Cimarrones came about in the fall of 2009. Nelson Báez was teaching bomba and plena to youth in New Brunswick, Plainfield and Elizabeth. From time to time he would receive requests to perform at schools and Rutgers University. Having only three adults, Nelson, his wife Magda Luccioni Báez and Vera Nolan, he asked Cristian Ortiz (11 years old) one of his students from Newark, Isabel Torres a New Brunswick school teacher, her husband Benjamin Rivera and their three children Rebekah, Eliz, and Benjamin II who were also students of Nelson Báez to perform at these events.  On November 19, 2008 at a presentation at the Evergreen Elementary School in Plainfield Nelson was introduced to Raices de mi Patría a Puerto Rican Folkloric dance ensemble who performed to recorded music and choreographed dances.  Always looking for collaboration Nelson invited Raices de mi Patría to join forces with him and perform together at their next event at Rutgers University the following evening. The performance was a great success and Raices complimented and enhanced Cimarrones’ vocals, dancing and percussion with their dancing and vocals.  After the performance Nelson went to the 360 Lounge in New Brunswick for Salsa Night where Nelson negotiated Cimarrones’ first performance to take place on January 17, 2009. This was the first time that Bomba and Plena had been performed at this establishment and Cimarrones was a great hit. Cimarrones began playing at the 360 Lounge and Grill one Saturday a month along with their DJ Lady “C” La Comay Buena and were filling the lounge to capacity and had fans traveling from New York and Pennsylvania for these events.

Cimarrones is one of the most sought after Bomba and Plena ensembles in New Jersey. Cimarrones has performed and instructed in very diverse venues which include, K – 12 schools, colleges and universities, corporate events, weddings, sweet sixteen parties, graduation celebrations, cultural festivals, libraries, night clubs, street fairs, fund raisers and inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers and churches. The group has also performed in New York at the Natives Theater in Queens and La Fonda Boricua in El Barrio.

The group released its first CD Viejos Tiempos in April of 2009.  The CD is a compilation of traditional Bomba, Colombian songs interpreted in Bomba and fusion with Hip Hop and reggaeton. Cimarrones is scheduled to record their second CD in July of 2010.

One of the reasons that Cimarrones is so well sought after is their ability to engage the audience, create high energy and educate them at the same time. At our performances we believe that we are not there to entertain but to build community with our audiences. Our audiences are expected to either sing, dance or play an instrument, which is the essence of Bomba and Plena.

About Cimarrones

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