Raíces Cultural Center &
Raíces Folkloric Ensemble

Nicole Wines

Artist Bio

Nicole Wines is a co-founder of Raíces Cultural Center in Central New Jersey, where she has been a core arts and humanities team member since 2008. At Raíces, Nicole’s serves as Director of Programming, Communications and Technology, as well as a member, choreographer, and teaching artist Raíces folkloric ensemble, Raíces Caribeñas. 

Nicole formally began her began her studies of Caribbean folkloric and traditional music with Francisco G. Gómez in January 2005 and has continued to study, document, perform and share these cultural arts forms  under his instruction and mentorship since then. Currently, she also studies one-on-one with Rafael Maya and Sara Cruz Cepeda of Desde Cero & Las Gigantes de Bomba (Bomba drum and dance). Other teachers have included Julia Gutierrez-Rivera of Los Pleneros de la 21 (Bomba & plena dance), and Danys “La Mora” Pérez Prades of Oyu Oro (Afro-Cuban dance).

Nicole began performing as a drummer, dancer, bassist, and back-up vocalist with Raíces Caribeñas in 2006, two years before the founding of Raíces Cultural Center. She began to teach dance in Raíces Cultural Center’s Raícitas Youth program in 2009 and currently Raíces Cultural Arts Program’s lead dance teacher.

Artistic highlights include co-producing, choreographing and performing in Raíces Cultural Center’s original productions “Spirit of the Drum” and “Festival for the Dead” at the Crossroads Theatre in 2010 and 2012, and co-directing, co-producing and performing in Raíces Cultural Center music video productions “Bombazo del Batey” and “Highest Praises” in 2020 and 2022. Nicole was also a member of the core project team for the “Raíces Roots Music Exhibit Series” which received honorable mention for the inaugural Stanley N. Katz Prize for Excellence in the Public Humanities from New Jersey Council for the Humanities. 

In addition to her artistic and cultural preservation work with Raíces, Nicole also currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Bomba Marilé, a non-profit organization dedicated to sharing the Afro Puerto Rican traditions of Bomba music and dance and a member of the Community Advisory Board for New Jersey Council for the Humanities Community History Program.

Artistic Highlights

Al Ingenio:
Raíces Caribeñas @ Galleries at Kean

Bomba – Yubá

Bombazo del Batey: Lockdown Edition

Bomba – Sicá

The Spirit of the Drum: History and Evolution of an Afro-Caribbean Tradition