There are essentially two styles of Dominican merengue: “perico ripiao,” originating in the Sibao region, which requires accordion, drum and guira, and orchestral merengue or big band, which evolved in New York and many Latin American cities and uses a more complex set of instruments, such as saxophone or synthesizer. Another synonymous merengue is the Dominican singer, composer and producer Juan Luis Guerra, whose career spans four decades and has won several Grammy and Latin Grammy awards. One of the most important representatives of merengue is Wilfrido Vargas, a singer, trumpeter and leader of the Dominican band whose influential work has helped lay the foundations for a modern version of the genre internationally since the 1980s. Deeply rooted in the Dominican Republic’s colonial past, the merengue originated in the mid-nineteenth century as one of the main rural class centers that spread through the country’s urban centers and beyond. Naturally, many others have left their mark on the merengue scene forever, including Los hermanos Rosario, Las Chicas del Can, Olga Tanon, Elvis Crespo, Bonnie Cepeda and Millie Quesada. Merengue is so deeply rooted in Latin American culture that it was finally recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2017. When we talk about merengue, we’re talking about a Caribbean music genre with an irresistible power that draws everyone from Caracas to New York to the dance floor. Like salsa, the merengue was born from the fusion of African rhythms with European notation and the fusion of instruments from both cultures. The genre received an unprecedented boost from Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, the Dominican dictator from 1930 to 1961, who made it the national music of his country. Merengue also reached American audiences in the 1950s through groups like Angel Viloria and his Typical Ensemble Cibaeño. I am a lover of culture and languages and a foodie. I am very happy to share my language and culture with all of you and, why not, some of our traditional recipes. Develop your vocabulary, practice your pronunciation and more with Transparent Language Online. 2021 Transparent Language, Inc. “Compadre Pedro Juan” by Luis Alberti, performed by Francis Santana. Juan Luis Guerra’s “Questions in the Mouth” and his 440.