Interview with Tito Matos, Santurce, Puerto Rico

Percussionist and singer Héctor “Tito” Matos is a native of Santurce, Puerto Rico. He is considered one of the best requinto plena drum players of his generation and he is the director and lead singer of Viento de Agua, a Puerto Rican Latin dance band that combines traditional Afro-Puerto Rican rhythms, Bomba and Plena, with other Afro-Caribbean musical styles as well as Jazz. Tito has taken the Puerto Rican Bomba and Plena to four continents and to important stages such as Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall. He is also the musical director of Bomba and Plena group, La Máquina Insular. Both groups pay tribute to the great masters from whom Tito learned to play. He is very active as an educator. His non-profit organization, Taller Comunidad La Goyco, is a community project working on the development and creation of education, culture, and health programs to which Tito and his wife are very dedicated. La Goyco is devoted to the development and creation of education, culture, and health programs.
Interviewed by Raquel Paraíso, 10/06/2020.

Interview with Monika Nieves Maldonado, Toa Baja, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Monika Nieves Maldonado is considered one of the great and most versatile vocal performers in Puerto Rico. By age twelve, she was the main voice of the Areyto Folkloric Ballet. As a singer-songwriter for Puerto Raíces, she performed throughout Puerto Rico as well as the U.S. They shared stages with bands such as Los Pericos, Aterciopelados, La Oreja de Van Gogh, Cultura Profética, La Secta, and Fiel a la Vega. Currently, she plays güiro and sings Música típica with her family group, Herencia Musical, in which Monika joins forces with her brother, cuatro player extraordinaire Christian Nieves and her father, composer, cuatro and guitar player, Modesto Nieves. She collaborates with numerous Puerto Rican musicians and is a recording artist. Her musical project Pasajeros del Tren is a fantastic venue for her creativity. The group plays a fusion of Caribbean rhythms, flamenco and pop-rock. She defines her musical style as JibaRock, a refreshing and innovative formula that combines her subtle and powerful voice and musicianship, as well as her charming energy on the stage.
Interviewed by Raquel Paraíso, 10/05/2020.