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Published on Jul 4, 2010
Joan Soriano, "El Duque "
Soriano's music is gorgeous. He displays an emotionally powerful voice, versatility with bachata's classic style of guitar playing, and compelling original compositions about love and loss." - Deborah Pacini Hernandez, author "Bachata: a social history"
"yanquis are about to get a taste of beautiful bitterness" - Ned Sublette
Born in the rural countryside near Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, roots singer/guitarist Joan Soriano infuses steel string bachata with equal parts romance and grit. He was featured in Alex Wolfe's critically acclaimed musical documentary, "Santo Domingo Blues," and is the main subject and star in Adam Taub's documentary, "El Duque (The Duke) ." Soriano is also on The Rough Guide/World Music Network's "Bachata" compilation. He has toured in the United States with Puerto Plata and the Bachata Roja Legends.
Soriano is the seventh of fifteen siblings. At an early age he had to forgo schooling to help his father in the fields, but his destiny was for music not agriculture. As a young boy, he made his first guitar from a discarded metal box and a fishing line and formed a band with his young brothers and sisters. Later he moved to Santo Domingo and nurtured his talent while working alongside some of the Dominican Republic's greatest bachata musicians. Bachata is an important part of Dominican culture and draws upon a variety of musical influences from Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. Soriano is a practitioner of traditional palo and gaga, and he blends their Afro-Dominican percussive elements with bachata, imparting his music with down to earth spirit and dance-ability.
Soriano's artistry preserves and expands on the Dominican musical tradition. He is the rare combination of new and authentic.