Guitar superstar Joan Soriano blends Afro-Dominican sacred traditions with bachata, imparting his music with down-to-earth spirit and danceability. Join him for a free show at Lincoln Center on October 5 as part of Atrium 360°…and leave excited and happy.


First instrument you played?
The guitar, of course. It was the first and probably the last instrument I'll ever play.

Top three influences, musical or otherwise?
As far as musical influences, I have always been influenced by the bachateros and merengueros from the '80s and '90s. Probably because that's the music I listened to when I grew up.

Artist or album you have on repeat?
Nowadays I listen to all kinds of music on Spotify and YouTube. I love how we can listen to any genre or artists for hours without repeating a song. I mostly listen to bachata, merengue, and sometimes salsa.

First live performance you remember seeing?
It was around 1987. Some friends and I went to see a concert with various artists in Santo Domingo.

Last live performance you saw?
It was my pal Félix Cumbé. I like going to my friends' concerts to support them.

First paying gig?
I can't remember exactly, but most likely it was 1989. They paid me about 30 Dominican pesos.

Favorite city to play?
New York City, of course!

Favorite book or movie?
I like action books and movies. I am a big fan of the action films of the '80s, anything with Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jean-Claude Van Damme. I also like the classic kung fu movies of Bruce Lee.

Artist you'd most like to collaborate with?
Pedro Fernández. As a matter of fact, I've covered some of his songs already. I would like to record a song together.

Place you'd most like to visit?
Mexico City.

Top three pieces of advice for aspiring artists?
First of all, this is a tough business, so patience is very important. It takes a lot of practice and time to become a good musician. One also has to be dedicated and eager to learn. It may take a very long time to get that "big break," but when it happens it's a very rewarding feeling. Good things do come for those who wait.

You hope someone comes away from one of your shows feeling…
Excited and very happy.


The October 5 engagement of Joan Soriano is made possible through Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America, a program of Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.