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The Duke of Bachata

Dominican Republic’s Joan Soriano brings World Beat to the MACC.

October 6, 2011
Maui Weekly

On Thursday, Oct. 6, Soriano and his band, featuring brother Fernando on guitar and sister Griselda as lead vocalist, will perform under the moonlit glass roof of Yokouchi Pavilion at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The group will fill the pavilion courtyard with highly charged emotional vocals, spirited salsa stylings and a variety of Latin America’s “get up and dance” music.

Bachata is essential to Dominican culture and draws upon a variety of influences from Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. As a practitioner of palo and gaga, Joan blends Afro-Dominican traditions with bachata, imparting his music with an earthy spirit and danceability. While preserving bachata’s roots, Joan and his band expand on them, offering a rare combination of new world and authentic old world music.

Born in the rural countryside near Santo Domingo, Soriano is the seventh of 15 siblings. As a boy, he received little formal education, instead helping his father to work the family’s land. But Soriano’s destiny was for music ... making his first guitar from fishing line and a discarded metal box, he joined his young brothers and sisters to form a family band. Nicknamed “Los Candes” (after their father Candelario), it became a local sensation. At age 13, Soriano hitched a ride to the city and went on to nurture his talent, working with some of the island’s greatest bachata stars.

Article Photos

On Thursday, Oct. 6, Joan Soriano and his band, featuring brother Fernando on guitar and sister Griselda as lead vocalist, will perform under the moonlit glass roof of Yokouchi Pavilion at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

Today, Soriano is the star of Adam Taub’s, The Duke of Bachata, and was featured in Alex Wolfe’s critically acclaimed documentary, Santo Domingo Blues. He has performed throughout the U.S. and Europe. Last fall, iASO Records launched Soriano’s first international solo release, titled El Duque de la Bachata, which spent several weeks on Billboard’s Top 10 Tropical album charts and won best World Beat Album of 2011. A variety of his music videos can be seen on YouTube.

 
 

 

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