Madera with Afrocustics

Madera with Afrocustics. (Image via Americas Society video)

Music of the Americas: Puerto Rico

En Casa takes us to Puerto Rico in a week curated by Beatriz Ayala. 

Entrepreneur and founder of Musicasa Beatriz Ayala takes En Casa to Puerto Rico. In 2019, Ayala founded Musicasa, a tech music startup innovating in the field of live entertainment that helps undiscovered musicians develop their careers through highly curated intimate home concerts, currently operating in San Juan and Miami. She is also an award-winning advertising and communications executive, having worked for 10 for global and local agencies working on creative initiatives for leading companies for the U.S. Hispanic market, Central America, the Caribbean, and her native Puerto Rico.

Recuerdos will be back next week.

Fernando Madera

Tuesday, November 30, 10 a.m.

San Juan-based Fernando Madera has been working as a producer, composer, singer-songwriter, and guitarist on the local independent scene since 2007. In 2012 he released his first self-named solo album Fernando Madera and in 2017. Madera has developed a personal sound, where pop and jazz meet textures of blues, funk, reggae, and elements of Latin soul.

From home in Caguas, he sent us a live version of his song "Tuvos," from the album Una Perspectiva Azul, where he is joined by Jorge "Bebo" Rivera on melodica and the duo Afrocustics, singer Tanicha López and beatboxer Edgar García "Black Rhythm."



Wednesday, December 1, 10 a.m.

Mixing tradition and experimentation, singer juliana is one of the most inspired and driven voices in today's Latin American music scene. After studying history and education policy at Brown University, she spent two years in Havana, where she was inspired by the similarities of the local music with that of her native Puerto Rico. In 2018 she started collaborating with Modestti and Manuel Mendoza Sánchez, with whom she established the foundations of a personal sound that is inspired by the traditions of Puerto Rican while experimenting with technology. Among her plans for the near future is the release of an EP.

From home in San Juan, she sent us "Nunca pudimos," performed with bassist Héctor Mayoral Modestti, keyboardist Emmanuel Gámbaro, and percussionist Manuel Mendoza Sánchez. 


Thursday, December 2, 10 a.m.

Afrocustics is the vocal duo of beatboxer Black Rhythm and singer Tanicha Lopez. Afrocustics creates vocal music that fuses vocal styles like beatboxing, scat singing, poetry, and rap and acoustic and electronic instruments.

Black Rhythm is an artist, educator, cultural producer, and lecturer on beatboxing from San Juan. He has received numerous national and international beatboxing awards, including the national championship in 2016, a spot in the Top 16 in the Latin American championship in 2017, and in the Top 25 in the world championship in 2018. In addition to his work with Afrocustics, Black Rhythm directs other beatboxing projects in Puerto Rico.

Tanicha Lopez is a songwriter, singer, and producer from the Carolina district of San Juan. Her musical influences include reggae, gospel, neo-soul, bolero, and salsa. In addition to her work with Afrocustics, she is also the singer in the reggae band Cultura Profética and performs regularly in Puerto Rico and abroad.

From Caguas, they sent us Lopez's "Lifeline," in which the duo is joined by Fernando Madera and Bebo Rivera.


The MetLife Foundation Music of the Americas concert series is made possible by the generous support of Presenting Sponsor MetLife Foundation.

The Fall 2021 Music program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the Howard Gilman Foundation.

Howard Gilman Foundation