Jorge Santiago Arce was born in Bélgica, a working class neighborhood of Ponce, Puerto Rico. Ponce is a city well known for its rich cultural traditions and is characterized by the emergence and evolution of important Afro-Caribbean music and dances such as the “Bomba,” “Plena” and “Danza.” Half of Jorge’s family comes from San Antón, mainly a black community known for the African tradition of the Bomba music; the other half comes from the music tradition.
His life in the “barrio” Bélgica was filled with the Plena music. This experience, among other things, has contributed to his creativity and curiosity. In addition to being an actor, dancer, singer, and performer, he is also a cultural historian and researcher.
Jorge Arce’s early exposure to the Bomba and Plena in Puerto Rico, helped him to establish a direct relationship with the Cepeda Family in the early 1970’s. He was able to include them in television, record and theater productions.