“The merengue, as it is recorded in New York or in Miami, is mostly based on scorching brass patterns. In the rural areas of the Dominican Republic, where it was born, merengue is, to the contrary, still performed on accordions. Joaquin Diaz is a diatonic accordion virtuoso and the champion of the rural merengue tradition.” MONDOMIX
“…a dynamic performer who not only moves your body and feet, but your heart and soul as well.” Juan Tejeda, International Accordion Festival, San Antonio Texas
A master of Dominican merengue, Joaquin Diaz’s repertoire is a mixture of traditional and original tunes characterized by exhilarating, syncopated rhythms. His audiences are introduced to a completely different aspect of the diatonic accordion, accompanied by infectious vocals. A charming and electrifying performer, “Joaquin Diaz is … the champion of the rural merengue tradition.” (MONDOMIX)
Forced to earn a living at the age of nine, he became a street musician in his Dominican hometown of Santo Domingo. While still in his teens he performed at the Pan American Games in Puerto Rico, which led to a gig at the presidential home for then President Joaquin Balaguer. In 1990, Diaz brought his own brand of Dominican magic and accordion wizardry with him to Canada. Now residing in Montréal, he has matured into a consummate artist who delights and amazes audiences wherever he goes.
Joaquin and his band have embarked upon an impressive trajectory. Their participation at various venues and festivals took them to share their tropical energy touring Canada, United States and Europe. A grant was awarded to Diaz by the Canada Council for the Arts to study conjunto music in San Antonio, Texas, home of an international accordion festival. Artistic Director Juan Tejeda calls Diaz “a dynamic performer who not only moves your body and feet, but your heart and soul as well.”