Friday, September 23, 2011 | 8:00 pm
The “Duke of Bachata” kicks off our 2011/2012 season at Motorco Music Hall, a gorgeous new nightclub near the Durham Athletic Park that is equally suited to dancing — which this festive music readily inspires — and relaxing with a beverage. However you choose, Joan Soriano’s brilliant steel-string guitar work and mellifluous Spanish singing are an intoxicating combination.
Soriano hails from the rural Dominican Republic, where bachata — a blend of rustic guitar syncopation and bittersweet lyrics — evolved from the Cuban bolero a century ago. He became a star in Santo Domingo by infusing bachata with rhythmic and spiritual heft while preserving its celebratory nature. No foreknowledge of the genre’s fascinating social history is required to be moved by this rare North Carolina concert by an international sensation.
Joan Soriano is a co-presentation of Duke Performances and Motorco Music Hall.