Yasser Tejeda grows danceable Latin alternative from Dominican folk roots. He says he represents “The Other Dominican Republic.” We think he represents “The New Dominican Republic.” It’s time to return to the One.
Yasser Tejeda in New York City
Dominican alternative singer-songwriter Yasser Tejeda plays a special Uptown Nights Latin Music Series show for Harlem Stage, the World Music Institute and Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI). New York Haitian DJ Sabine Blaizin (Oyasound) keeps the room moving with a little Afro-Everything before and after the show at Harlem Stage in Morningside Heights, West Harlem; on Friday, December 1, 2023 at 8pm. From $20. harlemstage.org 🇩🇴 🇭🇹
This show was rescheduled from June 8, 2023 because of the intense smoke from fires in Canada this summer.
We don’t know why DJ Blaizin calls herself Oyasound, but in Cuba, Oyá is the Yoruba orisha of wind and storms, of death and rebirth, a symbol of change. She is fierce and independent Caribbean woman. Her dress is made of many colors, and as a warrior, she carries two machetes. She is partnered with Changó, the orisha of the drum and the dance. In Haiti, she is Maman Brigette. In Puerto Rico, she is Atabey, the supreme Taíno god (a goddess) who represents the destructive and creative power of the hurricane. The island of Ayiti ~ Quisqueya was the Taíno heartland. To Catholics, Oyá is the Virgin of Candelaria, the patron saint of Tenerife, Canary Islands, and the African Diaspora. We love and respect her very much.
Yasser Tejeda Represents the New Dominican Generation
Yasser Tejeda represents the new generation of Dominican artists fusing his island’s diverse folk traditions into jazz and rock. But more importantly he’s not just updating Dominican merengue and bachata, Tejeda is renewing deep Afro-Dominican traditions such as Los Congos del Espíritu Santo de Villa Mella and La Salve de San Cristóbal.
Tejeda’s acceptance of our shared Indigenous and African roots in the Taíno heartland, whether you call it Quisqueya (cradle of life), Ay-tí (land of mountains), or Hispaniola (Spanish island) is special. No need to pretend to be someone you are not anymore because “Tú Ere’ Bonita.” No makeup required.
That’s a big deal because many Dominicans are uncomfortable with our African roots, but these are our roots. Now is the time to celebrate all of who we are, and Yasser Tejeda is doing exactly that. The result is spectacular.
In the spirit of the people of the Dominican Republic, Tejeda’s music is very happy. Let’s dance!
Watch his song “Tu Ere’ Bonita” (You are beautiful).
We liked the poetry of the video where the woman puts on makeup, but then takes it off. She is beautiful just as she is.
Watch his video “Todo Va a Marchar” (Everything Will Work Out).
This is life in the Dominican Republic, at home, with family, at school, and on the beach. We are a happy people who enjoy life.
Tejeda is Mixing Some Fun
Tejeda plays a guitar which is a Spanish instrument, but there’s usually a Dominican tambora drum, and Indigenous guiro, both hallmarks of Dominican culture and identity. He usually includes a dancer on stage which is great, because Caribbean music is for dancing.
You definitely want to go with friends to Yasser Tejeda’s concerts because he’s all about feeling good and sharing positive vibes. Oh, and wear your dancing shoes.