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Dominican Singer and Guitarist Joan Soriano to Perform at Zankel Hall, 1/30


On Saturday, January 30, at 8:30 p.m., Dominican Republic-born singer and guitarist Joan Soriano brings his "clean, feathery guitar sound" (NPR) to Zankel Hall in a concert presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with Robert Browning Associates LLC. The acclaimed musician has played a major role in popularizing bachata, the African- and Spanish-based soul music sometimes called the "Dominican blues." In this concert, Soriano is accompanied by a six-piece band that features guitars, bass, and Latin percussion.

This evening also celebrates the launch of the new album Me decidí, Soriano's third iASO Records release following 2010's El Duque de la Bachata, and 2012's La Familia Soriano, both of which debuted in the top 10 of Billboard's Latin/Tropical chart.

Born in the countryside near Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, Joan Soriano infuses steel string bachata with equal parts romance and grit. Joan is the seventh of fifteen siblings. As a boy, he received little formal education, instead helping his father to work on the family's land. But Joan's destiny was for music not agriculture. Fashioning his first guitar from fishing line and a metal can for cooking oil, he joined his young brothers and sisters to form a family band. Nicknamed "Los Candes" (after their father Candelario), it became a neighborhood sensation. At age 13, Joan hitched a ride to Santo Domingo and went on to nurture his talent working with some of the island's greatest bachata stars.

Bachata is essential to Dominican culture and draws upon a variety of influences from the traditional music of West Africa and the Mediterranean, and also from R&B music from the US, and popular music from other parts of Latin America. Joan comes from a Dominican region that is a center for Afro-Dominican and Haitian sacred traditions. He grew up participating in palo and gaga rituals, and their music has had a profound influence on Joan's interpretation of bachata.

Joan began his career in bachata when it was still played on acoustic Spanish guitars and as a teenager and young man was part of the first generation of bachateros who moved to the electric guitar. As one of the island's leading arrangers and guitarists, Joan played a leading role in this transformation. Bachata modernized further when it moved to New York and fused with urban pop. Today, Joan leads a movement to revive bachata's roots sound. His style flows between old and new with a flow and fluency that can only come from someone who grew up with bachata as their first language.

Saturday, January 30 at 8:30 p.m.
Zankel Hall
Joan Soriano, Vocals and Steel String Acoustic Guitar
Nelly Soriano, Vocals
Nicolas Frias del Rosario, Guitar and Vocals
Junior Zabala Ramos, Bass Guitar and Vocals
Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez, Bongo and Tambora
Carlos Lapaix Canela - Güira

Tickets, priced at $38 and $45, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, or online by visiting For more information on discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit Artists, programs, and prices are subject to change.

Image courtesy of Benjamin de Menil

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