Segunda Quimbamba

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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 original ensemble was founded by 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 the Puerto Rican tradition of caroling called parrandas.



One of the most breathtaking demonstrations of the heritage Puerto Ricans carry is Bomba, an Afro-Caribbean rhythm played by two or more drums guided by the dancer’s movements. It is best described as a dialogue between a dancer and a drummer where the dancer challenges the lead drummer to replicate dance moves with drum beats.

The dance served as a source of resistance for enslaved Africans, so the lyrics that accompany the beats derive from a spiritual evocation reflecting anger, pain, and sadness in response to systemic oppression.



Even though Plena is often associated with Christmas time and parrandas, this genre is heard throughout the Island year-round. The plena’s beat is played with a driving meter by differently sized and tuned hand-held drums called panderos. The original narrative of Plena songs detailed the struggles and burdens of the coastal regions of Puerto Rico.
Unlike Bomba, the steps become secondary to the lyrics and melodies of Plena. And, although you can dance solo, plena is also choreographed in pairs with couples facing each other.



Together we will learn about this rich cultural heritage and honor our ancestors when sharing
our love and passion for Puerto Rico! Join us every Sunday! General Sessions start March 3rd,
Children’s Sessions start April 14th, and the program culminates with a student recital on June
2nd at the Nimbus Arts Center in Downtown Jersey City. 

Experience Community and Culture with Segunda Quimbamba’s UPCOMING EVENTS


Segunda Quimbamba Folkloric Center ubicado en Jersey City, NJ es una organización caritativa y cultural sin fines de lucro que celebra la música de los tambores folclóricos puertorriqueños de la Bomba y la Plena mediante talleres educativos de baile y percusión, presentaciones y conferencias dictadas. The Segunda Quimbamba Folkloric Center in Jersey City is a charitable, nonprofit, cultural arts organization that promotes the drums and folklore of the Afro-Puerto Rican traditions of Bomba and of Plena through dance and drum workshops, performances and conference presentations.

Dance classes begin with a warm up. Exposure to Bomba and Plena learning of rhythms, basic steps and simple choreography done also dancing in pairs. Maximum 15 students per class.

Students learn about singing and chorus, call-and-response methods in the Spanish language and the beloved Plena dancing traditions.

Contact us

Executive Director of Segunda Quimbamba Folkloric Center and Music Director of Segunda Quimbamba
Monday - Saturday 10:00-5:00
Juan Cartagena
Nanette Hernández
Director of Development and Education Initiatives
Segunda Quimbamba Folkloric Center
279 Second Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 463-4814