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Homegrown Plus: Gabriel Muñoz and Melodias Borinqueñas

Gabriel Muñoz seated, playing a stringed instrument called a cuatro, similar to a mandolin.

Gabriel Muñoz at the Library of Congress. Photo by Stephen Winick for AFC.

In the Homegrown Plus series, we present Homegrown concerts that also had accompanying oral history interviews, placing both together in an easy-to-find blog post. (Find the whole series here!) We’re continuing the series with Gabriel Muñoz and Melodias Borinqueñas, an ensemble from New Jersey performing Puerto Rican folk music. The group is led by Gabriel Muñoz, a master of the cuatro, a traditional Puerto Rican musical instrument similar to the mandolin. The group appeared at the Library of Congress on September 22, 2016.

In the first player, watch the concert.  Then scroll down for the oral history!

Five men and one woman perform onstage. One man sings, two play drums, two play stringed instruments. The woman plays a guiro, a percussion instrument.

Melodias Borinqueñas performs at the Library of Congress. Photo by Stephen Winick for AFC.

In the oral history, Daniel Sheehy, director emeritus of Smithsonian Folkways Records, spoke with Gabriel Muñoz about his life and about Puerto Rican music on the island and the mainland United States:

You can find both of these videos with more bibliographic information on the Library of Congress website, with the concert here at this link and the oral history at this link.

Gabriel Muñoz at the Library of Congress. Photo by Stephen Winick for AFC.

Read more about the artist at the cuatro project website.

The American Folklife Center’s Homegrown Concert Series brings music, dance, and spoken arts from across the country, and some from further afield, to the Library of Congress.  For information on current concerts, visit the Folklife Concerts page at Concerts from the Library of Congress. For past concerts, including links to webcasts and other information, visit the Homegrown Concerts Online Archive.

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