Home Puerto Rico Project The Boranda Challenge Pt.2

The Boranda Challenge Pt.2


BORANDA is an original composition by the Brazilian singer Edu Lobo. It appears on the album Edu y Bethania (Elenco, 1966). The word, Boranda, comes from an indigenous phrase that means “continue walking.” The song also appears on pianist, composer, arranger, bandleader Sergio Mendes’s debut album titled, The Great Arrival (1966).

Boranda is a lament and a narrative, that talks about a land devastated by drought. More than likely Lobo is referring to northeastern Brazil, where he lived and drought is a natural phenomenon.

The tune appears on La Sonora Ponceña’s classic 1977 album titled El Gigante del Sur (Giant from the South, Inca) which, in my opinion, is one of the band’s finest albums to date. According to Lucca, it was the Panamanian singer Rubén Blades who translated Boranda’s lyrics from Portuguese to Spanish. The lead singer (sonero) is Luigi Texidor and the coro (backup singers) are none other than Blades, Hector Lavoe, and marked Yolanda Rivera’s debut with La Sonora Ponceña. Papo Lucca’s solo on the electric piano, coupled with his vocal scatting, is one of his most memorable contributions to the history of salsa. Also, it’s the inspiration for the Boranda Challenge.

The following are my picks for the best interpretations of Boranda by a group or an individual.

Trombones: Johan Escalante, Rey David Alejandre Xito lovell, Veni Núñez, Angel Subero, Piano: Zoliapianista, Bajo: Rudy Bolaños, Bongo y Campana: Giancarlo Anderson, Coros: Josse Ramon Guerra, Congas: Yorman caballito Méndez, Voz: Rafael Moreno, Edición de Video: Luis Enrique Becerra, Ademir Berrocal: Timbal, Batería, Coros, Producción, Mezcla y Mastering en BerrocalBrosstudios. Chorrera, Panamá.

Saxophonist, Paola Rivera

Vocalist, Percussionist Zayra Pola

For more on The Boranda Challenge, visit YouTube.

A graduate of Empire State College with a dual major in journalism and Latin American studies, Editor-in-Chief Tomas Peña has spent years applying his knowledge and writing skills to the promotion of great musicians. A specialist in the crossroads between jazz and Latin music, Peña has written extensively on the subject. His writing appears on Latin Jazz Network; Chamber Music America magazine and numerous other publications.


    • Tomas,

      Yes, I’m familiar with Doug’s version. Titanes del Trombon is a great album! Thanks for checking in. Best, Tomas


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