Merengue Information

Merengue is a type of music and dance from Dominican Republic. It is popular in the Dominican Republic and all over Latin America. Its name is Spanish, taken from the Spanish name of the meringue, a dessert made from whipped egg whites and sugar. It is unclear as to why this name became the name of the music. Perhaps, it can trace its meaning from the movement on the dance floor that could remind one of an egg beater in action.

This style of music was created by Ñico Lora, a Dominican of Spanish descent, in the 1920s. In the Dominican Republic it was promoted by Rafael Trujillo, the dictator from the 1930 to 1961, and became the country’s national music and dance style, while in the United States it was popularized by Angel Viloria and his band Conjunto Típico Cibaeño. It was during the Trujillo era that the popular merengue song "Compadre Pedro Juan", by Luis Alberti, became an international hit.

Internationally known merengue singers and groups include Fernando Villalona, Juan Luis Guerra, Toño Rosario & Los Hermanos Rosario, Los Toros Band, Sergio Vargas, Wilfrido Vargas, Johnny Ventura, Bonny Cepeda, Miriam Cruz & Las Chicas Del Can, Joseito Mateo, the aforementioned Angel Viloria, El Ciego de Nagua, Kinito Mendez, Ravel, Jossie Esteban y la Patrulla 15, Pochy y su Cocoband, Cuco Valoy, The Freddie Kenton Orquestra, Ramon Orlando, Sandy Reyes, Rasputin, Peter Cruz, Alex Bueno, Aramis Camilo, Jochy Hernandez, El Zafiro, Dioni Fernandez, The New York Band, Anibal Bravo, Conjunto Quisqueya, Olga Tañón, Gisselle, and Grupomanía.

Wikipedia, Merengue, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merengue_music (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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