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Irka Mateo | Anacaona

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official website my MySpace page Irka Mateo online videos

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World: World Fusion Latin: General Moods: Solo Female Artist
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by Irka Mateo

Music inspired by traveling to the sources of Dominican folk and Brazilian music. An unique and dreamy approach to the beats of Latin America and the Caribbean
Genre: World: World Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Reencuentro
3:43 $0.99
2. Hoy no estás
3:44 $0.99
3. Hombre de la tierra
3:29 $0.99
4. Que pasó
4:10 $0.99
5. Terreno baldio
4:24 $0.99
6. Anacaona
4:13 $0.99
7. El morro de Montecristi
4:25 $0.99
8. Liborio
3:35 $0.99
9. Maboba
3:56 $0.99
10. Un beso y un adios
4:24 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Singer, Lyricist, Composer, Dominican folk music researcher, Taíno culture researcher and traveler.

Irka Mateo was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic from a family of mixed race descendants of Tainos, Africans and Europeans. She chose the Taino as her personal identity.

From an early age she was devoted to singing, playing guitar, writing poetry. At 17 she began her world travels. She has lived in United States, Spain, France, England, Brazil and Canada, as well as traveling extensively throughout Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.

During these years, she participated as a singer in various musical projects with Latin Americans, Greeks, Africans and French and was a witness to the emergence of world music in Paris and Madrid. She studied psychology and foreign languages (English, French, Portuguese) in Amherst College, Connecticut, USA, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain and at l'Université d 'Strassburg, France.

In Madrid she met Tadeu De Marco, a Brazilian musician, composer and arranger. Together they created a fusion of music from the Caribbean and Brazil, (cha-cha, reggae, gaga, sarandunga, samba, party high afoxe, Baia, maracatu). They also participated in many international jazz festivals an recorded “Tres Americas” for Silence Records, Canada.

After traveling around the world Irka felt the need to know her own culture and return to her native country where she spent 10 years immersing her with its folk music, popular religion and Taino culture. There she learned of different folk rhythms and of the messianic movement of Liborio Mateo and his music for healing, as well as the aboriginal way of life in rural communities.

These trips led to an audio file of the folk music of these musical expressions: Palos, Palos de San Juan, Mangulina, Carabine, Salve de Villa Mella, Salve de Bani, Salve a la Virgen, Cantos de Toros, Congos, Sarandunga: Morano, Bomba and Jacana, Gaga and Guloya.

Irka produced and hosted the TV program "Music from Kiskeya" where folk musicians are invited to play and talk about their traditions. She founded “Guabancex Wind and Water Society," with Fatima Portorreal, Tony de Moya, Jorge Estevez and Lynne Guitar; dedicated to spreading Taino culture throughout the arts and social sciences.

During this time she began to compose songs based on these experiences; writing lyrics that speak of love, folklore, traditions and Taino culture. She performed with her band Irka con Bohuti: Esar Simó, double bass, Giovanni Guzmán and Raúl Sánchez, Kuki, el abuelo and Juami in percussion, Jenny and Chichita Núñez Núñez, vocals, Alexis Peña on guitar, and Kiko on the accordion.

Irka with Bohuti had a great impact on the Dominican music scene, generating much public attention in the cities of the D.R., with great emphasis on youth in search of identity, artists and scholars of social sciences. She played at festivals, nightclubs, seminars, as well as a performance for the current president of the Dominican Republic, Leonel Fernández. She has also participated in World Music Festivals in Mexico and the Caribbean.

Since 2007 Irka has established her residence in New York City where she is preparing to spread her music and culture with her new group. Her CD Anacaona sees the light in May this year.



to write a review

Serge Kozlovsky / http://sergekozlovsky.com

Writings by Serge Kozlovsky
How could the album “Anacaona” by Irka Mateo be characterized? What is this music – latin/world with strong Brazilian flavor or authentic Dominican folk or contemporary jazz? The answer will be “Yes” for all above mentioned genres and it still wouldn't describe Irka Mateo’s album completely because “Anacaona” is more than just a combination of various styles. This is the music about which one wants to call: “True music”. The reason of my assertion is the deep sincerity which is felt in Irka Mateo’s singing.

This attractive feature of the album “Anacaona” is important, but it is not the only one. The artist put all her heart into the singing and makes this album very emotional and vivid. Besides, the wonderful folk music surrounds the beautiful vocals of Irka Mateo. Every composition is perfectly arranged and performed. The sound of “Anacaona” is very rich and saturated. It is a joy to listen to this album filled with real human emotional experiences.

“Anacaona” has one more important peculiarity. It is deeply personal music. It cannot be compared with anything else. In conclusion I could only say – don’t miss this unique project because this music keeps us alive and happy!

Serge Kozlovsky