What Semilla Cultural Offers

Semilla Cultural brings to you a piece of Puerto Rico, its culture, and its music!

Classes

From beginners to advanced: bomba dance, percussion, history, songs, and more

Performances

Consider having us as part of your next event (public or private)

Workshops

Crash courses on bomba dance, percussion, history, songs and more for all levels, all ages

Community Building

Bringing the community together through events to enjoy Puerto Rican culture

Lectures & Discussion Groups

Learn more about bomba with our lectures by researchers and scholars

Semillitas: Children’s Bomba Classes: DC Metro

Semillitas: Children’s Bomba Classes: DC Metro

Join us to experience Puerto Rican bomba songs, dance and music! We will play and sing and have fun as we learn!Read More..
Puerto Rican Bomba Dance Classes: DC Metro

Puerto Rican Bomba Dance Classes: DC Metro

Join us to learn the fundamentals of Puerto Rican bomba dance! Each class will include new moves, rhythms and techniques with the PR sazon!Read More..
Puerto Rican Bomba Percussion Classes: DC Metro

Puerto Rican Bomba Percussion Classes: DC Metro

Join us to learn the fundamentals of Puerto Rican bomba percussion! We will be using barriles, maracas and cuas!Read More..
Community Bombazo: Puerto Rican Bomba for All!

Community Bombazo: Puerto Rican Bomba for All!

Join us in this live bombazo! Practice what you have learned and get the full Puerto Rican bomba experience!Read More..
Music Evolution in the African Diaspora

Music Evolution in the African Diaspora

Join us for a day of panel, workshops and performances in Fredericksburg, VA on bomba, jazz, cumbia, plena, bullerengue, and salsa!Read More..

About Us

Community • Education • Cultura

Semilla Cultural is a non-profit organization developing and cultivating a community that embraces Puerto Rican culture and arts in the Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia region. We focus on raising cultural awareness by teaching and performing the Puerto Rican musical genres of Bomba and Plena, as well as educating the community as to the historical events that shaped this music.

Semilla Cultural was founded in January 2014 with the goal of giving back to the community what always belonged to them: Afro-Puerto Rican music and dance. We are a team of volunteers united by our love and respect for Puerto Rican culture who are committed to preserve and disseminate this legacy left by our ancestors.

Semilla Cultural connects with the community by using the arts as a medium of unity and empowerment. We also collaborate with other artists and groups to forward this mission. We are a grassroots organization, and although we are still growing, we are committed to educating and representing with pride and respect our love for Puerto Rican arts, culture, and traditions.

Members

All of Semilla Cultural’s members are volunteers who share the same love for Puerto Rican music and dance, as well as the passion to share it with others.  
Click the image for additional information

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Serenella Linares

Singer, Maraca

Raised in: Rio Piedras, PR Favorite Rhythm: Yuba Bomba is: The expression of my soul transformed into song
My passion for bomba started following the steps of a sister; her devotion and her love for the music were so contagious that I had to join in.

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Joelo Sanchez

Drummer

Raised in: Mayagüez, PR Favorite Rhythm: Seis Corrido Bomba is: My connection to home… Puerto Rico in my ears
My interest in bomba started in 2007 during college. As the percussion leader in the string orchestra of the UPRM, our repertoire consisted of many arrangements that included bomba. However, when I moved to the U.S. in 2013 bomba became my home, my escape, my connection to Puerto Rico.

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Yvette Ramirez

Singer, Dancer

Born in: Philadelphia PA; Raised in: East and Central Africa. Favorite Bomba rhythm: Sicá Bomba is: Liberation
I was introduced to Bomba in 2017. I was always interested in the African influences in Puerto Rico and started performing in Richmond, Virginia with a bomba y plena group. Since 2017 I have never missed the Batey in Loiza hosted by the Ayala family.

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Kevin LaMarr Jones

Dancer, Maraca

Raised in Richmond Virginia Favorite bomba rhythm: Cuembé Bomba is timetravel
My passion for Bomba started when Jorge Negron brought an amazing Bomba ensemble from PR to the Richmond Folk Festival in 2009. At their after party with Bio Ritmo, I found myself in a batey for the first time and I became a bombero for life.

