Latin Roots

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Latin Roots #28: Aaron Levinson on Merengue - February 21, 2013

Grammy-winning latin music producer Aaron Levinson and host David Dye embark on a journey to the world of merengue music, starting with its roots in the Dominican Republic.

Largely influenced by the dictator Rafael Trujillo to celebrate his political agenda, merengue is a form of fast paced, rhythmic music. Utilizing diatonic accordions, tamboras, and the güira, traditional merengue bands have irresistibly induced listeners from around the world to move with the sounds of the tropical beat.

Following the fall of Trujillo, merengue music reinvented itself numerous times by creating innovative subgenres such as merengue estilo yanqui or perico ripiao. And, the popularity of this particular form of music has significantly fluctuated, especially with the strong Dominican presence outside of the tropical country.
Digressing a bit from its traditional roots, merengue, now incorporates saxophones and a plethora of other modern instruments to cater to mainstream audiences. Tune into the 28th edition of Latin Roots and see why merengue is such a festive, yet addicting, form of music.
  • Listen to the Show:
    Latin Roots: Bomba Y Plena In this installment of World Cafe's Latin Roots series, host David Dye speaks with Grammy-winning producer Aaron Levinson about two beloved traditional genres, bomba and plena.
  • Show Tracks:
    • Luis Kalaff Y Sus Alegres Dominicanos / "Por Abajo Y Por Arriba" / Luis Y Sus Alegres Dominicanos' Tu Crees Que Es Asi
    • Wilfrido Vargas / "Abusadora" / Coleccion Diamante
  • Listen to the Playlist:

Latin Roots is made possible by a grant from the Wyncote Foundation.

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