Bachata is a musical genre from the Dominican Republic that evolved from bolero and is characterized by its distinctive lead guitar and the sensual dance it inspires. Although it was frowned upon and repressed within its own country of origin, bachata is now enjoying increased popularity worldwide. One of its practitioners is 37-year-old Joan Soriano, who is on the edge of international success.
The bachatas and merengues Soriano plays draw upon a variety of musical influences from Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. He is also a practitioner of Afro-Dominican traditional salve and palo, and he blends these percussive styles with guitar-based bachata to create a fresh sound. The Duke of Bachata is alive with Dominican music and culture, and is an intimate portrait of one man’s hopes, fears and dreams, and how much his success means to his family and community.