Since the dictator Trujilo’s assassination in 1961, the bluesy dance music bachata has flourished in its native Dominican Republic. Before the 1990s, it was heard primarily in dive bars and brothels, and rarely outside that country. In recent years, however, a more contemporary version of the music has taken on immense, international popularity.

Indeed, bachata is the Dominican Republic’s foremost cultural export, heard in just about every bodega (convenience store) in New York City, and in Latin dance clubs and festivals around the world.

The producer Benjamin de Menil has long been a student of the genesis and golden age of the style. With various releases on his label, iASO Records, he has sparked international interest in traditional bachata.

Last updated: July 1, 2013