Puerto Plata’s sweet, nostalgic voice is laced with the kind of wisdom that’s reminiscent of the late Ibrah im Ferrer of Buena Vista Social Club. Combining meringue, guaracha, son and música jíbara, Puerto Plata takes the audience back to the Golden Age of Dominican guitar music before the saxophone and accordion became dominant.
An heir to an unbroken native son tradition, Plata offers a taste of the living music of the great soneros. Son originated in eastern Cuba when African rhythm and drumming was introduced to Havana to produce the mambo, salsa, t im ba and more. The Dominican Republic version of son, intertwines bolero, guaracha and early meringue.
At age 85, the Dominican master, José Cobles is as charismatic and vigorous as ever. Born in the resort town of Puerto Plata in 1923, and later given that as a nickname, Plata plays the guitar and sings Dominican sones, boleros and merengues in a voice that has seen its share of romance and trouble.
The musicians for Puerto Plata include José Cobles (Puerto Plata), vocals; Frank Méndez, lead guitar; Augusto Santos, rhythm guitar; Samuel Paredes, bass; Randy Alejo, percussion; and Roberto Santos, percussion.
Admission to the performance is $34; $33 for CMA members. Special group and student rates are available. To purchase tickets visit the CMA Online Box Office at www.clevelandart.org/tickets or call 1-888- CMA -0033. Puerto Plata performs at Murch Auditorium in the Cleveland Museum of Natural History (CMNH) located at 1 Wade Oval Drive in Cleveland. Limited parking is available at the CMNH lot. Additional parking is available at the Cleveland Museum of Art parking garage on University Circle.