At a hotel just outside of San Juan Puerto Rico, a chance meeting in the winter of 2015 between Bosq and the legendary Tempo Alomar (Apollo Sound, Orchestra Rytmo Africa Cubana), resulted in an off the cuff next day collaboration on Soul Clap Records titled “Tumbalá”. When local label head / bar owner Pablo Rodriguez (Candela Records, La factoria, Don Pablo, La Cubanita) heard the results he quickly invited Bosq back to record more extensively with some of the many local musicians he knew and had longstanding friendships with. This included many of the legends from classic Salsa Records (Horn Players & Vocalists from Roberto Roenas Apollo Sound - as well as the man himself) local Plena legends like Tito Matos and Luis Lagarto Figueroa, as well as the up and coming next generation such as Luis De La Rosa Solá of Orquesta Macabeo.
With a few weeks to prepare Bosq sketched out skeletons and progressions for the songs from his studio in Jamaica Plain, MA and then headed down to Old San Juan with the hopes of recording the entire album in just 10 days. Upon arrival, the reality of the situation (including the lack of a studio) quickly set in. The first few days disappeared into the construction of a makeshift work space and walled off corner to record in. The next few days were eaten just as quickly trying to track down musicians. Finally on the 6th day Tempo Alomar and his infectious positive energy arrived with a storm of Timbales, Congas, and words setting the tone for the remaining days in which Bosq camped out in the middle of Old San Juan and greeted a cast of visiting musicians that included even a surprise visit from Tomasa Rivera, the sister of the islands most beloved singer, the late Ismael Rivera.
The results of that whirlwind are now presented to you as San Jose Cincuenta y Uno - an exploration of the various intersections of Puerto Rican music with African styles, Reggae, Classic Funk, House music and much more. The concept was to highlight the influence Puerto Rico has had on music around world, as well as the influence the rest of the world has had on Puerto Rico. From the very African Plenas to the crossover Latin Funk in 70’s New York to the musical dialogue between dancehall & reggaeton and how that intersects with salsa. Nothing on this record is traditional per se but it is all very much filled with and inspired by the Puerto Rican spirit.