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Artists improvise to keep merengue hot

Like other styles of music, merengue has gone through its ups and downs. Sub-styles come and go, new artists create fresh undercurrents. Sometimes it all helps to expand the genre, sometimes interest fades.

Our correspondent Jose Mambo details

the evolution of merengue in the past decade in this report.

In the mid 90’s merengue took a different turn with bands like Oro Solido, (El Baile del Beeper) Mala Fe (La Vaca), Richie Banda X (Ta Heavy) just to name a few, and exploded along with Puerto Rican merengue bomba artists of the likes of Elvis Crespo, Grupo Mania, La Makina.

As we entered 2000, merengue bomba faded away and so did the rest of genre. Since then, merengue has been in a decline to the point that is no longer a category in many mainstream awards like the Latin Grammy’s.

A lot of these artists have maintained underground doing small club gigs to survive.  In an attempt to come back these bands have joined together and jumped the reunion bandwagon.

Bands like Mala Fe, Banda X, Banda Chula, Banda Soberbia have started a tour called “Los Kreadores Del Mambo” and are now offering themselves as a package, 4 bands for the price one. So far they have many dates booked for the upcoming holiday season. Their kick off began in Houston Nov. 26 at Kahlua Discotheque (formerly King Kong). Mambo is back! 

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