Five decades singing: Dominican artists of the 20th century that remain current

They have careers that are around 50 years or more. However, his art, his music and his voice are felt over time and after two decades of the 21st century they remain valid. They only make them go up on stage and the public enjoys them in each performance.

More than twenty Dominican artists who began their artistic lives between the 50s and 70s are still in force, recording or starring in presentations.

The list is made up Cuco Valoy, Aníbal de Peña, Camboy Estévez, Niní Cáffaro, Adalgisa Pantaleon, Fausto Rey and José Alberto, “El Canario”.

Also the bachateros Luis Segura, Ramón Cordero, Leonardo Paniagua and José Manuel Calderón.

In the merengue are Wilfrido Vargas, El Conjunto Quisqueya, Jossie Esteban, Fernando Villalona, ​​already 50 years old in art. With more than 40, Toño Rosario, Milly Quezada, Dioni Fernández, Ramón Orlando, Rafa Rosario and Aníbal Bravo joined.


Among the most long-lived in force is Cuco Valoy (January 6, 1937), who records a 73-year career. He started with Los Ahijados in the 50’s, singing. He took a step towards merengue in the 70s and formed the group Los Virtuosos de Cuco Valoy, which was later called “La Tribu de Cuco Valoy”. With a vast discography, he interpreted rhythms such as merengue, bachata, salsa, cumbia, son montuno, bolero, guaracha and cha-cha-chá. In recent years he has made presentations, especially in Colombia.

Cuco Valoy, 85, when he sang on Tuesday night at the Jaragua hotel.

Cuco Valoy, 86 years old, singing in the Jaragua.

Another example: Aníbal de Peña. In 1945 he was 12 years old and at that age he composed his first song: “Muchachita de mi pueblo”.

His career took off in the 1960s. His first hit was “My weakness”. Currently he resides in the United States, where he continues to present his concerts. Hannibal was born on May 11, 1933.

Aníbal de Peña has a large repertoire of romantic songs.  ADRIANO ROSARIO/LISTIN DIARIO

Aníbal de Peña has a large repertoire of romantic songs. ADRIANO ROSARIO/LISTIN DIARIO

At the end of the 1950s, Octavio Camboy Estévez (December 8, 1944) joined the Primitivo Santos orchestra, beginning his career publicly in the 1960s. With the beginning of the 70s he launched himself as a soloist. “Los caminos de la vida”, “Unión eterna”, “Today I am not for anyone” and “My sad street” are some of his best-known songs. Camboy, who turns 90 this December 8, lives in the United States and his singing on stage continues.

Camboy Estevez

Camboy Estevez

From the first Festival of the Voice

One of the great legacy of Niní Cáffaro (November 25, 1939) is being the interpreter of the most beautiful and well-known song in the Dominican Republic, “Por amor”, authored by Rafael Solano.

In 1961 he recorded his first song “Violeta”. “Ayúdame a Olvidarte”, by the author Juan Lockward and “El Corazón no miente”, by Juan Bruno Terraza, were his first hits that year.

Four years later, he continues with “En Ruinas” and “Cader y más”. He was the first to win the First Dominican Song Festival with the emblematic song “Por amor” (1968). In 2010 he celebrated 50 years of artistic career and in 2018 the 50 of “Por amor”. He frequently does artistic activities.

Nini Cafarro

Nini Cafarro

In 1971 Adalgisa Pantaleón (November 10, 1954) participated in the first National Festival of the Voice, organized by the Dominican composer Rafael Solano.

In 2021 he celebrated 50 years in art. His time on stage has received applause from the public. She established herself as one of the main soloists in the country and in 1989 she joined the Juan Luis Guerra group.

Adalgisa Pantaleon

Adalgisa Pantaleon


In 2020, Luis Segura was officially named the Father of Bachata by the Senate of the Dominican Republic. He was born on June 21, 1939 in Mao, Valverde, and his career began in 1960. His great hit is “Pena de ti”, a symbol of the bachata genre. This year “El papa de la bachata” is preparing to say goodbye in a big way with the concert “End of History”, at the Gran Arena del Cibao, on July 29.

Luis Segura will have his first and last concert in Santiago de los Caballeros

Luis Segura will have his first and last concert in Santiago de los Caballeros

Ramón Cordero, on the other hand, was born in April 1939. He also began his artistic life in the 1960s, being one of the pioneers in rhythm. This 2023 Leonardo Paniagua celebrates 50 years of having released his first record production “Con el conjunto Paredes Vol. 2” (1973).

