In 1492, the island of Hispaniola, which is now where Haiti and the Dominican Republic sit, was ruled in part by a female Taíno chief and poet named Anacaona. After she was killed by Spanish colonists, the chief became a potent symbol of national pride for Dominicans. Anacaona is also the name of a 2010 album by Irka Mateo, a Dominican singer who specializes in bringing indigenous themes and musical forms into her songwriting. Mateo spent years traveling across her country researching poorly-documented folkloric traditions, and later hosted a television show about traditional artists called Music From Kiskeya. These days, she’s living in New York and has put together an incendiary band that makes deeply Dominican music that is both thoughtful and danceable. “Hombre de la tierra” features the classic sound of the button accordion, along with bachata-inflected guitars, hard-driving drums, and Mateo’s spirited vocals.
from Gig Alerts