My passion for my cultural music is unmatched. The Dominican Republic is home to a diverse musical culture that derives from Spanish, African and indigenous Taino musical influences. Some of the musical genres include guitar music, traditional merengue, bachata and son.

  Around age six, I remember being obligated to dance with my neighbor and feeling embarrassed due to not knowing what she was doing. I wasn’t able to follow her or keep the rhythm. At the time, I couldn’t explain how I knew I was dancing horrible, but I had a feeling I wasn’t doing it right. I took that opportunity to ask my mother to explain and to teach me how to dance. My love and appreciation for culture comes from my mother. My mother always took time to teach me about our cultural foods, music, dance, dialect, etc. So you can just imagine the excitement she had for teaching me to dance.

  She claims I always had rhythm and was easy to teach. She had taught me merengue and bachata that day. I recall my mother saying, “Merengue is the easiest to remember, pretend you’re a solider and just march. Now add hips and loosen up.”


   Merengue is very important in my family. My dad and his band were a major influence in the 1980s. He incorporated jazz and soul to some of his music and introduced it to Latin music. My favorite example is slap bass, which was included in the song, “Tu Besos” (1985). He traveled all over the world and reminds me daily how music changed our life for the better.

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