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Galería de Arte Infantil, Casa Paoli


What is the Casa Paoli ?

This elegant and stately 19th century building, located in the scenic city of Ponce, Puerto Rico, is the restored residence of the great Puerto Rican tenor Antonio Paoli, "the tenor of kings and the king of tenors"—in his time, an artist admired around the world.


The historic building is part of the cultural heritage of Puerto Rico and is one of the most important places to visit in the southwestern area of the island. It was the birthplace of tenor Antonio Paoli (1871–1946), an artist recognized as the "first Puerto Rican to achieve international recognition in the performing arts" and "one of the most outstanding opera singers of all time." Casa Paoli was the artist's home as a child, and the place where he lived with his family until he was twelve years old.


After its restoration in1987, the building was transformed into a house-museum to honor his memory. It also became the home of the Puerto Rican Center for Folkloric Research.

In 2009, it was accepted into the National Register of Historic Places. The maintenance and restoration of this great site has been the arduous work of a small group of citizens that are proud of the musical and folkloric legacy of their country. They have managed to create an impressive cultural center, home to not only several fascinating exhibitions, workshops and public activities, but also replete with historical archives that have formed the basis of numerous important publications on the life and work of great island artists, and on the island's musical genres and folklore.

Casa Paoli currently houses the Puerto Rican Folkloric Research Center, Inc. [Centro de Investigaciones Folklóricas de Puerto Rico, Inc.] and a regional center of the Puerto Rican Foundation for the Humanities. It is sponsored by the Flamboyán Fund for the Arts.

Hear a décima sung by troubadour, Cándida Colón from Villalba, Puerto Rico. The décimas poetry extols the value and importance of the Casa Paoli to Puerto RIcan culture.

"The Center has distinguished itself by creating and implementing highly effective innovative projects. Likewise, it has been characterized for the promotion of research and study in neglected or under-served areas, serving as a forum for groups that do not have the support from other institutions. "                                                                                    La Perla del Sur Newspaper  2/6/2013

Current activities

Click on each topic to receive more information

  1. We have just completed ourfirst essay ebook on aspects of music and musical instruments of Puerto Rico

  2. Presentation and distributionof a new method of Jazz theory for the cuatro Puerto Rican

  3. Driving the activities ofa commemorative commission of the sesquicentennial of the abolition of slavery in Puerto Rico 

  4. ProjectRescue from Oblivion: recreating missing Caribbean musical instruments.

  5. Establishment of avirtual store of publications of the Center online

  6. Diffusion of our new video documentary of thehistory of the Puerto Rican tiple

  7. Dissemination of our new video-manual of the construction of a treblePuerto Rican

In focus:

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Nueva publicación del Centro

New Center publication

popular troubadours of Arecibo

The Folkloric Research Center of Puerto Rico, Inc. (Casa Paoli) has just published a special edition of the book Trovadores Populares de Arecibo (1839-1908) by the prominent historian, musician, poet, journalist and essayist from Arecibo José Limón de Arce. This work has, among other attributes, two characteristics that make it of great importance in the cultural endeavor of our country: 1) it is a chronicle narrated by its author that testifies to a sample of the seedbed of troubadours that proliferated in Arecibo and throughout Puerto Rico ; 2) demonstrates the improvisational ability of a significant number of Puerto Ricans to improvise décimas with or without the country's traditional musical instruments.
     The new contribution to the national editorial fund is enriched with a summary of the life and work of Limón de Arce by the retired university professor and his editor, Néstor Murray-Irizarry, and with a preliminary study of the prominent writer and scholar of our literature , Dr. Félix Córdoba Iturregui on improvisation, troubadours and collective memory.
     Limón de Arce was one of the most prominent labor leaders of his generation. His dedication to journalism and the study of history made him one of the most unique characters in Arecibo. He founded, directed or collaborated in several newspapers in his hometown: El Duende, El Demócrata, La voz de la Unión. As a playwright he stood out with his works Redemption (1905) and After the prohibition (1919).  
Córdoba Iturregui, in his deep and documented analysis of improvisation, collective memory and troubadours, points out that
     ‘’The rich documentation of the popular tradition offered by Limón de Arce, although it does not have improvisation as its object of study, is linked to my essay to the extent that both move on the same ground. The two texts are related to existing modalities of the rich poetic-musical tradition of our people.’’  
On its cover, the designer Lissy Marín, using an oil/masonite image: El Cantor Criollo (1962) by Augusto Marín (1921-2011), produced an artistic work of great value. The layout is by Ruby Stella Rojas Osorio and the printing is by Extreme Graphics in Naguabo.
For more information, please contact Professor Néstor Murray-Irizarry, founder of Casa Paoli, by phone (939) 640-1584;; P O Box 334134, Ponce, Puerto Rico, 00733-4134.

