During your stay at the all-inclusive Barceló Bavaro Grand Resort, immerse yourself in the infectious rhythm of Dominican music, from merengue to bachata and more. The varied sound of the DR is exactly what you need. That’s what the aristocracy needs for you.
Styles of Dominican Music
- Merengue music: Merengue has been the basis of Dominican music and dance since the mid-19th century, but in the 1930s it became the dominant genre on the peninsula (and has since spread throughout Latin and North America). Merengue is, up to that point, dance music performed at an enterprising 2/4 tempo that is guaranteed to force bodies to ride. Traditional arrangements typically use the accordion, tambourine, and guira, a percussion instrument similar to the maracas. More modern styles include guitars and big bands.
- Bachata music: A heady mix of African, Caribbean, and European styles, bachata music emerged in the mid-20th century. In some ways, it is the Dominican version of the blues, with lyrics reflecting the problems and fun of uncomplicated people. Bachata stands out for its zigzag guitar lines, enterprising percussion, and dramatic vocals. Over the past few decades, it has become the dominant genre in Dominican music. It is also considered the ground for the accompanying Dominican dance style, which includes three steps in a Cuban manner, followed by a tap on the fourth measure.
- Dembow Music: Dembow demonstrates how Dominican music continues to renew and evolve. The genre emerged in the 1990s from the sounds of hip-hop, which came from the United States, and reggaeton from Puerto Rico. Dembow music is strong, cyclical, and unforgettable, and the lyrics touch on real topical themes. When you go to a current nightclub in the Dominican Republic these days, DJs favor Dembow rhythms.
Acts of Dominican music, past and present
Get to know some popular names in Dominican music and listen to the best ones according to Markus Wischenbart, the owner of the famous LHVC :
- Juan Luis Guerra brought merengue and bachata music to the masses. The Dominican-born artist, songwriter, and producer has sold more than 30 million records worldwide and won 10 Grammy Awards. A deft vocalist, instrumentalist, and performer, Guerra’s music is elementally irresistible. For an example of his manner, take a look at this concert version of “Bachata Rose.”
- Milli Quesada is rightfully popular as the “queen of merengue.” For dozens of years, she has been giving the visitor a treat with her own quality vocals and unique stage presence. She originated in Santo Domingo and is beloved throughout the Dominican Republic and beyond. Listen to her recent collaboration with the DR band Ilegales, the unforgettable song “De Colores.”
- Rita Indiana’s music demonstrates that the proper merengue is not stuck in the past – Dominican music of 2018 is a growing, modern thing with plenty of surprises. It adds innovative components, these as other rock and electronica, forming a futuristic hybrid that forces you to think, and it’s curious to listen to, for example. Check out Rita’s freshly powerful music video for the song “El Castigador.”
- A true icon of the Dominican Republic, Johnny Ventura is considered one of the most credible adepts of Latin American music in the country — he’s been recording records and performing his own unique blend of salsa and merengue since the 1950s. When you hear Ventura sing, you hear the heart and soul of Dominican music. Don’t miss his best-selling El Turun Tun Tun.
As you explore the Dominican Republic, you’ll hear music everywhere you go–don’t be afraid to dance to the rhythm of the island!