Merengue and More: Dominican Republic’s Music Scene Attracts Best of National, International Talent
Music lovers won’t miss a beat with festivals, concerts to suit all tastes
From the smooth sounds of jazz to the rolling rhythms of bachata and the pulse-pumping beat of the merengue, Dominican Republic’s thriving music scene beckons to music enthusiasts of all genres. Each year, the country plays host to numerous music festivals and concerts, attracting the best in local, regional and international musical talent.
“Dominican Republic’s diverse musical culture is a great source of pride and we are eager for visitors to discover our country’s rich musical tradition,” said Magaly Toribio, Marketing Advisor for the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism. “From merengue and bachata to modern popular music, Dominican Republic is sure to hit the right note with music lovers of all types.”
Whether you’re a festivalgoer seeking the next great event or following your favorite artist to the island for a Caribbean getaway, Dominican Republic has it all. Learn more about festivals and venues that bring the house down:
Festivals that rock across genres
Celebrating its 20th year, Dominican Republic Jazz Festival brings the best of the genre to Dominican Republic’s north coast—and, for the first time this November, included concerts in the capital of Santo Domingo. The festival features five nights of free concerts every fall that attract talent from around the Americas and the globe, such as 2016 headliner and Grammy-award winner Esperanza Spalding.
For a true taste of local culture, let the rhythm of Dominican Republic’s national dance sweep you away at the Merengue and Caribbean Rhythms Festival. The event celebrates merengue and its diverse influences in Spanish, African and indigenous culture. The festival is celebrated every year in the fall, bringing together the hottest merengue bands in the region, along with artists performing bachata, salsa and urban music.
Today’s chart-topping popular music finds its home at the renowned Festival Presidente in Santo Domingo. The event, which usually occurs every few years, showcases top Latin and U.S. artists for an epic three-day music fiesta. Ricky Martin, Bruno Mars, Marc Anthony, Calle 13 and Daddy Yankee are just a few of the fan-favorites who have headlined in recent years.
Santo Domingo is also home to a free outdoor concert series every Sunday in the Colonial City when beloved band Grupo Bonyé performs at the ruins of the San Francisco Monastery. The group performs classic hits in merengue, son and bachata against the breathtaking backdrop of the historic ruins. The event attracts concertgoers of all ages, providing a laid-back scene for friends and families to mingle, dance and relax.
Dominican Republic’s modern music scene is also on the rise, with a growing number of DJs, hip hop artists, electro and house music acts performing at festivals, resorts and venues throughout the country. World-renowned artists including Steve Aoki, Rihanna, Diplo, Tiësto and Major Lazer have already performed here, and Snoop Dogg, DJ Snake, The Chainsmokers and Armin Van Buren have shows scheduled this winter.
Venues for the masses
More global superstars are adding Dominican Republic tour dates to their lineup to take advantage of the wide selection of one-of-a-kind venues.
Located in the country’s southeast corner, Altos de Chavón is a replica of a 16th-century Mediterranean village that was created as part of the Casa de Campo resort. The village opened in 1982 with a memorable Frank Sinatra concert at its 5,000-seat amphitheater. World performers on tour continue to perform there, especially on long weekends in the Dominican Republic. Sting, Elton John, Andrea Bocelli, Gloria Estefan, Michel Camilo, Juan Luis Guerra, Air Supply, Julio Iglesias and Plácido Domingo are just a few of the artists that have graced the stage of the iconic amphitheater.
New to the music scene is the Puerto Plata Amphitheater, which opened in summer of 2016. The spectacular venue (4,000 cap.) provides a majestic view of the Atlantic Ocean is located adjacent to a historic colonial-era fort on the country’s north coast.
Santo Domingo is home to a duo of destination venues: Estadio Olímpico (60,000 cap.) and Estadio Quisqueya (25,000 cap.). These music meccas have played host to a long list of international powerhouses including Maroon 5, The Killers, Enrique Iglesias and Aventura.
Ready to let the rhythm of local music wash over you, or follow your favorite artist to the island for an unforgettable concert experience? Find festival and venue dates, details and more at www.GoDominicanRepublic.com.
About Dominican Republic
Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the north and the Caribbean Sea on the south, our lush tropical and paradisiacal country boasts nearly 1,000 miles (1,575 km) of coastline, 250 miles (402 km) of the world’s top beaches, magnificent resorts and hotels, and a variety of sports, recreation and entertainment options. Here you can dance to the pulse pounding thrill of the merengue, renew in our luxurious and diverse accommodations, explore ancient relics of centuries past, delight in delicious Dominican gastronomy or enjoy ecotourism adventures in our magnificent national parks, mountain ranges, rivers and beaches.
Known for our warm and hospitable people, Dominican Republic is a destination like no other, featuring astounding nature, intriguing history and rich cultural experiences like music, art and festivals, plus uniquely Dominican specialties such as cigars, rum, chocolate, coffee, merengue, amber and larimar.
Dominican Republic features the best beaches, fascinating history and culture, and is a chosen escape for celebrities, couples and families alike. Visit Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism’s official website at: www.GoDominicanRepublic.com.