This month we visit the island referred to as Kiskeya or Quisqueya depending which side of the shared border of Haïti or La República Dominicana you live on. To lead us through a vinyl exploration of this beautiful shared musical history we are joined by former Music Director at KALX of UC Berkeley and current Latin Music Curator and Programmer at Pandora, Marcos Juarez.
Important Note: This podcast was recorded before the recent disturbing deportation of Haitians taking place in the D.R.
The flip side is my favorite on here, it’s about the never ending trials and tribulations of getting and losing digits. If one day when I’m fully grey and running a little Pelanga cafe-club-bar-joint, you can count on finding a jukebox in the corner with this 45 in it. Enjoy!
Hopefully you all aware of our upcoming Pelanga en La Peña this Saturday, May 7th. Pelangas have blessed us in many ways, one of which is the joy we get from seeing so many of you dance and lose yourself in the music. But one thing we haven’t been able to ignore is seeing so many beautiful women dancing solo. Now it needs to be said that we really love that Pelangas have a culture of everyone being very respectful — especially toward women who very much appreciate not feeling hounded and harassed by men. But men, that’s no reason to be wall flowers. We understand that dancing can be intimidating, especially with someone you may not know. But don’t worry su pelangueros are here to help, or rather Oscar De Leon (Venezuela’s most famous salsero). Here he is performing his merengue hit Juanita Morel backed by Conjunto Quisqueya. Now take note, he’s just dipping and rolling with a simple spin. Watch, repeat and practice in front of a mirror. Men, you can do this and have a line of dance partners waiting on you all night. Gold medallion is optional.
I adore this track. It hails from the Dominican Republic – shout outs to Pozole, for the handsome collection of music he’s posted from there already… and to William, who might actually be able to answer my little puzzle question below.
Apologies go out to my fellow pelangueros for not posting. I offer these two tracks from a young Cuco Valoy and his brother Martín: in the 1950s they were the legendary Los Ahijados. Here’s “La lechuza” and “Al subir las escaleras”.