Gabriel Muñoz and Melodias Borinqueñas | Puerto Rican Folk Music from New Jersey
Homegrown Concerts from the Library of Congress, Co-sponsored by the American Folklife Center
SEPTEMBER 22, 2016, Noon, No Tickets Required
Gabriel Muñoz was born in Puerto Rico in 1976. When he was 2, his family moved to New Jersey, where he grew up and still resides. He was introduced to the cuatro—a traditional Puerto Rican musical instrument similar to the mandolin—at the age of 14. Gabriel fell in love with the instrument’s sound, and asked his father to purchase one for his upcoming birthday. So on his 15th birthday, he received his first cuatro as a gift, which he says changed his life forever. He then began honing his skills on the instrument through constant practice and immersing himself in the cuatro and in Puerto Rican music. He sought advice and wisdom from other cuatro players, including the well known master Alvin Medina, in order to perfect his craft. Approximately 6 years ago he co-founded the musical ensemble Melodias Borinqueñas (Melodies from Puerto Rico), who will be performing at this concert. The band features Gabriel Muñoz on cuatro, Anibal Ortiz on guitar, Mariano Medina on congas, Ivan Rodriguez on bongos, Ana Ortiz on guiro, and Hector Hernandez on vocals. Using these unique sounds, they hope to introduce Puerto Rican folk music to many people around the world, and also to provide a nostalgic experience to Puerto Ricans living away from their homeland.
A free noon concert series presented by the American Folklife Center and the Music Division of the Library of Congress. Most concerts are held in the Coolidge Auditorium (located on the Ground Floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress) or the Whittall Pavilion (next to the Coolidge, on the Ground Floor, Jefferson Building). Occasionally, concerts may be in other locations, which will be specified above in the concert description. Presented in Partnership with the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. NO TICKETS REQUIRED.