Keepers Of tradition
  Introduction        Folk Arts & Heritage Program        Search Archives        Blog
Browse themes:
  music PreviousNext
Puerto Rican Musician
Jorge Santiago Arce with a display of percussion instruments, Puerto Rican Musician, 2011; Jorge L. Santiago-Arce (b. 1950); Roxbury, Massachusetts;
Jorge Santiago Arce with a display of percussion instruments, Puerto Rican Musician, 2011
Jorge L. Santiago-Arce (b. 1950)
Roxbury, Massachusetts
Jorge Arce with vejigante wearing Loiza style masks; Musician; 2012: Lowell, Massachusetts
Leading parade at the Lowell Folk Festival; musician; 2012: Lowell, Massachusetts
verticle bar Artist
Jorge L. Santiago-Arce
Roxbiury, MA
Web Site
Jorge Arce grew up in the Bélgica, a working class neighborhood of Ponce, Puerto Rico. Ponce is known as the wellspring of bomba, plena, and danza, traditional Afro Caribbean styles of music and dance. Born into a family of dancers and singers, Arce grew up with Plena folk groups and musicians including Manolito and Los Pleneros de Ponce, and Dona Jacinta, a local Bomba dancer who was descended from former slaves. Arce credits Don Rafael Cepda and family with expanding his knowledge of bomba. Arce featured the Cepeda family in his television, record, and theater productions, including the 1979 broadcast of "MelodÍa en El Caño".
In addition to his life-long work in Bomba and Plena, Arce is an experienced actor, dancer, and cultural historian. He is considered an expert on the history of Puerto Rican's African people and their descendants. Touring the United States since 1975 as a musician and educator, Arce continues to give workshops, lectures, residencies and performances at schools, festivals, and community organizations. These include performing with Humana, an 11-member band formed in 1987. In Puerto Rico, directed the Music Program of the Puerto Rican Institute of Culture (2001-2003) and produced the African Roots and Heritage Festival. Here is Boston, Jorge served as the cultural director La Alianza Hispana and Inguilos Boricuas en Accion (Villa Victoria). Arce performs primarily within the Puerto Rican and Hispanic community throughout the northeastern United States, finding gratification in bringing music, dance, and culture to public schools with large Hispanic populations, such as Boston, Lawrence, Holyoke, and Hartford.
verticle bar Purchase Exhibition Catalogue