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New Center publication

The corsican-Puerto Rican heritage


Professors Laetizia Castellani and Marie Jeanne Casablanca Paoletti, historians of the Corsican migration to Puerto Rico, make new contributions to the study and research of this exciting topic. The main essay of this publication is related to laws, emigration and citizenship: the impact on the Corsican community in Puerto Rico, 1815-1917.

     Between the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 20th, Corsican immigrants who left for the Caribbean and Puerto Rico were exposed to the political and legal systems of France, Spain and finally the United States. In 1768, at the end of Genoese rule over their home island, the Corsicans witnessed the establishment of French sovereignty and law over their home island. Their arrival and installation in Puerto Rico were made under the rule of Spain and within the framework of the laws of this country. As of 1898, as a consequence of the Spanish-American War, the United States became the dominant power that dictated the law on the Caribbean island. These changes of sovereignty both in Córcega and in Puerto Rico are at the origin of the implementation of multiple measures that generally respond to the interests of the power in power and that affect the personal situations of Corsican immigrants.

These individuals, for political, economic, family and other more personal reasons, found themselves in need of making decisions regarding their citizenship. The interaction of these laws, as well as their effect on the lives of migrants who live, associate or marry with people from the country or from other horizons, -Europeans or Americans- gives rise to a great originality of situations. 

     This article is a preliminary part of an ongoing investigation that examines the formation of a “Corso-Puerto Rican” identity based on changes in citizenship and other variables. 

In addition, we reproduce three articles by Professor Marie Jeanne Casablanca Paoletti on privateering in the 19th century in Puerto Rico: emigration, its contribution to commercial development, and ties of solidarity and sense of identity.  

The announcement of our recent publication, Los Corsos de Puerto Rico, has precipitated great interest and enthusiasm. We have received many requests for information on how and where the book can be purchased:

The book on Los corsos de Puerto Rico and our publications can be purchased at or through:

-Online store

-El Candil Bookstore in Ponce (787) 242-6693 /;

-Labyrinth Bookstore, Old San Juan (787) 724-8200/

-Norberto González Bookstore in Río Piedras (787) 281-7166 / (787) 766-4123/

-Casa Norberto in Plaza Las Americas (787) 705-4696

...after the 4th of July.

Successful conclusion to the first assembly workshop 
of the Puerto Rican tiple in the Casa paoli


Monday, May 29th, saw the conclusion of Casa Paoli's first tiple making workshop, organized by its director Néstor Murray-Irizarry, led by the prominent luthier William R. Cumpiano and assisted by the professor of industrial arts Carlos Iván Rosado. This workshop is part of the Casa's ongoing efforts to rescue the traditional musical instruments of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, instruments that have been forgotten or replaced by modernity. The effort has been dubbed Rescate del Olvido. Nine traditional stringed instruments of excellent appearance and function were assembled and finished by nine students, and one by instructor Cumpiano, in 18 hours over a period of three days. The workshop took place in the courtyard of Casa Paoli under a recently installed retractable awning and on work tables made by Rosado and with a full complement of

tools and supplies collected and paid for with donations from public and private sources. The students paid only the costs of their materials.

       The workshop is the latest in a series of 15 annual workshops conducted, beginning in 2006 by Cumpiano with the San Lucas United Church of Christ in the Hispanic community of Humboldt Park. But this workshop was the first in a series of instrument workshops planned by the Casa Paoli Center, given the success of future fundraising efforts and public support.

     The workshop was privileged by the visit of the cuatro player Edwin Colón Zayas, one of the most important traditional Chicago musicians in Puerto Rico, who graced the event with an improvised concert of live traditional music, accompanied on guitar by the distinguished instrumental artisan Puerto Rican Major Manuel Rodríguez Feneque.


Primer libro electrónico del Centro

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Báje el libro ahora sin costo en formato .pdf pulsando sobre el ícono. Podrá disfrutarlo inmediatamente en su pantalla y guardarlo a su computadora, pero no podrá acceder a sus ilustraciones en audio y video.

En esta fortuita selección de 23 ensayos por seis distinguidos historiadores, músicos, musicólogos y artesanos—enfocando diversamente en el universo de la música, la artesanía y los instrumentos musicales de Puerto Rico—encontramos temas y personajes inusuales y tópicos raramente abordados en la literatura popular.

     Pocos habrán sido conscientes de los orígenes del canto antiguo del trovador puertorriqueño; o de la historia de las mismas cuerdas que ponemos sobre nuestras guitarras y cuatros; o de instrumentos desaparecidos que una vez se tocaban en los campos y ciudades de la isla; o de las historias de artesanos puertorriqueños que fueron galardonados en el extranjero, pero casi desconocidos en su propia isla. Estos temas y otras valiosas informaciones, se incluyen dentro de las siguientes páginas.  

Báje el libro ahora sin costo en formato .epub pulsando sobre el ícono el cuál solo podrá leerlo en cualquier programa lector de libros electrónicos como Apple Books (pero no Amazon Kindle) y podrá disfrutar de la música y videos incluidos. 