Among the first bachateros, José Manuel Calderón is recognized as the creator of the bitter genre. He was born in 1941 and his first songs came out in 1960.

Validity equals success

For artists, success is measured by their validity in the market, above all, by their permanence in the taste of their consumers.

The Dominican songbook has on billboards, singing and dancing, still, many of them with several decades on stage.

In the 1970s, Fausto Rey became one of the main interpreters of the ballad, internationally recognized. “Get out of here”, “I’m dying to be with you”, “Yolanda”, “Crazy they say I am”, were some of his hits. “El Niche” as he was called was born on December 1, 1951. His time in Johnny Ventura’s group was the ideal setting to show his talent. His popularity reached the Quisqueya stadium, along with Sophy from Puerto Rico.

This Monday Fausto Rey, who at the end of his 80s, created his merengue group, performs at the Jet Set nightclub in Santo Domingo.

With Wilfrido Vargas (April 24, 1949) the merengue underwent a vertiginous change that began in the 1970s. This year his first merengue “Dolorita” turns 50. He was the creator of groups such as Los Hijos del Rey, Las Chicas del Can, The New York Band and Altamira Banda Show.

wilfrido vargas

wilfrido vargas

The Dominican salsa singer José Alberto “El Canario” at the beginning of 1970 and seven years later became the leader of Típica 73, where he gained notoriety. In 1983 he put together his group with which he has achieved international success.

Celebrate in Chavón

In 1971 Fernando Villalona appeared for the first time on national television at the Festival de la Voz. His charisma drove the Dominicans crazy, starting his career in Los Hijos del Rey, then he created his own group. This August 12, “El Mayimbe” will once again take on the challenge of singing at the Altos de Chavón Amphitheater with the show “Fernando Villalona, ​​El Mayimbe Vuelve a Chavón”.

Last year Chucky Acosta, Javish Victoria, Adib Melgen and Elías Santana, the members of El Conjunto Quisqueya celebrated five decades in music. The group that was formed in Puerto Rico in 1972 became the great promoters of the projection of merengue in the diaspora, achieving enormous popularity and consistency based on their successes, which led this orchestra to be one of the most popular in merenguera. internationally, not only at Christmas time, but throughout the year.

Aníbal Bravo celebrated his 50-year artistic career last year, with a concert presented at the Hard Rock Café. “El Comandante”, as he is known, was born on April 24, 1954 and began his artistic career in 1972, achieving a career marked by dozens of hits and a large number of good singers whom he shaped to become merengue stars. .

milly 45th anniversary

The first album “Tú sabes” by “Milly y los vecinos” was released in 1976. In principle the group brought together Milly Quezada and her husband Rafael Vázquez, her brothers Jocelyn, Rafael and Martín Quezada. Her appearance caught the attention of the public for being the few women who dared to interpret merengue.

Milly Quezada.

Milly Quezada.

Milly, who became “The Queen of Merengue” has been on stage for more than four decades, this June 17th she celebrates the 45th anniversary of her artistic career with the show “Viva La Reina Tour”, in the Carlos Piantini room of the Teatro National Eduardo Brito.

The debut of Los Hermanos Rosario on national television was broadcast in 1978, the group was formed in May 1976, in the province of Higüey, in the east of the country. The group, led by Rafa and Toño Rosario, became one of the main merengue orchestras.

In April 1990 Toño decided to start a new group, obtaining immediate success. Toño has sold himself with a very creative artistic image and with a rocker style, which at 67 years old looks spectacular.

Tono Rosario

Tono Rosario

Jossie Esteban and Patrol 15, formed by Jossie Esteban (Esteban Grullón) and Alberto Martínez (known as Ringo) was created in 1979, in Puerto Rico. As a group they supported other musical groups such as Zona Roja and Las nenas de Jossie y Ringo, a group where Olga Tañón started.

At barely 15 years old, Ramón Orlado Valoy’s first musical arrangement was recorded in 1975, for La Tribu, a group led by his father Cuco Valoy,

Since then he worked as a pianist, arranger, singer and composer until 1984, when he formed his own group.

Rock and roll conquered Dioni Fernández, who in 1969 formed a group with the musician El Gran Comprés. The band lasted until 1973, that same year he began as a pianist in a musical band, until in 1975 the opportunity came with Félix del Rosario. Dioni achieves success in the eighties with “El Equipo de Dioni Fernández”.

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