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Thread: Joan Soriano - "El Duque de la Bachata"

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    Registered User Seawall's Avatar Seawall is offline
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    Joan Soriano - "El Duque de la Bachata"

    Merengue/Bachata fusion from a man that maintains the Haitian/Dominican Palo & Gaga traditions.


    "Every onlooker is either a coward or a traitor." — Frantz Fanon

    “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.” Frederick Douglass

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    UK™ (CEO) Digga D's Avatar Digga D is offline
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    okay interesting
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    Registered User Ayisyen's Avatar Ayisyen is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seawall View Post
    Merengue/Bachata fusion from a man that maintains the Haitian/Dominican Palo & Gaga traditions.
    yo sick track man...I'm not really into bachata...but that merengue/bachata mix was tight....does Joan Soriano's music typically sound like this??? that mix of merengue/bachata??? becuz I can seriously get down wit this stuff.

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    Registered User Seawall's Avatar Seawall is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ayisyen View Post
    yo sick track man...I'm not really into bachata...but that merengue/bachata mix was tight....does Joan Soriano's music typically sound like this??? that mix of merengue/bachata??? becuz I can seriously get down wit this stuff.
    I broke down and bought the CD, only paid about $10 & change with a Borders coupon. It also come with a 1 hr dvd about Soriano's quest for fame. I was more interested in the palo influenced songs rather than the straight bachatas and its a worthwhile addition to my collection.
    "Every onlooker is either a coward or a traitor." — Frantz Fanon

    “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.” Frederick Douglass

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    Registered User Seawall's Avatar Seawall is offline
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    Good review of the dvd accompanying the CD.

    Deborah Pacini Review of "The Duke of Bachata"
    Review of Adam Taub’s “The Duke of Bachata”
    Deborah Pacini Hernandez
    Tufts University
    January 2010



    For fans of Dominican bachata, Adam Taub’s documentary “The Duke of Bachata” is a must-see. This modest but visually and musically rich film offers viewers a window into the life and career of Joan Soriano, one of the Dominican Republic’s most talented, if not yet fully appreciated, bachata musicians. Following Soriano’s struggles to get a hit record that will enable him to lift his family out of poverty, the film also reveals bachata’s history, originating in poor rural and urban working class Dominican culture, but now a musical genre beginning to gain a foothold in the lucrative US popular music market.

    Soriano grew up in a rural area of the Dominican Republic as one of fifteen children, several of whom were gifted with musical talents. His family was too poor to send him to school or to provide him with music lessons, so Soriano made his own guitar out of a tin can and wire, and taught himself to play by listening attentively to what the bachata musicians at the time were doing. US-based bachata producer Ben de Menil (who appears in the film) observes, Soriano’s style is more “country” than the younger, more modern-sounding bachata musicians with urban backgrounds. Chronologically and stylistically, then, Soriano is perched between the “old timers” like Luis Segura, Ramon Cordero and Edilio Paredes, who developed their styles in the 1970s and 1980s (before bachata became socially acceptable and economically lucrative), and the younger generation of bachateros whose careers emerged after bachata’s popularity had spread to Latin Americans and U.S. Latinos of all social classes—many of whom have managed to achieve the success that has, at least so far, eluded Soriano.

    This film makes one thing clear: Soriano’s inability to attain the recognition he so ardently desires is not because of lack of talent. Soriano’s music is gorgeous, and it is my hope that this film will help bring him the success he deserves. In the film, viewers have ample opportunity to see and hear him singing: by himself at home, with his group in professional settings such as recording studios, in local bodegas, on television—and finally, on a large festival stage in Chicago, where he performed with the hugely successful Bachata Roja tour in Summer of 2008. In each of these very different performance contexts, Soriano displays his emotionally powerful voice, his versatility with bachata’s classic style of guitar playing, and his compelling original compositions about love and loss. Soriano himself never says so, but knowing what I know about the Dominican Republic’s long-standing Afrophobia, I believe that Soriano’s dark coloring has undoubtedly hindered his career. Why else would we see this extraordinary musician providing back up for other bachateros with lighter skin but less talent, rather than being the featured musician himself?

    Beyond his prodigious musical capacities, Soriano is also a highly appealing individual who viewers will enjoy getting to know. Most of the songs that carried bachata to commercial success in the 1980s when Soriano was learning his craft were characterized by lyrics denigrating women for their treachery. As I have written elsewhere, such aggressive lyrics expressed the frustrations of men whose lack of economic opportunities generated anxieties and fears of losing control their lives and wives. The Soriano we meet in the film, in contrast, is a gentle, humorous and sensitive man who adores his wife and young son. He is also philosophical and generous in his approach to life, wishing his competitors well, and expressing his willingness to be patient until it is his turn to move to center stage. When he finally achieves what many bachata musicians can only dream of—to tour in the United States—Soriano is astute enough to realize right away that New York City’s glitter and glamour, and its promises of much-needed economic rewards, cannot compensate for the loneliness and sorrow of having to be apart from his wife, young son, parents and siblings.

    While primarily focused on Soriano, this film also illuminates the challenges faced by so many Dominicans living in an inequitably structured Spanish Caribbean country, where poverty, racism and lack of education crush the dreams for self-fulfillment of one generation after another. Soriano and his family members all know about the consequences of poverty, and they aspire to escape it as best they can, and in the meantime, they resign themselves to making do with what they have. Yet the interviews with Soriano and his family members also movingly reveal how despite their frustrations, so many Dominicans dignify their lives with their optimism, faith, creativity, and their strong sense of family and community. Viewers can and should be outraged that so much human potential is lost to poverty, but Joan Soriano, his family and his friends are also a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.
    "Every onlooker is either a coward or a traitor." — Frantz Fanon

    “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.” Frederick Douglass

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    Registered User Ayisyen's Avatar Ayisyen is offline
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    Good looking out man...I will check out his music and def try to get that dvd.

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