¡Nunca antes disponible!

Nueva Serie de métodos avanzados
para el cuatro puertorriqueño por Raúl Nieves Pérez


Libro 1: Teoría y melodía/ Diagrama y pentagrama para el Cuatro Puertorriqueño

Un libro instructivo de 290 páginas que demuestra la notación musical Occidental aplicada al diapasón del cuatro. Este libro esta dividido en varías secciones que se sostienen por sí mismas, lo que permite al estudiante una secuencia de estudio personal.

     Comienza con una sección de teoría musical rápida pero fácil de seguir, utilizando el teclado del piano como referencia. Este es un estudio gratificante en sí mismo.

     La sección sobre progresiones mayores y menores le brinda al estudiante una manera fácil de aprender la necesaria progresión I-V en diferentes tonos mediante el uso de arpegios o acordes abiertos en notación de tablatura. La sección de acordes contiene más de 200 tablas de acordes mayores, menores, sostenidos y de séptima, además de una introducción a la progresión 2-5-1 del mundo de Jazz. 

     La sección de melodías y canciones está escrita en forma de tablatura con notación rítmica. Las melodías son una introducción a los tradicionales seises y aguinaldos. Las canciones son en su mayor parte “danzas”, la danza clásica puertorriqueña.


Libro 2: Escalas de acordes musicales para el Cuatro puertorriqueño

Un estudio de seis tonalidades mayores y menores utilizando como punto de partida progresiones de acordes básicos que se repiten en el diapasón. El estudio de cada escala individual contiene un gráfico horizontal que representa el diapasón con las siete notas de la escala superpuestas en sus trastes.


Libro 3: Acordes de Jazz para el cuatro puertorriqueño

Un estudio de los acordes extendidos de Jazz aplicados al diapasón del cuatro con el uso de la progresión de acordes 2-5-1.

Una comprensión de los componentes más importantes de la música de Jazz así como modulaciones, sustituciones y movimientos de acordes.

Otros Enfoques:

150 years of the tenor Antonio Paoli

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It is our effort to bring to public view the traditional musical instruments of the past that have disappeared from the sight and memory of the peoples of the Caribbean. Three experts in performance, craftsmanship, and musical history have dedicated themselves to discovering and creating replicas of lost and forgotten instruments once heard in many of the country's cities and fields, as well as undertaking the effort to recreate the music and the technique of execution of said instruments.

Comisión Conmemorativa

del Sesquicentenario de

la Abolición de la Esclavitud 

en Puerto Rico (1873-2023)

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El Centro ha reunido a un grupo de lideres, artistas, músicos, humanistas y estudiosos en una Comisión conmemorativa del Sesquicentenario de la Abolición de la Esclavitud en Puerto Rico. La Comisión ha creado un plan de trabajo que incluye conversatorios, conciertos, seminarios, exposiciones, publicaciones, simposios sobre la aportación de los afrodescendientes puertorriqueños a las artes, la educación, la economía, la investigación histórica, el cine, la radio, la televisión, la política, la literatura y en otros campos del saber.

Upcoming Workshops

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Since its founding, the Center has been dedicated to researching, enriching and disseminating Puerto Rican cultural values. The sheer number of events and editions carried out by the Center bear this out. One of our most important objectives is to raise awareness and provide our youths and adults with the opportunity to learn to build the traditional instruments of our country. Currently, the Center organizes the William Cumpiano Workshop at the facilities of our headquarters in Ponce; where with the support of the Flamboyán Fund for the Arts, workshops will be offered, in face-to-face or virtual form, in instrument-making, screen printing and engraving on wood and linoleum.

Antonio Paoli and Family

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Casa Paoli, the headquarters of the Centro de Investigaciones Folklóricas de Puerto Rico, Inc., is a historic building that is part of the Historic Zone of Ponce. It is the place where Antonio Paoli (1871-1946) was born and lived until the age of twelve; the great tenor who was "the first Puerto Rican to achieve international recognition in the performing arts" and "one of the most outstanding opera singers of all time." View out page dedicated to Antonio Paoli by clicking on his image above.

Gran pancarta conmemorativa creada para el Centro


Una pancarta educativa de gran tamaño conmemorando el sesquicentenario (150 años) de la abolición de la esclavitud en Puerto Rico ha sido creada por la reconocida artista visual nyuyorquina Perla de Leon para el Centro, obra que se instalará sobre una pared a la vista de una de las calles principales de la ciudad de Ponce, Puerto Rico. La pancarta muestra para los transeúntes de la ciudad, una lista de las fechas más importantes en la historia de la esclavitud y su abolición en Puerto Rico, junto a antiguos documentos importantes relacionados con la esclavitud y caras de veinte destacados puertorriqueños afrodescendientes.

OIGAN A NUESTRO DIRECTOR explicar las razones por la creación de la comisión durante una reciente entrevista radial por WPAB Radio 550 Ponce

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