Memorable commemorations that this 2024 brings in its memories

The Dominican Republic keeps in its memory unforgettable artistic events, which this 2024 will be celebrating significant anniversaries, such as the 50th anniversary of the emblematic festival “Siete días con el pueblo” or the six decades of the creation of “El Combo Show”, of the late merenguero Johnny Ventura.

Likewise, this year 2024 marks ten years since the regrettable departures of important figures of the arts such as the designer Oscar de la Renta, the communicator Yaqui Núñez del Risco and the great artist Sonia Silvestre.


This November, the month in which “Seven Days with the People” took place, the 50th anniversary will be celebrated with a concert, in which Los Guaraguaos, the group Expresión Joven, Claudio Cohén and Ramón Leonardo, among other important artists, are expected to participate.

In 1974, from November 25 to December 1, the most important artistic event of the 20th century took place in the country. It was a political-musical festival organized by the Central General de Trabajadores (CGT), led by trade unionist Francisco Antonio Santos and Nélsida Marmolejos. It was a meeting with international and national artists of the New Song with the aim of protesting against the regime of the government of President Joaquin Balaguer and demanding the release of political prisoners.

There were five multitudinous concerts held in Santo Domingo at the Olympic Stadium and the Sports Palace. In the capital, also, stages such as the Eugenio María de Hostos Park and Casa de Teatro were presenting part of these artists. The event arrived in Santiago at the Cibao Stadium and in San Pedro de Macoris, at the Tetelo Vargas Stadium.

The artistic line-up included the most splendid figures of the committed song of the time, such as the Argentines Mercedes Sosa and Bernardo Palombo, the Puerto Ricans Danny Rivera, Antonio Cabán Vale (El Topo), Lucecita Benítez and Estrella Artau, the Cubans Silvio Rodríguez and Noel Nicola, the Spaniards Víctor Manuel, Ana Belén and Francesc Pi de la Serra, the Venezuelan group Los Guaraguao, the Mexican Guadalupe Trigo and the Uruguayan Roberto Darwin.

From the country were Sonia Silvestre, Ramón Leonardo, Víctor Víctor, Johnny Ventura’s Combo Show, Wilfrido Vargas, Los Virtuosos de Cuco Valoy, Expresión Joven, the group Nueva Forma, Convite, Presencia Generación and Alta Voz. Ventura took advantage of the stage to premiere the merengue “Mamá Tingó”, the brave trade unionist from Yamasá who had been murdered weeks before. Yaqui Núñez wrote the song.


In this 2024 Johnny Ventura would be celebrating several important events in his artistic career. If he had not left this earthly plane, “El Caballo Mayor” would be celebrating, in a big way, the 60th anniversary of the debut of “El Combo Show de Johnny Ventura”.

His Facebook account records that on February 4, 1964, the group debuted on La Voz Dominicana. Johnny showed himself with a new style of playing and presenting merengue. He dared with a much smaller group of musicians than the well-known big orchestras and with a dance front, with choreographies never seen before in merengue orchestras.

Ventura began his artistic career in 1962 and belonged to Luis Pérez’s Combo Caribe with which he recorded “La Agarradera” by Luis Pérez and “Cuidado con el cuabero”, a piece of his own authorship. It was in that same year and with the Combo Caribe that he recorded his first LP of 12 songs.

In 1964, at the request of Cuban businessman Angel Guinea, Johnny created his own orchestra, El Combo Show. To this orchestra belonged great Dominican talents including Luisito Marti, Fausto Rey, and Anthony Rio.

In 1984 he had the honor of marking a milestone in history and became the first Dominican artist to win a Silver Torch at the Viña del Mar Festival in Chile, where he conquered the audience in that historic two-night debut.

La agarradera” and “Seño, seño, señorita” and “El tabaco es fuerte”, “El pingüino”, “La mujer de Antonio” and “Bobiné” (the repertoire was extensive, during two nights) were part of the songs that are recorded in the historic night of the “Caballo Mayor” in the prestigious Chilean festival.

Also this year 2024, the merenguero would be remembering that ten years ago he was paid an emotional tribute at the Soberano Awards, with a majestic musical number, produced by René Brea. Earlier in 2004, he received the Latin Grammy Award for best merengue/bachata album for his album “Sin Desperdicio.


Three great figures of Dominican art commemorate this 2024 a decade of his unfortunate departure. It is recalled that Oscar de la Renta, Dominican designer nationalized American, died on October 20, 2014, at the age of 82, at his home, located in the city of Kent, Connecticut, after suffering from cancer that was detected in 2006.

Sonia was one of the great voices of the country that sealed with quality the songbook of Dominican music, and we remember songs such as “Por qué llora la tarde”, “Ojalá”, “Yo quiero andar”, “Dónde podré gritarte que te quiero” and “Si pienso en nuestras canciones”, among others.

A death that saddened the entire country and left the Dominican media in mourning was that of Yaqui Núñez, on September 8, 2014, due to various health problems. Yaqui was considered a master of the microphone and good diction, who set the standard in the conduction for decades of the television program El Show del Mediodía.

He died after suffering a hemorrhagic cerebral infarction in December 2008. Apart from his contributions as a television producer, he was an advertising creative, author of lyrics of songs such as “Paloma”, “Compañera”, performed by Fernando Villalona, and others. He was a senatorial candidate for the Social Christian Reformist Party in 1994.


A decade ago and specifically on January 15, 2014, the Dominican National Brewery announced the eighth edition of the President Festival, after a four-year pause of not taking place the most enjoyed artistic event of recent times. Starting with this edition, the festival ceased to be only about Latin music to make room for music in general without limiting itself to the language.

Among the artists that performed that year were Bruno Mar, the Mexican rock group Maná, Calle 1, Prince Royce, Daddy Yankee, Wisin y Yandel; from the country Alex Matos, Anthony Sanos, Don Miguelo and Mozart La Para, among others.

author avatar
Dominican Republic Live Editor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

14 + 1 =

Verified by MonsterInsights