Jorge Arce & Humano

Puerto Rico and Afro-Caribbean Culture

6 Dennison St., Boston, MA 02119
787-364-0198  787-296-2587

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"Weaving Horizons: knowing, embracing and respecting other cultures in our Caribbean, our continent and in our world. This is the mission and the message of Afro-Caribbean Workshop which highlights the importance of this presentation at this crucial moment in our history."

"La misión y mensaje de Afro-Caribeño de Entrelazando Horizontes a través del conocimiento y respeto hacia otras culturas que conforman nuestro caribe, nuestro continente y nuestro mundo, cobra especial vigencia en estos momentos históricos."


Program Descriptions Biography Profile and Resume
Afro-Caribbean Workshop Curriculum Guide Press Kit PDF & Photographs
Puerto Rico Cultural Heritage Tours Music MP3 and Video Files
African Retentions In Puerto Rico Thesis Tour Calendar
Salsa Dance Lessons

For translations into different languages -- Arabic, Chinese, Italian, French, German, Russian, Spanish or others visit the web site:

Background and Profile on Jorge Arce


Jorge Santiago Arce was born in Bélgica, a working class neighborhood of Ponce, Puerto Rico. Ponce is a city well known for its rich cultural traditions and is characterized by the emergence and evolution of important Afro-Caribbean music and dances such as the "Bomba," "Plena" and "Danza." Half of Jorge's family comes from San Antón, mainly a black community known for the African tradition of the Bomba music; the other half comes from the music tradition. His life in the "barrio" Bélgica was filled with the Plena music. This experience, among other things, has contributed to his creativity and curiosity. In addition to being an actor, dancer, singer, and performer, he is also a cultural historian and researcher.

Jorge Arce's early exposure to the Bomba and Plena in Puerto Rico, helped him to establish a direct relationship with the Cepeda Family in the early 1970's. He was able to include them in television, record and theater productions. In 1979 he wrote, performed, directed, and choreographed the musical-theater piece "Melodía en El Caño," in which the leader and choreographer of the Cepeda's Family ensemble, Petra Cepeda, played a leading role. This piece, broadcast as a TV special, was later recorded in the album "Tierra, Tierra" (Arto Max Records TFS 620, 1980) by Haciendo Punto en Otro Son, a renowned group of which Jorge Arce has been a member since 1978. It has been used as reference material in schools in Puerto Rico as well as in public school systems in the United States connected to the Puerto Rican community. Two more recording projects in which Arce was involved were: "Del Caribe al Brazil" (Musicaribe LP M001;1986), and "Moriviví" (Disco Punto HPLP-001-1981). Both included Don Rafael's compositions. In all of them, the participation of members of the Cepeda family as guest musicians was very important.

Arce toured the United States from 1975 to 1982 as an actor and musician. Since 1983, it has been Arce's responsibility to expand the Bomba and Plena through workshops, classes, residencies programs and performances at school sites, festivals, parent and community organizations, and universities, thus becoming one of the most important cultural liaisons to the Puerto Rican community in the United States. After completing his educational program at Boston Conservatory in 1985, where he majored in Musical Theater, he decided to share his experiences with youth and children and to learn more from the community of people who best knew the traditions of his native culture.

Arce conceived Humano in 1987 as a result of an invitation to perform at the Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center in Chicago. About the same time, he became the coordinator of a successful cultural program in an human service agency and gained valuable experience leading cultural projects in schools and the community. He then rejoined the community as an artist and, by combining the elements of tradition with community and cultural awareness, Humano was born.

Jorge Arce received his Master of Education Degree from Harvard University in 1994. Arce is listed in Who's Who, 1984-85. He has received numerous awards, including: the Cardinal Cushing Center Award for Outstanding Services to the Community 1987; the Alianza Hispana Recognition for Outstanding Contributions to the Continuing Growth and Success of the Hispanic Community 1991; the Mayor's Recognition to Outstanding Contributions to the City of Boston, 1991; and the Massachusetts House of Representatives Recognition for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts, 1991. His musical group Humano was awarded the Boston Music Award for Outstanding Latin Act, 1990; Boston City Council Recognition for Commitment in Building a Better Boston • African Diaspora Arts & Culture Award 2013 for outstanding achievement in preserving diverse cultural arts forms reflective of African People in the Diaspora. Presented by ABDM, Inc.,
October, 2013 • 2013 Honoree by El Jolgorio Three Kings Award • The Jorge Hernández Leadership Award 2013 for excellence in creative arts and expression of culture, history and pride of Latinos and the Latin American Diaspora. Presented by IBA, Inc.

Jorge was recognized as a 2012 Traditional Arts Fellowship Finalist by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

His cultural workshops and performances were programmed at more than 1000 schools, universities and educational centers. As a result of his experiences, his article "Bomba and Plena / African Retention in Puerto Rico" was written. It has been edited by Dr. Beverly Anderson, University of Connecticut, and was published by Calaloux Publications, N. Y.

Jorge Arce receiving his Master of Education Degree from Harvard University in 1994 with his daughter.

En el presente, Jorge Arce continúa su trabajo como actor, músico, escritor, compositor y trabajador cultural, presentándose con resonado éxito en su espectáculo teatral-musical Afro-Caribeño en teatros, universidades, instituciones comunitarias y educativas tanto en Puerto Rico como en los Estados Unidos.  Recientemente, tuvo una actuación destacada en la novela "Dueña y Señora" transmitida por el Canal 2 de Telemundo, con el personaje de "Raúl" y acaba de completar la filmación de la producción española-puertorriqueña "La Mala", a exhibirse en salas locales, internacionales y festivales. Actualmente forma parte del elenco de la aclamada producción de Teatro del 60 "Voces Contra el Poder".

Además, dedica parte de su tiempo a sus estudios doctorales con concentración en Historia de Puerto Rico y el Caribe en el Centro de Estudios Avanzados y del Caribe en San Juan.

For translations into different languages -- Arabic, Chinese, Italian, French, German, Russian, Spanish or others visit the web site:

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