Puerto Rico - Music and Performing Arts

Sometimes called its biggest export, Puerto Rican music has been heavily influenced by all the many peoples who inhabited the island over the years. As a result, it takes many forms, from classical music to folk music to bomba y plena to salsa. Puerto Rico has born many great musicians, including Tito Puente. More recently, Puerto Ricans musical profile was boosted again by the sudden prominence of pop singer Ricky Martin.

Puerto Rico keeps its musical and performing arts traditions alive through a series of annual festivals and concerts. The Casals Festival honors the life and work of famous Puerto Rican cellist, conductor and composer Pablo Casals. Puerto Rican Danza Week celebrates Puerto Ricans native danza music. The genre was heavily influenced by French and Cuban musical styles. The Puerto Rican Heineken Jazz Fest celebrates all styles of Jazz with an emphasis on Latin Jazz. The Le Lo Lai Festival takes place year round and features weekly shows of popular and folkloric music.

In San Juan, The Centro de Bellas Artes Luis A. Ferré (CBA), or the Luis A. Ferré Performing Arts Center, hosts classical and contemporary performances, including plays, concerts, ballets and festivals. This is the performing home of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico. The Teatro Tapia, built in 1832, hosts plays, ballets and concerts. Larger concerts take place in the Coliseo Roberto Clemente, which can hold up to 10,000 people.

In Caguas, in the central region, the three-story performing arts center, Centro de Bellas artes de Caguas "Ing. Angel O. Berrios," features performances by local artists. The Centro Musical Criollo José Ignacio Quintón performing arts center hosts performances of folkloric Puerto Rican music only.

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