• 1910s & 1920s: The Early Presence of Dominican Music

  • In the early 20th century, the advent of recorded music and radio broadcasting reshaped the musical landscape of New York City. As the Dominican Republic experienced a lengthy U.S. military occupation, from 1916 to 1924, Dominican musicians began arriving in the U.S., particularly to New York City. The majority of …
  • 1930s: Dominicans and the First Latin Music Dance Craze

  • As Puerto Rican and Cuban migration surged in the 1930s, the U.S. saw its first major Latin music and dance craze. New York ballrooms exploded with the sounds of “rhumba”, a version of Afro-Cuban son adapted for East Coast ballrooms. The rhumba craze took over the nation in the early …
  • 1940s: Dominican Music and the Birth of the Mambo

  • "It was also during this decade that Dominican composers began to forge a kind of music that resonated mostly with those who lived the migrant experience..." In the 1940s, the rise of the mambo continued to pave the way for Dominican musicians in the U.S. It was also during this …
  • 1950s: Here Comes the Dominican Merengue: Mambo and Cha Cha Make Way

  • As mambo exploded into New York City’s mainstream in the 1950s, its rhythmic cousin cha-cha also emerged in the city’s Latin music scene. Cha-cha, as it is referred to in the U.S, in contrast to the Cuban and Latin American term chachachá, is a triple-step reimagining of Cuban danzón and …
  • 1960s: The Birth of Salsa and the Rise of a U.S. Dominican Mentality

  • The 1960s ushered in a new era for the history of Dominican music in the U.S. During the Trujillo years, few Dominicans were granted passports to travel outside of the Dominican Republic.  These travelers were people who were not known for opposing the government or were members of the privileged …
  • 1970s: Merengue Begins to Create its Own Space

  • In the late 1960s, the advent of salsa and boogaloo fever created a challenging musical environment for Dominican artists in the United States. While the popularity of boogaloo was short-lived, experiencing a national boom around 1966[1] and declining shortly thereafter, salsa was converted into an international phenomenon that would dominate …
  • 1980s: The Internationalization of Dominican Beats

  • In the 1980s, after decades of vying for greater visibility and recognition, Dominican music found itself for the first time in a sustained position in the U.S. as well as on the global stage. The primary beneficiary of this heightened visibility was merengue, a music that, by all accounts, emerged …
  • 1990s: New Musical Trends

  • The number of Dominicans in the United States doubled in the 1990s, from slightly over half a million to over one million by the year 2000. This aggressive demographic growth transformed the Dominican community in the United States, making them the fourth-largest Hispanic/Latino group in the country, after Mexicans, Puerto …
  • 2000s: Bachata Overtakes the World

  • "urban bachata is characterized by the blending of English, Spanish, hip-hop, R&B, and the traditional Dominican rhythm..." The first decade of the new millennium witnessed the galvanization of urban bachata. A fusion genre created by Dominican teenagers experimenting with popular language and music in the Bronx, urban bachata is characterized …