Blú Bamboo Ensemble is a Puerto Rico-based band that is bringing a Caribbean island vibe to the island of Manhattan and the west end of the Long Island. Specializing in a fusion of Afro-Caribbean funk, reggae and soul, the members of Blú Bamboo are people you want to hit the beach with, light a campfire and grab a cold beer on a hot summer night.
No promises on a beach or campfire, but we’re fairly certain there will be beer when Blú Bamboo plays New York. The penultimate gig before returning to la isla del encanto (the island of enchantment) is an underground party in Brooklyn. If you plan to go, contact the band on social media and get the address. Kristal Fonrodona (vocals) said the group will get the message and respond since they are always on their phones playing Pokémon Go.
Highway 81 Revisited spoke to Fonrodona, Braulio Ríos (vocals), Jean “JK” Peré (guitar, musical director) and Jose “Yito” Rivera (drums) via Skype ahead of their mainland gigs. Here’s a snippet of our conversation:
To get a taste of what the band sounds like, check out:
“Call the Doctor” (funk)
“Encuentro Paz” (Caribbean/soul)
To see Blú Bamboo in person (and get a physical copy of the EP before its online release):
Aug. 3, 10 p.m.: The Shrine World Music Venue, Harlem
Aug. 4, 10 p.m.: Thunder Road Music Club, Boston
Aug. 5, 10 p.m.: Camarada’s El Barrio, Harlem
Aug. 6, 10 p.m.: Bambu’s private party, Brooklyn
Aug. 7, 10 p.m.: Silvanas, Harlem