The best part of New York, aside from the normal static, is that there’s always something new and interesting happening at any given time. This brings us back to the Elebash Recital Hall at the Cuny Graduate Center to enjoy the night serenaded by the  Bachata Legends, such as Emilio Paredes, one of the founders of Bachata from the Dominican Republican, and his acoustic guitar sidekicks Ramon Cordero and Andre Veloz. The showcase begins with all three on stage and the graduate filled with longtime and new fans including your writer. The guitar plucks with one note and the crowd goes wild as we wait for Emilio to seduce us with his voice. Immediately, it feels as if the winds are blowing, and palm trees surround us, as they sway to the rhythm; it also makes you feel as if you are sitting on a hammock, while listening to the sounds that define the Caribbean.

The audience is entertained and educated simultaneously on the history of Bachata. The best way to explain it for those who are not familiar with the topic is to describe it as a slower version of Merengue, another popular form of Latin dancing. However, be aware there are different variations with respect to their nations and backgrounds. Additionally, because Bachata is different, learning to dance Bachata (if you dare) is easy and does not require an infinite amount of concentration; and similar to all dances, the man assumes the lead.  During the second half of the show, the audience acquires a chance to experience a phenomenal female bachatera vocalist, Silo “Jeremias” Jimenez.

Her presence, voice that pierces through the venue like a choir, and sense of humor about life, love, etc is sufficient to seal the deal for the remainder of the night. As the guitars continue to harmonize behind her vocals, she encourages the audience to dance and some of us do. In the end, the crowd is wild with admiration, and love for Bachata as Emilio returns to the stage for one final piece. After the show is over, my friend and I confirm we are inspired and wish to end the night dancing to Latin Music somewhere in New York .

By: Laura M Artis