Tag Archives: music

Festival del Merengue Tipico in Guananico, Dominican Republic

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Merengue tipico–the folkloric and original genre of merengue–is the essence of being Dominican. Or as it’s said in Spanish, “el merengue es la esencia de la dominicanidad.”

Most of us in North America know about merengue and associate it immediately with the Dominican Republic. We have danced and twirled to it at friends’ parties or in nightclubs. Here in the DR, this national music and dance echoes every day across cities and villages in its various forms, from folkloric to modern. It blasts from backyards, supermarkets, or neighborhood colmados (corner store-slash-bars). The instruments, to start–the

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Throwback Thursday: An Afternoon with Paul Nabor

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“The National Treasures of Belize are its people of culture. Culturally, the Garifuna people of Dangriga, Belize are the most interesting. […] The oldest male singer is PAUL NABOR. Make sure that you photograph him, he is the national treasure since Andy Palacio died.”

When I reached Punta Gorda that month of September 2011, I kept the wise words of my mentor and renowned photographer Chester Higgins in the back of my mind. I had shared with him the good news that my next gig was taking me to Belize, for three months of coverage as a freelance writer, blogger and photographer.

In Punta Gorda, my host Bruno was well-connected and had lived in the area for decades, so I had a hunch he might be able to help me. The minute I mentioned to him that I would love to meet Paul Nabor, he said, in the way in which he always did when a guest had a request: “No problem!”

We stopped by Nabor’s house that very evening–it was dark and I could barely see where we were, but I spotted him from the car. He seemed frail, yet alert, sitting in an alley beside his humble wooden home, chatting with a friend. My host stepped out and told him about this writer who is with the BTB and wanted to meet him.

I heard the reply: “Sure. Come tomorrow. 2 o’clock.”

I wondered if it would really happen, but I was so excited that I started picturing how I would photograph him, and then wondered if he would let me photograph him.

The next afternoon of September 5 is one I’ll never forget. After an hour with Leela Vernon at her home–the

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