Bachata Legends: Trio Amargue with Edilio Paredes & Andre Veloz

Dominican Republic and New York, NY
In the countryside and in the bars of the Dominican Republic, bachata—a variant of bolero—emerged in the second half of the 20th century. Originally called bolero campesino (peasant love song), bachata is often referred to as musica de amargue. Amargue means bitterness, and when applied to Dominican music, it describes the bittersweet emotions of love. Much like the blues, to which it is often compared, bachata’s themes explore lost and unrequited love, evoking feelings of pain and melancholy to a seemingly cathartic effect.

Edilio Paredes is one of the founding fathers of bachata. In the 1970s and 1980s, bachata emerged as its own genre, distinct from bolero and merengue, other Dominican musical traditions that blend Spanish and African influences. One of the most sought after arrangers and guitarists during this period, Paredes is revered as an innovator of the bachata guitar style, which incorporated elements of son and merengue, making it a more upbeat, danceable music.

Andre Veloz, a native of St. Croix who now resides in New York City, is a new female voice in a genre once dominated by male machismo. A true bachatera, she is an emerging powerhouse of a singer whose specialty is traditional cabaret bachata. This is the music she first illicitly fell in love with as a young girl, when listening to bachata was deemed inappropriate for people—especially girls—of good upbringing.