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At 74, Ángel Luis Torruellas is considered today the last “King of Plena”. A native from the Colombia neighbourhood in Mayagüez, maestro Torruellas remembers that he started composing plenas when he was still a child and worked as a shoeshine boy in the streets of his village. From there he started participating in the radio show Fiesta en el Batey and, according to the legend, he captivated the Trío Matamoros when they visited Mayagüez and they decided to take him on tour to Cuba in 1956. From there he moves to New York and starts recording with the group Pleneros de Borinquen, who count in their ranks with notable members such as accordionist Ismael Santiago – who will stay with Torruellas a great part of his career – and the cuatro player Yomo Toro – famous for his association with Willie Colón and Fania All Stars during the 70s. Characteristic of his style of jíbara plena – Torruelas was never a troubadour but his sound was inspired by rural music –.

Yannis Ruel

Ángel Luis Torruelas y su Conjunto Pleneros de Borinquen Biography Gallery
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