local flavor

Rincon Criollo Cultural Center

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Rincon Criollo Cultural Center has been an oasis of Puerto Rican, Latin and New York culture for over 25 years. This community garden found in the South Bronx serves as a gathering place, performance space, and celebration grounds open to anyone looking to experience or rejoice in the convergence of cultures. Rincon Criollo literally means Creole Corner and is one of the oldest community centers of its kind. One unique feature is the casitas, replicas of wooden houses that would traditionally be found in the countryside of old Puerto Rico. Perhaps the largest part of the Rincon Criollo experience is the music. Featuring Bomba and Plena, the music of Puerto Rico’s working class, the beats are infectious and dance parties are a common occurrence.

Yerbabuena, a mainstay at Rincon Criollo, plays soul infused music that has been called a cross between a jam in the park, a spiritual ceremony, and a family reunion. “The main thing we bring is a way for the audience to connect with themselves through something we’re sharing with them that’s already there,” explains band leader Tato Torres. The interactive Boricua roots music is loved at the Rincon Criollo Center and the feeling is obviously mutual. “In a way, the whole place is a shrine to who we are and where we’re from,” says Torres. Vibrant and alive with energy, Rincon Criollo is “a non-profit institution, garden and community spot where people come to breath culture that is not for sale.”

157th Street and Brook Avenue, 10451


  • By victor morgado – 08-14-08 at 8:58 pm

    This really moved me,I recall that day. It was my first Pandero class with Papo Plena….To see the first Casita and to listen to la cadencia de Tato when he gets inspired to talk about la casita and the Boricua experience, it is a healing moment…

  • By Cool in Your Code – 08-14-08 at 9:19 pm

    Wow, Victor, thank you for your heartfelt words. It means a lot to know our show can have that kind of impact. We appreciate the comment and please keep visiting the site.

  • By Mikki Cortez – 10-08-08 at 8:48 pm

    Well done! I am a proud Puertoriquena who lives in the boogie down and music has always been in my life through song dance my spiritual journeys and I thank you for that Puertorican Journey of La Casita it made me want to jump in your website and dance and set my spirit free! Thank you for keeping our culture alive! Mikki

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