Born in the rural countryside near Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, Joan Soriano fashioned his first guitar from a tin can and fishing line and has never looked back. Soriano plays steel string bachata with equal parts romance and grit. The Afro-infused rhythm that permeates his music has made him a favorite among dancers.
As a boy Joan received little formal education. The seventh of 15 children, Joan left school to help his father farm the family's land. But Joan’s destiny was for something else. Forming a band with his young brothers and sisters, he began to perform at neighborhood events. Nicknamed “Los Candes” (after their father Candelario) the band became a local sensation. At age 13 Joan hitched a ride to Santo Domingo and went on to nurture his talent working with some of the island’s greatest bachata stars.
Bachata is essential to Dominican culture and draws upon a variety of influences from Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. A practitioner of palo and gaga, Joan blends Afro-Dominican sacred traditions with bachata, imparting his music with down to earth spirit and dance-ability. Joan preserves bachata’s roots and expands on them. He is a rare combination of new and authentic.
Joan is the star of Adam Taub’s new documentary, The Duke of Bachata. He also was featured in Alex Wolfe’s documentary, Santo Domingo Blues, and is on The Rough Guide’s Bachata compilation. Joan has performed throughout North America and Europe. In September 2010 he celebrated his first international release.
Joan's new album, El Duque de la Bachata, was recorded live in a Santo Domingo studio by iASO producer, Benjamin de Menil. The natural musicality of live sound is central to iASO’s aesthetic.