The Bachata Roja Legends Free Outdoor Concert

Joan Soriano, Ramon Cordero, Edilio ParedesPuerto Plata pensive close-up

Harlem Stage presents “The Bachata Roja Legends” – a free outdoor music and dance concert featuring traditional and contemporary Dominican bachata music, played by some of the genre’s legendary artists, in honor of Dominican Restoration Day. Local Latin music group Zon Del Barrio also performs, a variety of items will be raffled off, and DJ David Medina will spin a variety of Latin musical styles.

Saturday, August 15, 2009. Gates open 2 p.m.; concert 3 p.m.-6 p.m; activities until 7 p.m.

The PS 161 field, located adjacent to the Harlem Stage Gatehouse. Enter 134th Street at Amsterdam Avenue. Chairs not allowed on the field; guests are encouraged to bring blankets to sit on.

Event is free. Visit or call 212-281-9240, ext. 19 or 20 for information.

Lead sponsor for “The Bachata Roja Legends” is Target®. Additional support is provided by American Airlines, the official airline of Harlem Stage. This event is presented in collaboration with City Parks Foundation, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, and iASO Records. It is part of Harlem Stage’s “Inside/Out” series, which receives leadership support from The Ford Foundation.

Inspired by the dazzling 2007 iASO Records compilation “Bachata Roja: Acoustic Bachata from the Cabaret Era,” the first international release of classic Dominican bachata music, the concert includes many of the enduring Dominican music stars from that groundbreaking volume, including Ramón Cabrera (a.k.a. “El Chivo Sin Ley” or “The Lawless Goat”), Ramón Cordero, Leonardo Paniagua, and guitar giant Edilio Paredes – artists whose popularity grew from the 1960s-1980s. Dominican music stars from 1940s through the 1980s are also featured, including singer Augustos Santos, guitarist Frank Mendez, bassist Samuel Paredes, güira player Roberto Santos, and percussionist Randy Alejo. They are joined by emerging singer-guitarist Joan Soriano (known as El Duque, or “The Duke”). Quintessential bachata grew in popularity after the dictatorial reign of Rafael Trujillo ended, and helped to express Dominicans’ complex feelings of amargue (bitterness), melancholy, and romance.

Puerto Plata, the 85-year-old Dominican sonero, has been described as “a living tribute to early bachata.” A contemporary of the Cuban musicians featured in the award-winning film “The Buena Vista Social Club,” Plata will perform traditional music including merengues and boleros from his internationally acclaimed 2007 CD release “Mujer de Cabaret” (“Cabaret Woman”). His sweet, time-worn voice will be accompanied by Paredes and Mendez.

In addition to the main musical attractions, DJ David Medina will spin blends of hip-hop, soul, salsa, house, reggae, Afrobeat and contemporary bachata. Local band Zon Del Barrio, led by noted music journalist and historian Aurora Flores, will perform a set that represents all aspects of contemporary Latino music, from classic salsa to plena, merengue, bomba and boogaloo.

Refreshments will be available for purchase throughout the day from neighborhood vendors. CD collections and other prizes will be awarded in a free raffle. An American Airlines booth offers opportunities to win prizes including a trip to anywhere the airline flies in the continental United States and the Caribbean.

The field at PS 161 is open 2 p.m.-7 p.m. on concert day. The show begins at 3 p.m., with DJ music playing from 2-3 p.m. and throughout the day. Entrance to the PS 161 field is at Amsterdam and West 134th Street.

For more information visit or, or call 212-281-9240, ext. 19/20