08/20/12 Tickets are on sale now for the August 27th Plena Libre concert at the Eppley Auditorium of Culver Academies.

This group of four-time Grammy Award nominees brings to life the music of Puerto Rico with a swinging rhythm section, horns, vocals, and dance.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium at 1300 Academy Road. Tickets are $20. For tickets and more information, call (574) 842-7058.

Led by founder Gary Nuñez through 15 years of worldwide performances and 13 albums, Plena Libre comprises an ensemble of 12 virtuoso musicians. The group focuses on Puerto Rican plena and bomba musical traditions. Along with providing entertainment, Plena Libre, which has performed in 15 countries, educates their audiences about the traditional culture of Puerto Rico. For more information on the band, go to www.plenalibre.com.

A combination of African, Spanish, and Caribbean sounds, plena was born in the barrios (slums) of Puerto Rico in the early 20th century. Starting as a solo pandero that quickly developed into a trio of interlocking pandero patterns that accompanied a call-and-response vocal style, plena soon evolved from music solely played by agricultural migrants to a popular form of social expression that recounted the daily lives of the island’s inhabitants.

“Plena has been called ‘the people’s newspaper,'” says Nuñez, “because its songs recount the history of our land; it comments on and satirizes everyday life. You won’t read its stories in history books.”

Likewise, bomba is a style of Puerto Rican folk music that has its roots in African music and is dominated by percussion and by call-and-response vocals.

The appearance of Plena Libre is the first of five concerts sponsored by the Huffington Concert Series in 2012-2013. Tickets are available to the general public and all performances are at Eppley Auditorium. Additional dates for the concert series are:

Sept. 27, 2012 – Music and political satire by The Capitol Steps, a Washington-based troupe of former congressional staffers turned political comedians.

Dec. 11, 2012 – Dickens’ A Christmas Carol,” performed by the Nebraska Theatre Caravan, features colorful period costumes, lively singing, dancing, and special effects, making a delightful evening the whole family can enjoy.

Feb. 4, 2013 – The Blues Brothers Revue is the official, high-energy, fun-filled show sanctioned by Dan Akroyd and the Belushi Estate.

March 12, 2013 – In a return engagement, Hubbard Street II Dance Company of Chicago is among the most original forces in contemporary dance. As one of the only professional dance companies to perform year-round, Hubbard Street is in its 35th year and the main company has appeared in 44 states and 19 countries.