Juan Luis Guerra: “The truest way to praise the Lord is a merengue”

Juan Luis Guerra returns to Barcelona and does so in an unprecedented setting, the Parc del Fòrum. one of the demands of the Cruïlla festival, which will host him this Saturday, with his band 4.40, to serve the tropical music repertoire to make up for the forced introspection of the pandemic biennium. The Dominican singer and songwriter, the circumstances of the covid made him think. “Of course it was a period of meditation and rethinking,” he explains, “to know how transient and fragile a man is when he trusts only his strength, and that we always need faith more than gold and silver.”

It comes after the author of the song ‘I Hope It’s Raining Coffee’, the song that took him beyond his country in 1989, released a live album ‘Between the sea and the palm trees’ produced at the suggestion of the television network HBO Latino. to bill a special program. The disc was recorded without an audience due to health reasons, on the idyllic Esmeralda beach in Miches, Dominican Republic. “But we play as if we were there,” Juan Luis Guerra says in an email interview. The repertoire includes many of his hit songs, where a certain tropical relativism intersects with the bizarre political criticism billed at other times, such as ‘Visa for a dream’, a nod to the problems of immigrant life. “I keep making songs with social content,” he says. “But the way I say things has changed. I think I’m more inclined now to songs that encourage, cheer you up and get you dressed for a party!”.

rhythm and mystery

The album ‘Para ti’ (2004) formalized the transition to a friendly spirituality that Guerra saw in harmony with the rhythmic texture of genres such as bachata, merengue and salsa. Addressing the Lord in the title song, he affirmed: “There is no problem or disease (for you) / No divorce or drugs on the streets (for you) / No more cancer, AIDS or evil (for you), and no, no, no , no) / There is no storm or disaster (for you) and you can do anything”.

How do you marry the bodily and mystical in your current artistic vision? “If we read Psalm 150 carefully, we will find that praise is a great celebration,” he says. “He tells us about percussions, strings, and woodwinds, and ends by saying: Let everything that breathes praise the Lord! As a Dominican, I believe my most sincere form of praise to the Lord Jesus is a merengue.”

According to you, “If you put the tambor on a problem, at least you can dance”. And while terrible wars continue to punish the world? “The word tells us that Jesus is the author of our faith, in other words, the composer! The only true and genuine faith is the faith we have in Him, not in men. People change, and Jesus is the same today, yesterday, and forever,” predicts the desired musician, “whose lyrics bring hope and courage,” but ultimately “everyone decides what to write.”

place for everything

Founded as a reference point for traditional Latin genres, Juan Luis Guerra returns for some time in the most popular orbit as a shock-based imagination that reggaeton and Latin trap represent. There’s no stylistic rivalry, he notes. “There is room for many different types of Latin. The main thing is to seek perfection in each of them”.

Your country recently received a visit Serrat is now on his farewell tour that intersects with him on this side of the Atlantic. “One of the greatest Spanish-speaking composers of all time,” he emphasizes. We would love to see him on stage so he can continue to learn from his songs and smile, but there is a time for everything.” Also reference as female singer Ruben Knives, Who will he be sharing the poster with at Cruïlla this Saturday?

There, the effect is deeper if possible. “I started salsa because of Rubén. Example to follow on my behalf songs social”, clearly shows. “Excellent as a musician and impressive as a sono, always innovative”. Will that breva fall and we’ll see them both on stage together? Guerra admits they didn’t talk about it. “But the simple fact of being on the same stage is already a privilege.”

Source: Informacion


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