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Transpacific Sound Paradise
Sunday, May 16, 2004
Luis Dias and friends.
Hear this show now:
Iconoclastic guitarist and songwriter Luis Dias is a scholar of traditional music from his native Dominican Republic. And he is a creator of unique hybrids of traditional styles and electric music. He sees himself as both a traditionalist and a rocker - as evidenced on his latest cd Radio Macana. He's drawn some outside attention, touring internationally and collaborating with David Byrne, but largely has remained a bit beneath the radar.
Dias was one of the first musicians to revisit bachata, a music with strong working class roots once shunned by the country's elites, and bring it to a broader audience and broader acceptance. Today, a stylized form of bachata rivals merengue for popularity in the Dominican Republic - although Luis continues to create his own distinctive interpretations of the music, quite different from the mainstream style.
Also joining us: Tom Van Buren of New York's Center for Traditional Music and Dance (CTMD) and Luis' bandmate and collaborator Lliam Greguez.
Luis will be appearing at the Global Beat of the Boroughs: Dominican Republic evening concert at Symphony Space, Broadway and 95 St on Saturday May 22.
Also performing at the concert will be Coco Merenson, Doña Chicha, Neri Oliveries and Conjunto Folklorico de la Alianza Dominicana. The event is a celebration of the release Quisqueya en el Hudson, the latest in the CD series Global Beat of the Boroughs, a collaboration between CTMD and Smithsonian Folkways. There will be a daytime family event as well as an evening concert. More info at http://www.ctmd.org.
A handy English-language Luis Dias bio, and his latest cd Radio Macana for purchase: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/maravillas.
A Luis Dias fan website (in Spanish) with bio, appreciation and discography: http://www.cielonaranja.com/discosdias.htm.
Further reading in English: Bachata: A Social History of a Dominican Popular Music by Deborah Pacini Hernandez, published by Temple University Press.
This Week's Playlist:(* = new)