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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment July 21, 2017

7/11/2017 10:32:00 AM
Bachata performer to hit the stage at Fir Street Park
Joan Soriano plays Fir Street Park on Thursday, July 13, in a free concert offered by Sisters Folk Festival. photo provided
+ click to enlarge
Joan Soriano plays Fir Street Park on Thursday, July 13, in a free concert offered by Sisters Folk Festival. photo provided

By Ceili Cornelius

Joan Soriano is set to play on Thursday in the first of the three-part series of free Sisters Folk Festival Summer Concerts. Joan Soriano is from a small town in the Dominican Republic near Santo Domingo and currently tours as the leader of his own band.

Joan plays Bachata-style music. The word is directly translated to be "an informal gathering or party where friends join to play music on guitars and drums." Or, Afro-style rhythm.

"I like to stick with the traditional style of bachata that I grew up listening to and I add my own effects and a bit of a twist on it," Soriano told The Nugget.

There were two factors that contributed to Soriano wanting to pursue music: the first being that he grew up listening to bachata music, and it was the only music he ever listened to.

"There was one radio station that played only bachata music in my hometown, so I was constantly surrounded by it," he said.

Soriano genuinely liked the music and wanted to play it.

The second factor that contributed to his passion for music was his older brother creating a guitar for him out of household materials. Soriano picked up the guitar and had a natural affinity for playing bachata music on it.

Soriano knew that to get into the music world he needed to be in the city of Santo Domingo. So, he travelled there and moved his life there. He got a job at a car wash and was there for three months before he was discovered by a band playing bachata music. He got the chance to play for them and they ended up hiring him into the band as a guitar player.

"It took a long time to transition to become the leader of the band; I had to work hard and work my way up," said Soriano. "I had to try many things out before I could have my own band and be the leader and play bachata."

Soriano said he owes a lot of success to his management and his team at iASO records. Soriano's booking agent and management have connections in Oregon and the Sisters Folk Festival booked Soriano for a summer concert.

"Our agents have good contacts in Oregon and they know him already" said Soriano's translator, Roberto Ramirez.

Soriano and his translator are currently travelling together on their most recent tour. Soriano is a full-time musician; "It is his career and his job" said Ramirez.

"I wanted to try out playing festivals, and I try to tour as much as possible," Soriano said.

Soriano has a huge following in the United States, and he loves to tour here.

"They enjoy the music and buy the records, and it's my excuse to come to the U.S. to tour every year to come play for people that enjoy the music," he said.

This is Soriano's first time to Sisters - though not to Oregon - and he looks forward to the show.

Joan Soriano will be playing Fir Street Park in Sisters on Thursday July 13, at 6:30 p.m. as the first installment in the free Sisters Folk Festival Summer Concert Series.

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