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Lucy Torres

Composer, Singer, Maraca

Raised in: Brooklyn, NY Favorite Bomba Rhythm: Holandé Bomba is: Visceral
My passion for Bomba started when I joined Semilla Cultural. I've always loved music but learning about Bomba through Semilla Cultural awakened my roots and moved me to better appreciate my passion for music.

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Alexandra Marie Duckett

Dancer, Singer

Raised in: Carolina, PR Favorite Bomba Rhythm: Seis Corrido Bomba is: Power
My passion for bomba started when I was 15 years old. My first bomba/plena group was Raíces de Borinquen and my love for bomba grew ever since. Bomba will forever be a part of me.

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Isha M. Renta López

Founder, Director, Dancer, Singer, Drummer

Raised in: Ponce, PR Favorite Bomba Rhythm: Yubá Bomba is: Freedom
My passion for Bomba music started in the fall of 2006 after seeing a bomba performance by Raices de Borinquen in Wheaton, MD. I love bomba because it gives me a way to express myself through the arts. It is a medium that makes me feel free and makes me reconnect with my roots.

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Eunice Mercado

Singer, Dancer, Drummer

Raised in: San Juan, PR Favorite Bomba Rhythm: Holandé Bomba is: Passion
I have always loved to sing and dance, but Bomba took that passion to another level. The energy you will feel in the Batey will be the closest you'll ever be to witnessing magic

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José A. Polo Morales

Drummer, Singer

Raised in: Cayey, PR Favorite Bomba Rhythm: Seis Corrido Bomba is: Fulfilling

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Elvin Rivera-Orellano

Drummer, Cuá Player

Raised in: Yabucoa, PR Favorite Bomba Rhythm: Hoyomula Bomba is: History
My passion for Bomba music started after I moved to Virginia in 2014. I love bomba because it provides a way to keep a connection to my Island. Semilla Cultural is more than a group, it is a community that grows larger every day

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Tilia Flores

Singer, Maraca, Dancer

Raised in: Bayamón, PR Favorite Bomba Rhythm: Yuba & Cuembé Bomba is: Necessity
My passion for Bomba music started the first time I heard the drums. The necessity to sing, dance and feel the beat of the drums was in my heart. We were told once that yuba was a rhythm to cleanse the aura and the ambiance. And it does... It cleanses my mind and my soul!

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Josue Rivera-Orellano

Dancer, Cuá Player

Raised in: Caguas, PR Favorite Bomba Rhythm: Yubá Bomba is: Passion
My passion for Bomba started during the summer of 2015. The energy you feel when you hear, play, and dance Bomba is incredible. Being part of Semilla Cultural helps me connect with my roots and release stress through Bomba!

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Noemi Rodriguez

Dancer, Cuá Player

Raised in: Manatí, PR Favorite Bomba Rhythm: Cuembé & Hoyomula Bomba is: Connection
My passion for Bomba music started after attending my first Bombazo in 2012 when I got exposed to Bomba and Plena at its peak and full expression. Every rhythm and song expresses different feelings and stories, and while dancing bomba I am able to show my connection to PR.

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Raul Zapata

Drummer, Singer

Raised in: Mayagüez, PR Favorite Bomba Rhythm: Holandé Bomba is: Release
I had always followed the beat of music with my hands and it wasn't until I attended my first Bombazo that I knew where that instinct would lead. I love bomba because playing the drums and listening to it all come together makes me feel energized and at peace, all at once.

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Brenda Soler

Buleador & Dancer

Raised in: Ponce, PR Fav. Rhythm: Hoyomula & Calinda Bomba is: Power

Get Semilla Cultural Merchandise Here

Tshirts • Bags • and More!

Bomba Children's Books Now Available!

Contact
Semilla Cultural

Serving

Fredericksburg VA, Richmond VA, Washington DC, and surrounding areas!

Phone
Mailing Address

P.O. Box 6073
Fredericksburg, VA 22403

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Our services are partially supported by

National Endowment for the Arts
Virginia Humanities