With over 25 years of history in Jersey City, Segunda Quimbamba Folkloric Center and Music Group brings the local community exhilarating music by way of Afro Puerto Rican bomba y plena. We first were introduced to the group through a family member who had taken their class. It would be the start of our journey into the music, deeper into the community and deeper into ourselves.
"Because of Segunda Quimbamba, I feel so much more connected to my roots and therefore my own essence. Bomba to me means community, and having a space for it in my hometown is to have a gem." - Viannca
Segunda Quimbamba, lead by Juan Cartagena and Nanette Hernandez, a duo that is definitely Relationship Goals, offers a space to learn Puerto Rican Folkloric drum and dance. It's not just a space where you learn the techniques of each, it is a space where you learn to move way passed your own boundaries. It's a 'no experience required' space, where people like us can jump in without ever having touched an instrument, and in what seems like no time, be participating (with instruments (and drinks) in hand) at parrandas, at All About Downtown Fest (a huge Jersey City street fair), and even at shows! We've gotten so good at sticking around (not so much at becoming musicians just yet) that we're joining them to perform in PUERTO RICO!
Did you get that? Let's rewind and lay that out very clearly. We began classes, never having danced bomba, never having played not one instrument, not being singers; and after a couple of years of classes, parrandas, local festivals & shows, WE ARE JOINING THEM TO PREFORM ON THE ISLAND THAT THIS MUSIC ORIGINATES FROM. We honestly can't express how meaningful this is to us, we try to in our podcast though, and it's why we keep using all caps. Talk about growth and a journey, this is it. This is how you give your life more meaning than work and the normal watch TV, hang out at a bar social life. You take up a hobby, a craft, something you couldn't do before, or didn't know you could do and all of sudden you can do it, all of a sudden you are doing it. All of a sudden you are doing it at a high level! The love we have for this group for helping us grow the love that we have for ourselves is next level. We sit here and reflect and think, wow, I came into this with very little to give to this music, only with everything to learn, and while we haven't learned half as much as we need to, we've shown ourselves we can do more than we could have imagined before starting this journey.
Sometimes you just have to start. And if it is with Segunda Quimbamba that you want to start your growth journey, then by all means come to a class.
Just visiting the city? Come to a class, too.