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TATICO – Buy Tatico CDs
There is one person in música típica (traditional music) that is forever engraved in history. His name is Tatico Henríquez. He came from Nagua to the city of Santiago and from there went on to conquer the world with his accordion. A member of Trío Reynoso, he played the accordion in such a way that whoever saw him was immediately infected by his music. He played with more intensity and accelerated the tempo of the merengue, provoking a complete change in the way música típica was played at the time.
Tatico Henríquez has been considered the father of música típica. His group was composed of various musicians like Manochí, who at the time was playing marimba; El Viejo Ca, tambora; Miro Francisco, saxophone; and Julio Enriquez, guira. Later, Tatico went on to substitute other musicians that could help him to further evolve the music. Among these, he put El Flaco on the tambora; he removed the marimba and supplanted it with a bassist by the name of Victor. Danny Cabrera played saxophone, and later, he substituted Felix Días. Wanting to innovate within the style, Tatico included for the first time the conga rhythm. He had Flaco, the tamborero, play the conga rhythm on an upturned tambora – before that, only merengue orchestras used congas. Tatico was then obliged to add one more musician to the group. That conguero was called Roberto La Culebra.
Tatico was a rustic musician with an untrained voice, a rural expressive technique, and a very original style. He was so important in the music’s history that a musician who didn’t sing like Tatico or imitate his style wasn’t considered a musician of any appreciable quality. There was no competition for Tatico until the appearance of Bartolo Alvarado, known popularly as El Cieguito de Nagua.
SIANO ARIAS – Buy Siano Arias CDs
Siano Arias was born in San Jose de Ocoa to a family of ten children. His father played accordion and loved merengue típico, which was still comparatively unusual in the South at the time. Although merengue típico was not native to the area, it was heard regularly on the radio, and Siano’s father learned to play by listening. Because of his love for the instrument, four of the Arias brothers also became accordionists: Siano, Domingo, Wilson, y Willan. Of the four, Siano would become the most famous. For his stellar technique, his way with people, and his gift for composition, he was often compared to Tatico.
In the words of Siano’s brother, Domingo: “Sometimes it isn’t so much playing the accordion, but having the luck to penetrate the public, that the public should like the way you are, that you should be a nice, simple person, and that helped him more than playing well. There are many who play well and they haven’t had the luck of getting to the [heart] of the people and staying there. Tatico was like that, he was an affectionate man, people followed him around like a caravan…. In Siano’s case, if Siano hadn’t died he would have been among the great musicians here. Here he had the musicians beat; here they spoke only of Siano Arias.”
“Siano was a musician who for me, or for many musicians they categorized him as a second Tatico because he was a man who people really liked, he seemed sweet to people even though he played accordion really well… He came to Santiago and stole the audience away [in the 1980s]. He came but didn’t stay long in Santiago… he went right away to the capital and moved here later. So Siano had been in Santiago four years when he died and even that same week he was going to travel to New York. Aureliano [Guzman] was going to take him. He was a musician who stole the show here.” Siano died at age 32, leaving behind numerous recordings as well as songs like “Cuando Yo Me Muera,” still popular today.
written by David David and Sydney Hutchinson