Irka Mateo y La Tirindanga Shake Up Club Bonafide
The music of Irka Mateo shakes the body and moves the soul like only great musicians can do. The artist, hailing from Quisqueya and living in New York City, creates music that fusions Dominican folklor like Sarandunga, Palo, and Merengue with other rhythms. Mateo is largely influenced by beats from across the Latin American continent, particularly those of Afro-Diasporic and indigenous roots, making her music powerful and resistant in nature. Performing with her band to create Irka Mateo and La Tirindanga, the group is a must-see not only for a night of fun dancing, filled with an amazing colorful performance but also for music that highlights the spirit of joy present in our people.
The performance on the evening of December 1st at the beautiful Club Bonafide located in what was once a New York City Jazz center, 52nd Street, was special in that it brought back the important history of this area. 52nd Street was once known as “Swing Street”: a jazz center particularly during the 1930’s prohibition era that saw performances by greats like Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, and others. That Mateo decided to play on this street that opened up the doors to many Jazz musicians is crucial in a present time when black immigrants from Latin America are exploring and fighting for recognition within the overall black diaspora. On that evening, Irka Mateo performed songs from her past album Anacaona and exciting new music; Anacaona has songs in it like Liborio: a homage to the revolutionary Dominican curandero Papá Liborio.
Newer songs that the band performs include Vamo a Gozá, an invitation to celebrate our heritage and be in joy as people of color, which was especially necessary to wrap up a tough year.
Below are some photos of this amazing evening taken by Jay Espy. Irka Mateo will be releasing a new album in January of 2018.
my gender is (not) your colonial project