Quimbamba

About Us

SEGUNDA QUIMBAMBA is a percussion and dance ensemble from Jersey City, NJ that plays authentic Bomba & Plena — the drum music of Puerto Rico. Bomba and Plena are two distinct rhythms that reflect Puerto Rico’s African heritage. Bomba reflects traditions of the bantu/kongo regions of Africa and has nearly 400 years of history in Puerto Rico. It is played on barrel-shaped drums called “bombas” along with a maraca and sticks called “cuas.” Dancers engage in a dynamic challenge with the lead drummer of the ensemble. Plena originated in the early 20th century and its songs reflect the everyday life of the working class of its coastal towns. It is played with hand-held frame drums called “panderos,” a güiro, and at times, guitars, accordions, and congas. Plena, often danced in pairs, is found in protests, strikes, demonstrations and parades in Puerto Rican communities both on the island and in the U.S.
SEGUNDA QUIMBAMBA was founded by its director, Juan Cartagena and his wife, Nanette Hernández as “Los Pleneros de la Segunda” (the Pleneros from Second Street) in 1989 during the Christmas season to preserve another Puerto Rican tradition called “parrandas.” Over the years family members joined the group, which in 1995 began playing Bomba. 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, ̈ a mystical place described in a famous poem by Luis Pales Matos of Puerto Rico called “Majestad Negra.” SEGUNDA QUIMBAMBA plays at schools, cultural festivals, parades and concerts. In 1997 the SEGUNDA QUIMBAMBA FOLKLORIC CENTER, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, charitable and cultural arts organization was created to promote Bomba & Plena in New Jersey and the rest of the country. The CENTER produced a newsletter on Bomba & Plena called Güiro y Maraca and now raises funds to conduct music and dance workshops in these genres
In 2023 the New Jersey State Council on the Arts recognized Juan Cartagena and Nanette Hernández with its New Jersey Heritage Fellowship Award, the highest honor it bestows in Folk and Traditional Arts. Previously, Juan was recognized as a Master Artist in drumming and Nanette was recognized as a Master Artist in dance in the NJSCA’s Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program. They both continue to teach the richness of drumming and dancing regularly in Jersey City and throughout schools in New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the delight of thousands of students. To date, SEGUNDA QUIMBAMBA has had 50 members in its ensemble over the years and has performed in multiple states plus Puerto Rico, Spain and Barbados. SEGUNDA QUIMBAMBA has two recordings: Aquí También in 2010 and Experimental y Tradicional in 2015.

SQFC Form 990-EZ 2020

SQFC Form 990-EZ 2019

SQFC Form 990-EZ 2018

SQFC Form 990-EZ 2017

SQFC Form 990-EZ 2016

SQFC Form 990-EZ 2015