Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Rhythm frees Plena Libre.(Venue)

Byline: David Steinberg Journal Staff Writer

The 14-piece dance band Plena Libre takes its name from plena, an Afro-Caribbean rhythm.

"Plena is a single rhythmic pattern that was born and grew in Puerto Rico," Gary Nunez, the founder and music director of Plena Libre, said by phone from San Juan.

And an instrument grew up alongside the popular rhythm -- the pandero.

The pandero is a type of tambourine, but without the jingles around the perimeter.

"It's hand-held but just has skin and wood," Nunez said. "The pandero comes in three different sizes -- the requinto, seguidor and punteador -- and the three are what create the rhythm."

Each size produces a different sound. …

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