Aventura’s reunion tour chronicles Bachata’s evolution

On June 4, Aventura — a timeless bachata band included Romeo Santos, Henry Santos, Lenny Santos and Max Santos – take the stage at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, as part of their Cerrando Ciclos reunion tour. They performed at the venue two nights in a row, as well as playing a show at Madison Square Garden on May 23. With an audience of mostly Dominicans – many of whom proudly waved Dominican flags. yourself – it’s remarkable to see a genre once associated with the bars and brothels of low-income neighborhoods in rural Dominican Republic become a global phenomenon. And it was Aventura, a boy band formed by four Dominican teenagers in the 1990s, that completely revolutionized bachata beyond what any of them could have originally envisioned.

In February, Romeo Santos announced that he would reunite with the group for a second time for the Cerrando Ciclos tour, which began on May 1 in Sacramento, CA. The group last joined forces in 2020, just before the coronavirus pandemic upended their Immortals Tour. According to Billboard, it grossed $25.8 million. And although Tuesday night was far from the final show of their tri-state area tour, the group really gave it their all, thrilling the crowd with some of their biggest hits: “Dile al Amor”, “Un Beso”, “Todavía Me Amas” and their 2021 single with Bad Bunny, “Volvi.” They closed the show with a guest appearance by Judy Santos for “Obsesión.”

It took a while for bachata to become a global craze, but today, even non-Latin artists like The Weeknd is venturing into this genre.

In the late 1980s, the genre became more widely accepted across the island thanks to bachata legend Blas Durán and even more so after the release of the book. Juan Luis Guerra’“Bachata Rosa” album in 1992. Bachata came to the US East Coast in the mid-1990s thanks to artists such as Luis Vargas, Anthony Santos, Raulín Rodriguez, Frank Reyes and Zacarias Ferreira – all artists Romeo Santos would eventually take on. continue to cooperate with. But the reality is that bachata would not be as popular as it is today without the amazing ability of Aventura and its members to modernize the genre to penetrate the American market.

It’s fair to say that this could be the group’s last reunion run, as they’ve been around since 1996 when they passed by Los Tinellers. It was the first time an artist or musical group broke the rules of bachata and infused its sound with R&B, pop, hip-hop and reggae – bringing a genre once known as bolero campesino to the mainstream. pine. On Tuesday night, I felt the emotion and immensity of it all as I watched a group I’ve listened to since high school light up an arena full of fans screaming their lyrics. for each song performed so loudly at times. I thought my ears were going to ring.

As I looked around a sold-out stadium, all I could see were countless Latin American flags flying, with the Dominican community clearly visible. Occasionally, I notice a non-Latino in the crowd singing Spanish lyrics and swaying their hips back and forth to the basic parallel step of bachata. But Romeo spoke entirely in Spanish and even thanked all the Dominicans present, especially those who have been loyal fans since the band’s early days .

Bachata has come a long way since its inception in parts of the DR, and nothing brings me more joy than seeing how long it has been around – thanks to the legends that now still prioritize the dedicated support of the Dominican community.

Johanna Ferreira is the content director of PS Juntos. With over 10 years of experience, Johanna focuses on how intersectional identities are a central part of Latinx culture. Previously, she spent nearly three years as deputy editor at HipLatina, and she has freelanced for multiple outlets including Refinery29, Oprah magazine, Allure, InStyle, and Well+Good. She has also moderated and spoken on numerous panels on Latine identity.

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