Jorge Emmanuelli Náter
Afro-Puerto Rican Music Elder and Master
Jorge Emmanuelli Náter was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico and raised in Carolina, Puerto Rico where he defined himself as a master practitioner and researcher of both Plena and Bomba as early as his teenage years. Jorge is a great grandson of master Bomba musician Sergio Náter Peña (most well known for his mastery of the “Primo” or “Subidor” lead drum of Bomba during the early 1900s). Through this vein, Jorge embodies the legacy of at least 100 years of Bomba & Plena knowledge in his family and is the founder and director of the Bomba & Plena ensemble known as “The first family of Puerto Rican Bomba and Plena Evolution” – HERMANOS EMMANUELLI NÁTER.
During his 30 years of cultural work, this master drummer has made significant and historical contributions in the preservation and execution of both Bomba and Plena in Puerto Rico, the broader United States, and in Europe. In the early 1990s, Jorge was the primary catalyst in successfully reviving the tradition of community bailes de Bomba (or Bomba dances) from his residence in Carolina, Puerto Rico and in the coining and use of the term "Bombazo" to identify Bomba dances, which lead to the birth of the terms and community events now commonly known as “Plenazos” and “Bomplenazos.” He makes history once again as the first Bomba and Plena elder to become an LP product endorser.
His work and research related to Bomba and Plena have been endorsed by the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (ICPR), La Compañía de Turismo de Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico's House of Representatives, and the late historian and ICPR founder Ricardo Alegría to name a few. Mr. Emmanuelli Náter has been featured in documentaries such as De Africa al Caribe and En Búsqueda de la Verdad de la Bomba Puertorriqueña (Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico) and contributed to programming for HBO, MTV International and local Puerto Rican television shows and commercials.
In the last decade, Mr. Emmanuelli Náter has defined himself by focusing his teachings on the tendencies of foundational and ancient knowledge and the evolution of the genres of both Plena and Bomba from their roots. For these and numerous other contributions to these two genres, Mr. Emmanuelli Náter is considered a cultural celebrity who is a master practitioner and an elder in both communities of Bomba and Plena – having gained his knowledge in the global practice of apprenticeship to other elders. Jorge is the first elder in either of these genres to make his knowledge available for broad consumption via instructional materials. Mr. Emmanuelli Náter is also the first practitioner in either of these genres to formally offer mentorship to individuals and groups seeking to establish themselves in the foundational practice of these Afro-Boricua genres.
Most recently, Jorge has worked to further the evolution of these genres through his conceptual orchestra CAPRE – Chicago Afro Puerto Rican Ensemble which is the first ensemble to have Plena and Bomba as its root musical forms and purposefully only utilizes traditional Puerto Rican instruments in its percussion section. In addition to these and other projects and accomplishments, Mr. Emmanuelli Náter is bringing together his knowledge of ancient Afro-Boricua music traditions and expert execution for several upcoming book projects, the first of which has an anticipated publication in 2013.
Jorge has spent most of his life performing, providing instruction about, and lecturing on the history and practice of the uniquely Puerto Rican genres of Plena and Bomba.